Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzmann auditioned over 400 actors when trying to find an actor to take on the iconic role of Spock in Discovery season 2 before choosing Ethan Peck – a process the producer says was crucial to getting the casting right.
“It’s always dangerous because the ‘TOS’ characters are so beloved and everyone has such strong feelings and strong opinions about each character. And if the recasting or the characterization itself doesn’t meet up with people’s imagination, then we get into trouble,” Kurtzmann told Variety‘s TV Take podcast. “We did an extremely deep dive on casting and spoke with the Nimoy family and had them bless the casting.”
“When Ethan came in–and when I say he was over the 400th actor we had seen, I mean that literally–what I saw in him were two things.” he continued. “First of all, he conveyed to me with–I don’t know if it was his body language or the way he held himself during the read–that he too was struggling through something similar to what Spock is struggling with…I think that coupled with the fact the he was so clearly willing to dive wholeheartedly into this once he understood what was actually happening and who he was playing. He was so beautifully committed to saying ‘I’m gonna go as deep as I can go here. I’m gonna go as deep into this character and I’m terrified. Humble and terrified. I’m living in [Leonard Nimoy]’s shadow and I’m living in [Zachary Quinto]’s shadow.’”
Star Trek: Discovery season 2 premieres January 17 on CBS All Access.