June 24 2024

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Peck: Becoming Spock

2 min read

Tonight on Star Trek: Discovery, we will see our first appearance of Ethan Peck as Spock. The actor spoke about the experience of becoming Spock, from his first interview to actually playing the character. Note: Spoilers below.

Peck was told at first that his character would be an alien, but not Spock. “The person I was given in the sides was described as an alien, an Andorian actually. It seemed like he was trying to keep a hold of reality, spinning off into this abstract narrative within his mind. Someone who was being exposed to inner demons, as if he was waking up to his emotions for the first time and they were totally overwhelming. It made me think of someone who was having an existential or psychotic break. I haven’t personally had an intense drug trip, but it reminded me of people who are under the influence of psychedelics. He’s trying to ground himself and keep himself in his present reality.”

The Nimoy family was a help in preparing Peck to take on the role. “It was really special [meeting them],” he said. “I found out the week before that I had gotten the job. I was overwhelmed. I was still in shock the following week. I was curious to meet them, and CBS arranged a time for us to get together. Leonard Nimoy‘s children were so open, kind and welcoming. They were very there for me and curious about what my plans were for my preparation. We spoke about how Nimoy prepared. It was one of the first steps to feel worthy of doing this.”

One original series episode was a great help in portraying Spock. “The Menagerie is such a beautiful two-parter,” said Peck. “It’s such quintessential Spock because it’s so dignified and something emotionally driven, but logically executed. That’s also all about my relationship [with Captain Pike, played on Discovery by Anson Mount], and that showed me great respect and admiration between them.”

Playing such an iconic character put a lot of pressure on Peck, that was only eased with experience. “[The pressure lessened] but it did take some time,” he said. “The territory we cover with Spock in the second season is new; it’s been uncharted. There weren’t reference points for certain scenarios. Luckily, I had such amazing support around me. Sonequa Martin-Green was a great anchor. The first month or two was very frightening, but then I started to feel like, ‘OK, I’m here. I’m doing this. I’m not fired.’ Then I started to get more relaxed.”

See Spock tonight on the Light and Shadows episode.

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