With San Diego Comic Con steadily approaching, there is a lot of anticipation about many of the events that it will have in store for its attendees. One prime example of such an event will be the premiere of STAR TREK BEYOND, set to happen on Preview Night. With that said, I had the chance to speak with actor Jason Matthew Smith about the third installment of the popular franchise. In the interview, Smith shared not only how he got involved with the third film, but also shared what it had in store for fans. Check out our interview below…
BT: First, could you talk about how it felt when you found out that your character would be returning to the franchise’s third installment?
JMS: Absolutely! (Thinking back) I would say it started back when I was doing [STAR TREK] INTO DARKNESS…My character was in it, but if you blinked, you probably would miss it. However, in reality, I actually shot a ton of stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor. For instance, when I brought wife along to the premiere at Paramount, I was gearing her up for my character’s death when we were watching the film, but it never happened! (Laughing)
JMS: So once that moment in the film passed, I recall yelling in the theater, “I’M ALIVE! I’M ALIVE!” (Laughing)
JMS: So when I heard they were doing a third one, I remembered that I had Simon Pegg’s email- from doing the 1st STAR TREK film.
JMS: At the same time though, I didn’t want to be “that actor” and bother him, so initially I didn’t try to contact him. However, when I heard that he would be co-writing the third film, I decided to send him a short, respectful paragraph to say “hi” and if he possibly had something for me [to do in the new film]. Twenty minutes later, he responded back, saying, “Hey! Of course we already have something ready for you! We have to keep the band together!” Then, him concluding with, “…we hope to see you in Vancouver this summer!”
(Continuing) I remember being so shocked and blown away! Feeling so blessed and fortunate to say that I did all three of them…
BT: Cool! So, you must be a mind-reader, because my next question is, could you talk about the new dynamic of having Simon [Pegg] as a co-writer as well as the absence of J.J. Abrams in the director’s chair?
JMS: I think it was a really good call, especially since Abrams was doing STAR WARS. I felt that having Simon as a writer and a having new director gave the film a different feel. For example, different directors have different ways of telling a story. In TV, you always see a series change directors episode to episode to stay interesting and current. In a similar way, I feel this change again added to the film. Speaking further to Justin Lin, the visuals and action sequences are amazing and stunning! All in all, I believe this will be the best movie of the summer!
BT: Ok, terrific!
JMS: I may be a little biased…(Laughing)
JMS: (Continuing)….but, Simon [Pegg], as a writer, was also a great call, because HE IS a great writer. In addition, I feel that all of the cast were extremely collaborative so that we could produce the best product possible.
JMS: (Continuing)…and this goes back to why I was saying earlier that this will be an unbelievable film!
BT: I see, I see…So, in keeping that in mind, with trilogies it’s always about characters going back to the beginning or coming “full circle.” So, with that said, is your character provided with a satisfying arch from what was established in the other two installments?
JMS: Yeah, definitely! I feel that one of the cool things-and I don’t know if this was J.J. [Abrams]’s original intention-is that many of the peripheral characters featured in the first STAR TREK film are not only featured in the second film, but are also featured in this one as well. So, in doing that, I feel that there is a believability that the crew [of the Enterprise] is a unit.
BT: Absolutely! So, lastly, we are coming up on Comic Con…Will you be attending and will it be your first time?
JMS: Yes! This will be my first convention, ever…
BT: Well, it’s one hell of a way to start if SDCC is your first! (Laughing)
JMS: Yeah! EXACTLY! Initially, I was a little intimidated by the thought of doing it; however, after learning more about it, I see the event as a celebration of science fiction and fantasy. Therefore I am excited at the prospect of meeting fans at the event!
BT: Awesome! Well Jason, thank you so much for your time!
JMS: Thanks man!
Interview by Brandon Troy
STAR TREK BEYOND opens in theaters July 22, 2016.
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