INTERVIEW: Ed Speleers Breaks Down Joining the World of ‘Star Trek: Picard’
Star Trek is changing and growing with a “new generation” of actors coming into the franchise. With Star Trek: Picard, we have Geordi La Forge’s daughters in Starfleet, Riker’s daughter has been introduced into the show, and now we have finally met with Ed Speleers’ Jack Crusher. There with his mother, Beverly Crusher, it is revealed at the end of the second episode that Jack is actually Jean-Luc’s son as well. And it was a reveal that packed a big punch for fans of the franchise.
I got to speak with Speleers before the episode 2 premiere where we talked a lot about his character of Jack and the reveal therein. Because it’s one thing to join the Star Trek legacy on its own but doing as as the son of Jean-Luc Picard has a completely different weight to it. So I asked him about it and whether or not he had any pause in taking on a world like Trek.
“I hadn’t thought about it like that,” he said. “Look, I would be foolish to have not put any contemplation into whose son I’m playing and what that means. But it’s an honor as well. I think that’s what has been a catalyst for me trying to approach the work in the way I did. I suppose it was the fact that I feel humbled and honored at the same time that I’ve been given an opportunity on this scale because they’re not easy to come by and you are joining something that has six decades of support, love, and dedication from fans across the globe. I mean, that’s quite a crackers thought in itself. So, yeah, I’m not gonna say I’m wasn’t daunted, I’m sort of more daunted now, I think actually on reflection.”
Speleers went on to unpack why that feeling came after the show had started to come out. “I sort of know why, and it’s not because of the possibility of conventions and the meeting of people,” he said. “I’m excited about that. It’s the pressure of, well, does this stand up? Does this hold up to slotting into Star Trek legacy? Because people are incredibly passionate about this and if they don’t like it, they will let you know. And that worries me a bit. And it’s not about wanting to be liked. We put so much effort into this show and there’s still so much effort. Even you look at this amazing PR team that I’m working with, they are still putting so much effort to make sure this show gets the reach and attention that we feel it deserves. So that’s where the pressure’s holding at the moment.”
Joining the Star Trek Legacy
When it comes to a franchise like Star Trek, joining it isn’t so much about just dealing with a legacy. You’re also heading into something that many actors are still fans of themselves. And so I asked Speleers about joining the franchise and how he navigated it. Was he more focused on the job at hand and let that guide him away from the scope of it all and being a part of Star Trek or did he ever stop and recognize that he was on the bridge of a Star Trek ship?
“I feel that I certainly do my best and strive to make sure it’s about the work and concentrate on the work,” He said. “I would be telling you a lie if I was to say that when I turned up on the first day of shooting and we were on the Titan, I wasn’t completely overwhelmed at like looking to the left of me and there’s Seven of Nine, I look to the right and there’s Riker, I look in front of me, there’s Captain or now Admiral Picard and we’re on this massive spaceship bridge and it’s all singing or dancing. Everything works. You know, nothing looks plasticy like if it is, you know, it’s gleaming.”
But he went on to talk about how the cast came in and made it so easy. “However, there’s two things: That legacy cast in particular are so welcoming. And they took me, Frakes and I regularly messaging each other,” Speleers said. “He’s become like an uncle or something to me. I don’t know what he is to me. But he’s something very special to me. And I think that the work, they allowed me the space to do the work and I think they are aware of what impact they’ve had as a cast and as sort of a creative team. But they were embracing that sort of next, that new generation I suppose. And they completely supported me in what I had to do. And I had some really challenging moments and I had a lot to figure out throughout the season. And I got nothing but love and support from that whole team. So, so it was daunting but when you are getting that level of encouragement from some pretty wonderful actors and humans and creators beyond that, it settles the nerves and it allowed me the space to explore a character the best of what I thought my ability was at the time.”
Star Trek: Picard airs Thursdays and it is so incredibly to see Ed Speleers take on the role of Jack Crusher.
(Featured image: Trae Patton/Paramount+)
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