Actress Chelsea Harris stopped by the Collider studio at this year’s Sundance Film Festival last week to chat with Steve Weintraub about her roles on two of the most anticipated sci-fi series in recent memory, Star Trek: Picard and Snowpiercer. Picard marks the return of arguably the most popular character in the history of the franchise, Captain Jean Luc Picard. Sir Patrick Stewart plays the retired starship captain, reluctantly called back into duty for one final mission. The series premiered two weeks ago on CBS All Access to strong reviews (check out Collider’s positive review here).
“I have to be super honest,” Harris said. “Growing up, Star Trek was on TV, but I never really got into it when I was younger. I was watching Disney Channel.” But after she was cast in the series, Harris had a month to get caught up on old Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, and was “blown away” by how relevant and timely the issues the show tackled still are.
Picard was Harris’ introduction to the sci-fi genre, which led to her being cast in Season 2 of the upcoming TNT drama Snowpiercer, based on both the original graphic novel Le Transperceneige and on Bong Joon-ho’s 2013 film adaptation. Many heads were turned by the announcement that a second season of the show had been greenlit before the first season had even aired (the series premiere will hit TNT May 31 of this year). Harris admits that her head was among those turned.
“As an actor, that’s the first time I’ve ever heard of that happening,” she said, attributing the show’s unprecedented pre-release renewal to the strength of the writing and episodes already produced by showrunner Graeme Manson. And while she understandably couldn’t reveal much about the show, she did offer one tidbit for fans of the graphic novel and revealed that, unlike the 2013 film, the series would show how people wound up forced into the tail sections of the train.
You can check out the full interview in the player above. Make sure you watch until the very end to see Steve geek out when Harris reveals what kind of alien her Picard character is.