A ‘Trek’ Newbie Takes the Helm in ‘Strange New Worlds’

The U.S.S. Enterprise of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” will probably be populated by characters and, in some instances, actors that followers have seen or heard of earlier than. The bridge crew contains Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Spock (Ethan Peck), Number One (Rebecca Romijn), Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), and La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong). Mount, Peck, and Romijn beforehand appeared on “Star Trek: Discovery,” whereas Uhura is a cadet model of Nichelle Nichols’ character from “Star Trek: The Original Series” and La’an is distantly associated to the notorious Khan Noonien Singh from “The Original Series” and “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” So, the wild card on the Enterprise bridge in “Strange New Worlds” — which can start streaming on May 5, 2022, on Paramount+ — is Lt. Erica Ortegas, an unique character performed by Melissa Navia, an actor with no earlier “Trek” affiliation.

Navia, in response to the Internet Movie Database, counts amongst her credit such tv reveals and films as “Love Eterne,” “The Affair,” “Hymns,” “Billions” “New Amsterdam,” and “Bull.” During a Zoom interview with Heavy on Star Trek and a bunch of different journalists on April 18, 2022, Navia acknowledged that she enjoys a stage of freedom with Ortegas in that nobody is aware of the character’s future or her private endgame. That’s versus Captain Pike, who’s conscious that he’ll die in about 10 years, or Uhura, who will finally evolve into the character portrayed by Nichols. Even the Singh character, although brand-new, comes with the luggage of her title. That open-ended future for Ortegas, Navia defined, let her create a personality who’s offered as a daring and impressive younger girl who aspires to be one of the best pilot ever to graduate from Starfleet Academy.

Ortegas Accepts the Challenge

“When I first acquired the audition for the function, there is a factor that you just say — as an actor — if you’re like, ‘When the correct function comes alongside, it’s going to be the one,'” she stated. “The writing was so great. I felt this connection to Ortegas. I had the breakdown. I knew it was ‘Star Trek.’ She was a fight veteran and expert pilot. Can deal with a gun and a phaser. Can additionally crack a joke when a joke must be cracked. I felt that the audition sides I acquired had been a lot me. I prefer to say Ortegas is a cooler model of me sooner or later. In the long run, I’d like to fly a starship. When I booked the function, I additionally acquired the added ingredient of it is a brand-new character that will get to work together with all these legacy characters, which goes to be numerous enjoyable for followers. She’s so assured, however not cocky, in a lovable method, not an obnoxious method, as a result of she is absolutely expert. Pike trusts her intrinsically and she or he has such nice belief in the remainder of her crew. That comes off.

“When anyone is sweet at their job and trusts everyone equally of their workspace, then you definately’re allowed to joke and play,” Navia continued. “That comes off. She loves the journey of what she does and she or he additionally takes it critically. We get these nice, episodic adventures the place you get to see the toll that it takes when lives are on the road. I’ve been having a blast creating this character and in addition wanting again to all of the pilots which have come earlier than, the characters that followers are already evaluating her to, despite the fact that they have not seen something. I’m making an attempt to make my very own mark on it by bringing myself to it and letting what the writers have created come to the display. I’m additionally taking numerous what the followers love about ‘Star Trek’ and placing that into Ortegas. She loves Starfleet in the way in which that followers love ‘Star Trek.'”

Navia is Ready for ‘Strange New Worlds’ to Take Flight

Navia laughed at herself when she admitted that she takes the character’s job of piloting the Enterprise “super-seriously.” So, when Ortegas is flying the ship, Navia is flying the ship. If the helm and all of the colourful buttons ever turn out to be mere props to her, “we’d as nicely go house,” she stated. As a consequence, even earlier than the cameras rolled on “Strange New Worlds,” Navia wished to know not solely what every button did, however what just about every thing on the Enterprise did.

“For me, with the helm console, I used to be doing these Zoom classes with the graphics division, with individuals who have been with ‘Star Trek’ for the final 30, 40 years, asking concerning the engines and the way in which every thing works,” Navia stated. “Apparently phrase acquired out that ‘Melissa is just a little loony. She actually thinks she’s flying the starship.’ For me, it was necessary to know, ‘How am I going to impulse?’ ‘How am I going to warp?’ There are instances when I’m doing evasive maneuvers, the place Pike will give me an order, and I’ll be like ‘On it!’ nevertheless it will not come up on my display.

“I’d be straight-up texting (the) graphics (division),” she continues. “I’d be like, ‘Can you guys give me one thing? ‘Well, it in all probability will not play within the episode.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, nevertheless it’s taking part in in my face.’ They would create all these items for me. I’d be like, ‘Can we modify this display and that display?’ I additionally assume it is necessary for the followers. There are going to be followers who know extra concerning the Enterprise than I do, despite the fact that I’ve been doing my analysis. For me, when I’m there and flying, there will be instances when Anson could be talking to anyone on the viewscreen and I’d have just a little quip. I’d miss it and Anson’s like ‘Melissa!’ Then I’m like, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m flying.’ I’m so targeted. I’m the dorky one on the bridge, for certain.”

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