“I play Lieutenant Ash Tyler,” Shazad Latif told StarTrek.com, offering a brief glimpse into his Star Trek: Discovery character during a conversation last week at San Diego Comic-Con. “He’s a Starfleet officer. We meet him as a POW. In a prison cell. He's gone through some horrible, horrible things. We meet him at this very high-stakes moment, and he has to find his way back to the ship. It's apparently a tough time for him, and we explore that with other characters on the ship (including Captain Lorca and First Officer Michael Burnham).
Latif, who grew up in England and counts among his credits Spooks, Ordinary Lies, The Man Who Knew Infinity and Penny Dreadful, revealed that he was relatively familiar with the Star Trek universe before landing his gig on Discovery.
“My grandad and my uncle were huge, huge fans,” he said. “They watched it all the time. So, I grew up with The Next Generation. That’s the one I saw the most. And the movies. And I knew Kirk. So, I had to really fall in love with it all.”
If all goes according to plan, Discovery could run for a long time, perhaps even six or seven years. How ready is Latif for such a possibility?
“You never know,” he replied. “You never know how they're going to go. TV nowadays, it’s hard to tell. Anything can happen.”
But does the possibility of a long run thrill him or scare him… or both?
“Both,” he said, smiling. “No, both. It is scary. It's a scary thought.”
Visit StarTrek.com tomorrow for our conversation with Anthony Rapp.
Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.