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Interview: Dan Payne discusses Star Trek Beyond

At 6’4″, Vancouver actor Dan Payne cuts a very imposing figure, though we are happy to report that the actor, in Toronto to promote the home entertainment release of Star Trek Beyond, is extremely down-to-earth, stopping at a certain point to show pictures of his son dressed in costume. Here are some highlights from a downtown hotel sit-down chat with Payne.

Scene Creek: Tell us about your role in Star Trek Beyond.

Dan Payne: I play Wadjet, a Security officer. I was probably the biggest and burliest of the security officers. We had a nice interaction which didn’t make the final cut, with Idris Elba, where I kind of stand up to him. Then he bats me in the head and puts me in my place as only Idris Elba can. But yeah, it was a lot of fun and we’re all there in prison together, I help them to lift the door and escape. Just nice to be there and be a part of it, to be a part of that unbelievable franchise.

SC: How much preparation went into the role?

DP: A good five hours in the make-up chair. A pre-call five hours before was intense but fun. The transformation was pretty epic. I know that by day ten or twelve, I might have had a different outlook on it, but it was great, I mean, like I said, to be a part of Star Trek in any way, shape, or form was an honour. To be a creature created by Joel Harlow was pretty cool. He’s quite the wizard.

I watched Star Trek growing up with my Dad and my brother, we grew up with the show in its first incarnation, so now this many years on, to have it still going on as a legendary legacy of that genre, and then to be a part of it now, that’s kind of like a bucket list check mark right there.

SC: There ya go. It’s Beyond. 

DP: (laughs) Well-played!

SC: What is different about this film than any other in the franchise?

DP: I love the way that the direction of this one seems to take a slightly different tack than the first two and I quite like where it’s going, and Simon Pegg penned it, and I’m not sure if that it was his influence, or if there was a collaboration somewhere there, but I like where its gone and I feel like it pays homage in some respects to the original concept and just as a fan and just as a viewer, I loved it.

Very contemporary concept, very necessary and needed concept right now for sure. I think that this has always been a big part of it, you know, exploration and awareness of other cultures and other characters, and not exclusivity but inclusiveness and respecting and being aware and being conscious of where you are and how you fit in that world.

For me the whole concept of Star Trek, it’s not forced, it’s just about the fact that everybody’s different but we’re all together. That’s been a universal fact of the whole series and film. Idris Elba’s character thought that he had been lost in the mix and wanted to take it back.

SC: What was it like hiding behind all of that make-up on set?

DP: When I need to, I can step back into being Dan and sponge everything that I can off of what’s going on around me. I take all the education and opportunities of what’s going on around me to learn from people like the experts, the amazing Zachary Quinto and Zoë Saldana, Karl Urban, and Simon Pegg and I just find all of them at the top of their game and Justin Lin, phenomanal director, just see how he works and just drop back into being the alien. So it’s win-win on both sides.

 

Star Trek Beyond is now available on Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital HD from Paramount Home Entertainment.