Making movies and TV can often be a secretive business—especially in nerdy genre fields where fans are eager to learn the ins and outs of production as soon as they can. Sometimes, that means a bit of skullduggery and that even actors don’t know the parts they’re truly auditioning for. For a Star Trek diehard like Anson Mount, that lead to a wonderful surprise.
Mount played the original hero of Star Trek, Captain Pike, during Discovery’s second season, breathing life into a role mostly known in the original Trek lore for the fact that Pike’s time aboard the Enterprise was cut short when Star Trek’s pilot premise was reworked, and the character only returned afterwards as a horribly scarred, mute and traumatized accident survivor. Playing a version of Pike that temporarily commandeered the Discovery on a mission to save the galaxy from mysterious signals cropping up all over space, Mount’s iteration of Pike was so well received that fans have practically been begging to see him get his own spinoff ever since.
But it’s equally joyous that Mount himself is as much of a Trek geek as the rest of us, proudly wearing his fandom on his sleeves whenever he speaks about his time in the franchise. It’s a fandom that lead to his incredibly cute reaction to auditioning on the show, according to a new interview he conducted with Space.com. “I was actually talking to them earlier in the year about the role of Captain Lorca and then they very wisely hired Jason Isaacs, who was great and did a much better job than I ever could have,” Mount reminisced. “But then when Pike was coming around, they called up and said, ‘Hey, there’s this other role, a new captain, would you mind putting yourself on tape?”
But secrecy around the return of a classic Trek character—one of several to appear in Discovery’s second season, which also included Ethan Peck as a young Spock, and Rebecca Romijin as another cut pilot character, the female Number One aboard the Enterprise—meant that even a diehard fan like Mount didn’t know exactly who he was auditioning to play. “They sent me dummy scripts,” the actor continued. “So the character’s name on the dummy scripts was Captain Parker. And I thought, ‘Well that’s a terribly unimaginative name for a captain. All right, fine. I’ll do it.’ And I put myself on tape and then they called back the next day and they said, ‘OK, doing it and it’s Captain Pike.” And I just about fell out of my seat!”
Out of one seat, it seems, and into a much fancier captain’s chair than he could’ve expected.