Movie star talks with the hosts of InnerSpace about his role in Star Trek sequel

When actor Karl Urban stopped by the 11th annual Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo on April 30, he visited with fans, participated in photo ops, and stopped to chat with panelists about his past roles within the world of sci-fi. However, he was a bit coy about how he approached his latest role, a portrayal of the iconic Admiral Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the next installment of the Star Trek film series: Star Trek Beyond.

Though Urban has taken on a variety of characters throughout his career, such as Eomer (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Judge Dredd (Dredd), and Vaako (The Chronicles of Riddick) he said that it has been his reprisal of the role of Bones, in J. J. Abrams’ reboot of the popular franchise, that has stood out for him the most as a defining role.

“It was one of those TV shows I watched as a kid, and I had great respect for what those guys did,” said Urban.

Urban took on the character, which in the past has been played by DeForest Kelley (in the original 1960s TV series) and Chuck Huber (in the 2013 fan-made Star Trek Continues), with that respect for the series deep-rooted history in mind. However, he also wanted to bring something new to the character.

Actor Karl Urban (left) is interviewed by InnerSpace hosts Ajay Fry (middle) and Teddy Wilson (right) on April 30 at the BMO Centre, as part of the listed events of the 2016 Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. Photo by Olivia BaychuAlthough Urban couldn’t get into exact details about the upcoming film, set to premiere on July 22, at the panel led by InnerSpace hosts Ajay Fry and Teddy Wilson, he did provide attendees with some funny stories from behind the scenes, and also took questions from the audience. The Stampede Corral was bursting with eager fans, all listening intently to the actor’s stories and hoping to get close enough to catch a glimpse of him up on stage.

While he didn’t exactly give away any spoilers for the upcoming film, he did joke that his favourite parts to film were “anytime I get to argue with Spock.” Urban’s long-time co-star Zachary Quinto will reprise this infamously logical role in the new film.

Urban also had many great things to say about director Abrams, praising him for how smart, funny and enthusiastic he is on set. Abrams, also the mind behind the largely successful reboot film of Star Trek’s classic rival series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was also praised by Urban for being quick on his feet, finding creative solutions to the many problems that happen on such a massive set as that of this movie.

“He has this unique ability to size up a scene and determine what its strengths and weaknesses are … you’re in good hands with a director like that.”

Abrams’ reboot of the Star Trek series, his first foray into the world of pop-culture revival, began in 2009, and may well continue into 2017 and beyond, with leads Chris Pine and Quinto both reportedly having signed contracts to appear in a fourth installment of the latest series, should the opportunity arise.

In the meantime, Urban is keeping quiet about his role in any potential films after 2016.

The Calgary Comic Expo lasted four days, attracting 103,500 people – just 500 short of 2015’s record-breaking numbers. The convention is known internationally as the largest “comic con” in Western Canada.

Thumbnail courtesy of Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons.

obaychu@cjournal.ca

The editor responsible for this article is Michaela Ritchie, mritchie@cjournal.ca