Part 3 is here :
Q : You didn’t mind with those exercises?
A : That was an amazing experience, because by exercising your blood is full of oxygen in your system, and this increased quick-thinking on set. This sense of kinship that JJ created on set felt amazing, but when you were a new guy there who also played an outsider, it was very hard to get into. There was this special energy amongst them, and they’ve known each other from the first film and had become close friends, whilst I was trying to establish a character, an outsider. But they were very supportive and every time they saw me anxious they would try their hardest to convince me. I was afraid because this role is huge for me. My confidence grew after that, after I felt that I can trust my intuition. When I got there, I had to resist the temptation to keep having fun with them, and to focus on where and when I had to distance myself from them.
Q : So you joined an ensemble cast who are also great friends…
A : They’re amazing. I know this sounds like an actor’s bullshit, but it truly is rare that you can find a film of this scale with so many polite people in it. JJ really knew how to build group dynamic and it paid off in the result.
Q : Was that close to Steven Spielberg’s approach?
A : Yes. And just like Spielberg, JJ’s name is above the title, because he’s the star. So we can get into his world and embodied his vision. He picked the people who fit the roles, and that made a relaxing situation. The group is balanced and that’s very rare in this industry. What’s interesting is that we were at a similar age and point of our careers and very close with each other, so the experience is delightful. We tried to do our jobs well and there were no ego, no arrogance - everything is about the job. There’s debate among the characters, but there wasn’t play of status.
Q : What was your feeling when you first entered the Enterprise set for the first time ?
A : Amazing. The first time I came on set, I saw inside the Bridge - I was in outer space and looked within. Of course there were a lot of green screen in that scene. But after the take is done, JJ said “Come on, come look inside the Bridge!” And JJ took me inside and the set was very amazing and riveting. All of a sudden I was the biggest Star Trek fan ever existed! (laughs). When you become a part of it all, you can get a little obsessed. Then I was walking around the corridors linking the various areas of the Enterprise, and they were so beautiful. You’re reminded of various spaceships that you’ve ever seen on various movies, and that triggered a lot of association, but it stays unique as is JJ’s signature on this franchise. Every set that we came to were very phenomenal. JJ was also so enthusiastic- his reaction was truly pure, not fake. He really looked so vibrant of it all. He surrounded himself with fantastic arts from every department - make-up, costume, design. And he asked, as long as budget allows, that the spaceship was built as close to the real thing as possible. So a lot of the parts of this film weren’t green screen, but they’re live action. That was fun, like riding in a playground.
Q : How did it feel when you saw the completed scene that you filmed in front of the green screen?
A : It was also marvelous because there were a lot of things missing that day when we (filmed) it, so we had to imagine all of it and did it whole-heartedly, and it was amazing. The only fear that came up was that they created something truly wonderful that you hoped “..that my acting isn’t weird because I didn’t think I would turn out like this”. But I think everything was appropriate for the film. You know, some people seemed to fear that this would be a pure sci-fi film, but this isn’t true. This is an action thriller, with comedy and romance and all the big action and entertainment that you hope for in a big movie. This film also has drama on its characters, and it all happened thanks to JJ. He knew how to combine character development with entertainment - this is the key to his success.
Q : This film is made in 3D. What is your opinion about this?
A : I think people will look back to this age as the golden age of cinema, especially because of the rise of 3D and IMAX, which brought the experience in watching a film to a whole new level. A lot of great artists worked in today’s time. People always looked back to the golden age of Hollywood in the 1960s and 1970s, but now those films are still being produced. Furthermore, we have the new technology that people like JJ mastered. There are rooms for a bigger canvas in the cinematic art, and this time is a breakthrough moment.
Q : Going back to your physical side, what kind of stunt did you have to do?
A : Well, a couple of things that we had to do included a scene where we were pulled into the air in a rate of 96 km/hour through a cord and struck down to the floor again. We did a lot of jumping while tied to a wire. In one scene, my character jumped from a bridge.
Q : And you still enjoyed all of it?
A : Very fun. I liked it - as much as I was allowed to do. Maybe I had to give a shout out to a stuntman, Martin de Boer, who you’ll see a lot more now. He’s a great actor and also a reliable stuntman. In fact, maybe he’s soon going to steal my roles! He did a lot of things that they said I couldn’t do. Of course, because I’m healthy physically and mentally, I still wanted to do a lot more.
Last part coming soon!