Christina Chong Gushes About Her Adventures On Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

"My research period was super intense. I had two weeks—in quarantine—to learn everything I possibly could about Star Trek."
Christina Chong

As readers will know. We are all fans here of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and in some of our recent reviews, I was waxing lyrical about Christina Chong’s performance as the troubled chief of security La’an Noonien Singh. Recently, I was lucky enough to have a brief chat with Christina Chong and asked her a few questions about her adventures in Trek thus far. You can read what Christina shared with us below.

 

Scifipulse: I heard that you didn’t really know too much about Star Trek before getting this role. So in that regard, it’s been a bit of a journey for you. Would you mind talking about your experience and what you learned about Star Trek while you were studying it for your role?

Christina Chong: My research period was super intense. I had two weeks—in quarantine—to learn everything I possibly could about Star Trek. First I focused on TOS, graduated to season two of Discovery, and then delved into Wrath of Khan. It didn’t take me long to realise why Star Trek is such a beloved franchise. Aside from the great storylines, what captured me the most was the meaningful messaging of equality, inclusion, positivity and hope.

 

Photo By David Reiss.

 

SFP: You play the role of La’an Noonien Sigh who is a descendent from Khan Noonien Singh who Original Series fans will know of from ‘Space Seed’ & ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’. What makes your character different from Khan and in what areas would you say she is similar to Khan?

Christina Chong: Like Kahn, La’an is resilient, formidable, and has a natural talent for tactics of war and combat. She too is brilliant. Unlike her ancestor, she’s not genetically enhanced—or so it would seem–and her MO is about protecting and preserving life. She’s vulnerable at heart and is gradually learning to let down her steely walls.

 

SFP: We get to learn quite a lot about your character right from the off. As we learn that La’an is a survivor who managed to avoid being killed by the Gorn. Would I be right to guess that La’an is dealing with PTSD due to her experiences and are we likely to see that aspect of her character get addressed?

Christina Chong: Correct. It’s part of what really connected me to La’an. I too have PTSD so understanding her triggers and the complexity of it all was almost cathartic. We will definitely see La’an work through her trauma but not in the way you might think…

 

SFP: In the series, La’an seems to have a really strong relationship with Rebecca Romijn’s character. It almost seems like Una is a kind of big sister figure for La’an. Does this mirror what your working relationship is like with Rebecca Romijn?

Christina Chong: A hundred percent. The fact she’s already had an abundance of success in her career and walked the Star Trek bridge on Discovery means that she has a tonne of knowledge we can pull from when needed. She’s very open and supportive to all of the cast, and the fact she’s fun too is a bonus.

 

SFP: You’ve done a lot of science fiction and action in your career to date. And early on you had a role in Doctor Who. How does working on Star Trek differ to your rather brief time on Doctor Who? And do you think Doctor Who was good preparation for you?

Christina Chong: I’ve never thought about it until now, but I guess it did prepare me in a way. I’ve been to a couple of Doctor Who cons and was bowled over by the incredible reception and I’m sure Trek cons will be just as exciting, if not more so. The main difference for me is the scale and therefore the opportunity for more detail and epicness.

 

Woof Woof

 

SFP: Out of the episodes you have done thus far. Is there one that you are particularly excited for the fans to see? And if so what if anything can you share with us about it?

Christina Chong: I’m most excited for fans to see episode eight because my cute little puppy Runa Ewok features in it. She looks a bit like the Star Trek alien dog—the one with the horn— so if figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask the writers to write her in, and they did! I was so happy when I read the script. The director Amanda Row even praised her acting talent. Fun fact, it’s also her own voice in the final edit.

 

SFP: You will no doubt be doing Star Trek Conventions soon. Are you excited about that and if so. Are there any actors from the other Star Trek shows that you are excited to meet?

Christina Chong: I’d love to meet Michelle Yeoh. What an inspiration!

 

SFP: You have a background as a dancer and I have no doubt that this would have helped you with a lot of action stuff. So with that in mind have there been any action bits in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds that you are particularly excited for people to see. And how challenging have the action beats been for you on the series thus far?

Christina Chong: I love action sequences. My favourite this season was actually the fight in episode one on the Kiley planet— the reason being we all got to do the whole thing, no stunt doubles. On a practical level, even if I was really challenged by the choreography, production would always have a stunt double perform the harder parts as any injury would put the show in jeopardy. I’m very happy to leave it to the pros. Christine Trinh and Laiko Foroughi did a great job of making me look badass.

 

SFP: Finally, I just want to thank you for your time and say that have really enjoyed the series thus far. And feel that your character is very much a stand-out on the show for me thus far and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

Christina Chong: Thank you so much, that’s very kind of you to say. The show is extremely well cast thanks to Margery Simkin and Orly Sitowitz. Each one of us brings our own unique sprinkle of universal stardust to hopefully inspire and entertain the audience in true Star Trek fashion.

 

You can catch up with Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Paramount + with new Adventures dropping every Thursday. UK Fans will be able to catch the series when Paramount + Launches on 22 June. SciFiPulse would like to thank Christina Chong and her PR Team for making this interview possible.

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
No Comment
SciFiPulse.Net