'Star Trek' Producer Proud to Have Given the Rock, Tom Hardy Their Acting Starts

Tom Hardy and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are both huge Hollywood movie stars now, but even they had to start somewhere. In both cases, that somewhere was the Star Trek universe.

Rick Berman was the executive producer who oversaw Star Trek throughout the 1990s and early 2000s and steered the franchise after Gene Roddenberry’s death. He worked on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as several Star Trek movies.

During that time, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson played a the Pendari champion in the 2000 Star Trek: Voyager episode “Tsunkatse.” This was just the Rock’s second television acting job following an appearance on That ‘70s Show a year earlier.

Tom Hardy appeared in Black Hawk Down in 2001, but his first true starring role was playing the villain Shinzon, a clone of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, in the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis.

In an interview with StarTrek.com, Berman says he remains proud that he had a hand in shoving these actors and others into the spotlight of stardom.

“Acting is a tentative life, and to have a second career is helpful and creative and financially beneficial,” Berman said, reflecting on how Star Trek turned so many of its actors into directors as well. “So, it makes me feel terrific, and it does that in the same way that there are some actors that we gave a first job to that have become successful. People like Dwayne Johnson, whose first acting job I think was on Voyager, and he's a world-renowned movie star now.

"You could say the same about Tom Hardy, who never had a role bigger than a couple of lines prior to getting his role in Nemesis. Now, he’s a world-class movie star. So, that's a good feeling, too. There's luck involved in all that, but when you give somebody a first shot and then they manage to take advantage of it and let their talent soar and allow them to build a career, it feels good.”

Johnson is now one of the highest-paid stars in Hollywood. He’s featured in a number of franchises including The Fast and the Furious, Jumanji, GI Joe, and more. He’s also set to play Black Adam for DC Films.

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Tom Hardy has had his own success in a number of films, including playing the lead in Mad Max: Fury Road and playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. He’s set to play the Marvel Comics villain Venom in the movie of the same name this October.

What are your favorite Star Trek guest stars? Let us know in the comments!