As Star Trek Into Darkness heads onto DVD and Blu-Ray (check out our Star Trek Into Darkness DVD Review), Bruce Greenwood phoned Movie Fanatic for an exclusive chat where he lets us in on why he thinks this sci-fi institution is still so resonant after decades.
We had to know, first and foremost, what it meant to this veteran actor to be the character Pike… a Star Trek universe icon -- after all it was Pike who brought Captain Kirk into Starfleet in J.J. Abrams' first Star Trek.
Greenwood also let us in on not only what makes director J.J. Abrams not just such a fine sci-fi wizard, but also a storyteller, and also if there is any chance that his Pike character will return in subsequent films.
Movie Fanatic: We all know J.J. Abrams is an amazing director and sci-fi wizard. But, what about Abrams, to you, makes him a good storyteller as you saw on the set of Star Trek Into Darkness?
Bruce Greenwood: He’s very connected to emotional lines. For an actor, that’s one of the first things I look for to see if there’s continuity of emotional experience where one thing leads to another. He’s very dialed in to that. From my first conversations with him, it was clear that that’s one of the things that he likes to keep intact. That’s what makes storytelling, for me, gripping. The audience is connected to the characters and the audience can follow how they are feeling.
Movie Fanatic: Speaking of character, your character Pike has a long lore when it comes to Star Trek characters. In your career, what does it mean to play this character that is so adored by Star Trek fans?
Bruce Greenwood: I had no idea what I was getting into [laughs]. Once I started doing the research before we started shooting the first frame of the first movie, I realized that it was something that I would relish for the rest of my life. It has been that. It has been one of those things that I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of it. Even now that my contribution is already a memory, it is a wonderful thing to be a part of. I’ve met some fantastic people and I’ve gotten to be part of a storytelling tradition and character that has been around for a long, long time. That’s a real gift.
Movie Fanatic: Having a front row seat to this Star Trek world, are you any closer to figuring out why it has been so resonant for decades now?
Bruce Greenwood: With the original series, the storylines went along classical lines. It was literally classic storytelling. Those big fundamental riddles and challenges that we wrestle with when we’re preoccupied with our little lives, those are the questions that the series and the films try to engage everybody in.
Movie Fanatic: Through the storytelling means that is as easy as a flashback, you could appear as Pike in the future. Do you think that will happen? Will we see Pike again?
Bruce Greenwood: Don’t think I haven’t suggested it [laughs]! Toss in some Khan blood, some cryogenics… reanimation, any number of things I could come back -- although my expectations are not high. I remember when J.J. called me for this one and said there is good news and bad news. The good news is you’re in it. The bad news is you don’t last! I was instantly suggesting, “You know… something could happen.”