Paul Wesley puts a new spin on ‘Star Trek’ Kirk in ‘Strange New Worlds’

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds came back! One of the most well-received spin-offs of the franchise returns with Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) in the captain’s chair for a second season that combines every genre in the film. Trek lexicon. It certainly – thankfully – maintains its original mandate of exploring unknown worlds and civilizations while continuing with the emotional core of Trek universe. As Pike would say as the new season begins, “Hit It!”

However, there’s another captain with a familiar name coming this season: Kirk! But it is not Captain James Kirk we remember; that is still a lieutenant in SNW timeline. This is an alternate timeline Kirk who has a different ship and is drawn into Christina Chong’s story. Business security chief La’an Noonien-Singh. Paul Wesleywho played Lt. Kirk in a single appearance in Season 1, will be back in multiple episodes in Season 2, and in this one, the alternate Kirk isn’t quite the same as the character we know and love.

It’s a good thing Wesley doesn’t mind being in the middle of an impassioned fan debate. After eight seasons playing the first third of the Stefan-Elena-Damon love triangle the vampire diaries, now he will inspire much talk in his reprise as young Lt. James T. Kirk in the prequel series. Below, Wesley teases his exciting return to Strange new worlds on June 29.

William Shatner on the original series, Chris Pine in the reboot movies and now you — how surreal did you feel when you first donned Kirk’s Starfleet uniform?

Paul Wesley: It was daunting and incredibly exciting. When I walked on set and saw the (commander’s) chair, I knew it belonged to Captain Pike, and I was grateful that I was playing Kirk before him, so I have time to grow into the role and then, honestly, put a new twist. on him.

You were a big fan of Star Trek franchise? You remember the first one Trek show or movie you watched?

It’s funny because I grew up watching TV in the 90s and I didn’t Next generation. I watched the original series in reruns. I have never seen Star Wars (movies), but I had seen Star Trek. There is always this debate between people who love Star Wars and those who love Star Trek. I always have been Star Trek guy and I was pretty proud of it.

You’re coming back in a standalone episode, working alongside Christina Chong. Can you explain what’s going on?

There was an incident in the past that La’an was tasked with preventing or it would affect the future in a devastating way. She enters a different timeline where she meets another James T. Kirk.

Christina Chong and Paul Wesley in

Michael Gibson/Paramount+

How do this Kirk and La’an, who is burdened with a criminal family history, get along?

At first they are like oil and water, but they will develop a connection in a beautiful arc.

Is it fair to compare this episode to the original? Trek’s the most famous hour, “The City on the Edge of Tomorrow,” with Joan Collins?

It’s one of my favorite episodes! I immediately brought this up. In both stories, if you change one thing, it can change history, and if you don’t, you will have to sacrifice something. This is their conundrum – to choose what is best for humanity.

Strange new worlds it was renewed for at least one more year after that. Would you like to come back as Kirk? Canonical Kirk, that is.

Yes! It was a highlight of my life.

What was the best part of joining this universe?

The camaraderie with some of the cast members and writers. I adore Ethan Peck, who plays Spock. It’s funny – we have a Kirk-Spock relationship in real life. I don’t know if it’s intentional, but when I ask him questions, he answers in the most logical way. I think he’s joking, but he’s not.

You have a different kind of camaraderie with you Vampire Diaries brother tv, Ian Somerhalder. How is your partner in Brother Bond Bourbon Business?

This was our COVID project and we are passionate about it. I see and talk to Ian more now than when we played brothers for eight years. Bourbon is all I drank while shooting Vampire in South. Here in California, there’s a lot of tequila, etc., but Georgia is a bourbon-centric state.

So things are good, even though Nina DobrevDid Elena end up choosing Damon over Stefan?

(laugh) You know, I really think it’s still an ongoing discussion (among fans). But the case was solved! And Nina is a good friend of mine; I see her as often as I can.

Star Trek: Strange New WorldsSeason 2 premieres Thursday, June 15, Paramount+

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