Star Trek: Discovery Star Ethan Peck Calls Playing Spock 'Peak Life Experience,' Describes Secretive Casting Process

Ethan Peck stepped into the role of Spock in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery. Looking back, he describes it as every bit the life-changing experience a Star Trek fan might imagine. Speaking to Deadline, Peck recalls what it was like following in the footsteps of the great actors who played Spock before him.

“It’s sort of a peak life experience for me,” Peck says. “I’ve never had the much responsibility as an actor, as a human being, with obligations to this entire span of history that is Star Trek that has been around for so long, and especially in this beloved role that was made so wonderfully by Leonard Nimoy and then Zachary Quinto. It was really scary.”

Peck then went into the unusual, secretive casting process he went through to get the role. “When you take on roles that require a greater center and core, that can be very intimidating and very daunting. So when I came into it, I didn’t know what I was auditioning for at the beginning of the process. It’s all codenamed. And so I received these signs that are very odd. I mean, very abstract. An alien in a cave named Tom...and Michael Burnham’s come into the cave and is trying to bring him out of his inner reverie.

“And they had told me it was for something special. And I was like, ‘Data?’ I had no idea, literally no idea. Before that final audition, I got a new scene, and that scene revealed who it was. Not explicitly, implicitly. And I was like, ‘Is that possible? Is that right?’ Just because you never think that you’d come across this kind of role.”

Peck says he was surprised when he learned he was so close to playing Spock, but the pressure didn’t let up once the role was secured. “You never expect the [role] you’ve gotten so far along in to be such an iconic character, such a challenging character, and so my final read I like blacked out I was just so panicked and nervous. And that night I was like, ‘Even if I don’t get this, I’ve brushed arms with this incredible world and this incredible character and I should pull so much validation from that because I was so proud that I’d come so far for this very special character. And then I got it and I was like, ‘Oh no, what have I gotten myself into here?’”

What did you think of Peck’s performance as Spock? Let us know in the comments. Star Trek: Discovery will return for its third season on CBS All Access.

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