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Strange New Worlds actor Captain Kirk wanted to bring “a little more brains” to the role

Strange New Worlds actor Captain Kirk wanted to bring “a little more brains” to the role

Esquire interviewer Ryan Britt points out to Wesley that Kirk does indeed have a reputation for being a reckless ladies’ man, and Wesley wanted to confront that notion immediately:

“I don’t want to interrupt you, but that’s all. Exactly. I totally took that “stack of books with legs” line and actually based my Kirk on that line. I didn’t want him to be a complete pile of books with feet, because it would have been like watching the paint dry. But I wanted to incorporate that smarter side of Kirk into my version of the character.”

Wesley understood that Kirk was going to be well known from the start of “Strange New Worlds” and that audiences had been living with the character for almost 60 years. As an actor, Wesley felt he should be allowed to bring his own take on the character; simply impersonating Kirk’s previous actors like William Shatner or Chris Pine wasn’t going to be very satisfying for a performer. Wesley also knew that his version of Kirk was about eight years younger than the one seen in 1966, so he gave himself leeway to explore the character in a new way:

“When you think of Captain Kirk, there’s kind of an immediate reaction: you know who he is. Kirk has obviously been established very clearly not only by pop culture history, but also, obviously, by what William Shatner did in the 1960s. But the bottom line is that he is recognizable. There’s a recognizable feeling, and I wanted to do something a little different with that. I thought it was a really good opportunity to start in a different place and see Kirk become the character he’s known for in pop culture history.”

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