Sonequa Martin-Green

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv - BY JAY BOB­BIN


How do you think, in its sec­ond sea­son, “Star Trek: Dis­cov­ery” is ad­vanc­ing the fran­chise over­all?

It takes it fur­ther be­cause we are go­ing fur­ther with the rep­re­sen­ta­tion. We are con­tin­u­ing to be a mir­ror to so­ci­ety, and we have this fran­chise that has al­ways been built on in­no­va­tion, and we are con­tin­u­ing to do that. We are con­tin­u­ing to show peo­ple that are dif­fer­ent from us be in these po­si­tions that peo­ple can re­late to.

We are not just see­ing them rep­re­sented. We are see­ing them as these best ver­sions of them­selves, and then we can see the best ver­sions of our­selves while we look at them ... so, it’s not just about see­ing peo­ple of color. It’s not just about see­ing a black woman as the lead. It’s not just about see­ing an Asian fe­male cap­tain. It’s about see­ing these peo­ple be well­rounded and strong and sac­ri­fi­cial and in­te­gral to the group, and that’s the rep­re­sen­ta­tion that changes peo­ple’s be­liefs. And can, there­fore, change the world.

How do you see your “Dis­cov­ery” char­ac­ter, Michael Burn­ham, rep­re­sent­ing tra­di­tional el­e­ments of “Star Trek”?

The con­flict be­tween logic and emo­tion is a very, very in­ter­est­ing one, and we ex­plore faith and sci­ence and how they re­late to each other in Sea­son 2. And I can see an in­ter­est­ing par­al­lel there.

What’s re­ally pow­er­ful to me, or one of the things that’s pow­er­ful to me, about Michael Burn­ham is her tenac­ity. Michael had an up­bring­ing that was real trauma, but (that she has) over­com­pen­sated and suc­ceeded in spite of. There’s the con­stant yearn­ing to find the true bal­ance be­tween logic and emo­tion. It’s a dif­fer­ent fight than Spock’s be­cause he is – in his very DNA – half-Vul­can and (Michael is) not, so it’s in­ter­est­ing to live in a life where your nat­u­ral ten­dency has to be de­nied.

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