Earlier today I attended the junket for “Choke,” and while there I got to participate in a roundtable interview with Brad William Henke. While Brad was there to talk about his great work in Clark Greg’s movie, I’ll admit that I had an ulterior motive.
In case you didn’t know, Brad is listed on IMDB as Uncle Frank in J.J. Abrams upcoming “Star Trek” movie, so I’d hoped he’d at least give us a quote or two about working with J.J., or what being in “Star Trek” meant to him. Thankfully, he was a lot more forthcoming and he revealed a lot more than I’d hoped to get.
One of the complaints about the original “Star Trek” and the subsequent series is the world is very vanilla. While the shows have talked about the problems of humanity, we never got to see the “Trek” universe deal will them. No one on the original show ever had a drinking problem and we definitely didn’t see humanity having any sort of domestic abuse.
But after talking with Brad today, it seems that J.J. is going for a much more realistic “Trek” and one that hasn’t solved all the problems of mankind.
Brad revealed to us – and he’ll probably get yelled at – that he plays Captain Kirk’s alcoholic, abusive uncle. In fact, his character might be the reason Kirk joins Starfleet!
Anyway, while some may have problems with this reimagining of “Trek,” hearing things like this actually makes me even more excited to see it, as I’d love a “Trek” that has more dark undertones. Anyhow…look for more on “Choke” very soon….but here’s what Brad had to say about “Trek.” And if you’d like to hear the audio, click here. The stuff about “Trek” is at the very beginning.
Question: How about telling us about Uncle Frank in Star Trek?
Brad William Henke: Am I allowed to do that?
You certainly are!
Brad William Henke: Am I going to get sued?
Not at all!
Brad William Henke: I play Captain Kirk’s alcoholic, abusive uncle when he’s a kid, and I treat him very badly, which forces him to go off and do what he does.
Does that inspire him to pause so awkwardly whenever he talks?
Brad William Henke: That’s what Sam would do! No, I think that he doesn’t do that now, for some reason. But it was fun, it was fun to play such a . . . asshole. You know, such a bad character.
I heard that Chris flubs his lines a lot. Did you have . . . ?
Brad William Henke: No, cause I just had . . . I was with the little kid.
Brad William Henke: I was with him when he was little.
Where you a Star Trek fan?
Brad William Henke: YES.
How was JJ?
Brad William Henke: Awesome! Awesome, really nice guy, and really . . . You know I got the script, and first of all I was offered the role so I never saw the script, and then it was about three days before I was suppose to shoot and I still hadn’t gotten my scenes. And they said, “Well they’re giving some people just the scenes when they get there.” And I said, “Well I’m not that type of actor, so if you want it to be kind of good, you should give them to me right now. So they had to messenger it over and then I got to work on it. But it had each line . . . you know, some words were underlined, so it was kinda telling you exactly how to say it. So I was like “Oh shit. This is exactly how I’m supposed to do it?” which, again, is not one of my fortes either. So I got there and he’s like, “Just do it however you want to do it, and let’s just play with it.” And we just shot these scenes . . . you know, cause they had the money they would shoot these scenes all day long from all these different angles. And he was so positive, and he was. . . he was awesome! He was such a nice guy, and so in to it. Running around, just really into it.
And this is a character we haven’t even heard of be for in this version of Star Trek?
Brad William Henke: Right, I think so.
So how cool is it? Is that easier for you to have a brand new character then one we all know?
Brad William Henke: So much easier, yeah, I wouldn’t have wanted to do it the other way.