Movie Interviews

Published on July 5th, 2016 | by gareth

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We Talk Star Trek Beyond With Actor Jason Matthew Smith

Recently we got the chance to speak with actor Jason Matthew Smith about his role in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond. Jason has appeared in all three of the new Star Trek films and talks about his time on the film as well as his upcoming appearance at San Diego Comic Con.

 

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What can you tell us about your character in the film and what has changed
about him since the previous films?

I play Lt. Hendorff, aka Cupake,  a red shirt security officer on board the
Enterprise.  In the 2009 Star Trek reboot, I was a cadet in the Star Fleet Academy
who has a run in with James Kirk that ended in a bar fight.  Later, I arrested Kirk
when he illegally beamed aboard the Enterprise with Scotty.  I was present on the
bridge when Kirk goaded Spock into a fight that lead to Kirk becoming Captain.  In
the next film in the series Into Darkness, I was recruited by Kirk to go on a secret
mission to capture Kahn on the Klingon planet Kronos.  In the upcoming film Beyond,
Hendorff has risen to the rank of Lieutenant and is an integral member of the crew
of the Enterprise which is currently 2 years in on a 5 year mission. With Hendorff’s
new found promotion comes more responsibility.  But as is the mission of all Red
Shirts, duty, honor, and protection of the crew are my character’s primary
priorities.

How was the shoot for the film as it must have been different with a new
Director?

The shoot was a blast! Justin definitely made the feeling on the set a laid back
creative work place .  It was sort of a homecoming or a family reunion for everyone.
Its be 8 years since the first film in the series.  We’ve all had a lot of life
changes, but we all picked up right where we left off.  Everyone was very
professional and kind.  A really great environment to work in.  The sets, costumes,
and props were incredible.  I feel truly blessed to be a part of 3 Trek films.  I
can’t wait for audiences to see Beyond when it hits theaters on July 22nd
nationwide.

How would you compare and contrast JJ and Justin in their style?

They are both consummate professionals and creative geniuses in their own right.  JJ
set the standards for excellence in all facets of film making with the impeccable
cast and crew he put in place on the first two films.  Justin has admirably taken on
those high standards and added a few of his own.  Visually, Beyond will be an
amazing spectacle, filled with heart, humor and an overall love for the Trek
universe.  I would be honored to have another opportunity to work with either of
them again.  They are both masters of their trade.

What are some of your more memorable moments from filming?

It’s not so much as what I did on camera that I will remember, but rather the time
spent with the cast and crew off set.  It takes a lot of time getting ready to
shoot.  Cast has to get into their costumes, make-up, sound, and props.  The crew
has to light the sets, set up shots, and to make sure everything is ready to go.  So
there can be a lot of waiting around.  It was during these times that I had some
great conversations.  Topics ranging from raising kids to politics and everything in
between.  There is always a lot of laughter.  I think those will be the memories
that stay with me the most.

What have been your past experiences with San Diego Comic Con and what are
you looking forward to the most?

This year’s Comic Con will be my first time attending.  Not only my first time at
CC, but also my first time at any convention. This being the 50th anniversary of
Star Trek and with Beyond set to premiere on July 19th in San Diego, I thought there
would be no better time to dive in.  I’m really excited to be a part of CC and
looking forward to meeting all of the fans!

Were you a fan of Star Trek growing up and how has being part of it changed
your life on and off screen?

My mother was a huge Star Trek fan.  My uncle is as well for that matter.  I grew up
watch the re-runs on syndication like most people my age who grew up in the 70’s.
My mother took us to go see all of the Trek movies too. I loved the original cast.
They had amazing chemistry together.  Star Trek has always been a ground breaking
show that has stretch the boundaries of science and the human experience.
I love Trekkies.  They have banded together through a common love for the universe
Mr. Roddenberry created.  I don’t get recognized a lot for my part, but when I do it
always makes me feel good.  I am proud of the work I have done in all 3 Trek films.
It’s really quite awesome when others appreciate it as well!

How did you get into acting and what was your big break?

I believe I was born to be an actor.  Since early in my childhood I have always
admired actors and actresses and the stories they tell on screen.  I desperately
wanted to be a part of their world; to tell stories, inhabit characters, and to live
truthfully in the imaginary worlds created by writers.  I trained hard to be where I
am today earning a BFA and an MFA in the process.  I don’t think I had so much a
“Big Break,” so much as a series of small breaks.  I feel like my journey has been
guided.  I don’t believe in luck or coincidences.   I am relentlessly persistent and
have a wonderful support team surrounding me.  But I guess my biggest break in my
life has been meeting my wife.  She continues to help keep me in the game.  She
inspires and drives me to be a better version of myself and keeps my feet firmly
planted on the ground.  I can’t imagine having a career without her.

What are some of your favorite Science Fictions shows and films past and
present?

I am a huge fan of Star Wars, Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings fan.  I love the
characters, story lines, and visuals in those films.  I always feel like a kid again
when I watch them.  In my opinion, they are some of the greatest works of art in the
history of Cinema.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I tend to travel a lot.  My wife grew up in Corsica, France where her family still
resides.  So we usually visit a couple of months a year to keep up the family ties.
We take advantage of our time there to do some side trips to interesting locations
in the surrounding area. I love taking our two boys to the beaches there and doing
some R &R.  I also like catching up with films and TV series on Netflix that I
haven’t had time to see do to work. Lately, I have begun writing scripts.  I love to
create great stories and it’s really a rewarding experience.

What do you have upcoming aside from Trek that fans can look forward to seeing
you in?
I am in pre-production on two independent films.  One is a romantic comedy that my
wife and I are collaborating on  which will shoot sometime later this fall.  The
other is an Action-Comedy that will shoot in Morocco next year.

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About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.



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