Were you at all disappointed your STID character went from being named GATT2000 or GATT5000 to Science Officer 0718? GATT5000 really would have been cool...
GATT: It's kind of funny. The whole GATT2000/5000 thing was a bit of a joke. It originated from a set nickname which Dave Anderson used to call me. On any other production I would never have believed that that could seriously be my character name, but J.J. has a habit of naming his characters according to their actor names or other important names/dates/events in his life. About two weeks before the release, Paramount had given me permission to say my character name was GATT5000. I thought that this was a little strange, but cool. Then, about a week before release, I was told that my character credit was going to be Science Officer 0718. At first I was a little annoyed about the change, but then I started to be OK with it. It does, however, seem like a very inhuman name. One of the most frustrating things was that we'd already established that the character was human, with cybernetic implants. So, why does he have a number and not a name? Did he have a name before the implants? I didn't answer these questions at the time because there was no name and no need for a name, but now it makes me wonder. I'd love to know your (readers’) opinions. Maybe the truth will come out in the next movie?
Building on that, some fans feel the character is too ahead of its time, and/or think that a character connected to the ship's systems could even be a threat if somehow hacked. Your thoughts?
How about the character’s connection to the ship’s computer via his cybernetic augmentation?
GATT: Technically, my humanity acts as a firewall against the hacking threat. Because I'm still a human, with a cybernetic implant, I can't be hacked. My humanity will always know what’s right and wrong and is always in control over the cybernetic implant part of me. This means that, even if there is a hacking threat to the ship’s main computer or to me directly, it won't get through the human firewall and the ship will always be safe. In the end, you guys know more about this universe than I ever will, and I'm hoping you will help me fill in this character’s details. Or maybe more will be revealed in a novel or another movie.
For a lot of people out there you are a new name and a new face. What's your background? How/why/when did you get into acting?
After graduating, I worked in musical theater, playing in a couple of shows in London's West End, and I also worked a few small roles in a couple of movies and TV shows. I also began doing motion capture for a studio near Pinewood, in London. Work was tough to come by for a bald, hairless, muscular actor in London, so I sold up house and home and moved my life and career to Los Angeles, and I've been pretty consistently working ever since. Leaving London was the best decision I've ever made in my life. Well, that, and running across Santa Monica beach to chase down my girlfriend to get her number and ask her out on a first date.
Word is that you consider yourself a real geek. So, give us your geek cred...
The second story was the moment I first stepped onto the bridge of the Enterprise. It was an incredibly emotional moment and felt like all my childhood moments of sitting down with my father watching TOS and TNG all rolled into this one amazing moment. My initial reaction was to burst into tears. It was that emotional. But I'm standing there in front of J.J., Chris, Zach, et al and had to maintain my composure and professionalism. That was tough. But it was one of the best first days at school ever.
If you were NOT a geek and if you did NOT love comic books, how differently might you have played some of your roles? Or would you have played them the same exact way?
GATT: If I wasn't such a geek I don't think there would've been any difference to way I've played any of these characters apart from the fact that I would've had to do much more research since I wouldn't have been so familiar with the characters or worlds. On the set of Thor, I remember bringing my Thor comics to set for the other actors to read. That was fun, but dangerous. Actors aren't very careful with comics.
What comic are you currently reading? Any characters you'd like to play or voice?
Where do you call home these days, and what else are you working on at the moment?
GATT: Home is where the heart is, and my heart is in Los Angeles. Luckily, so is all of my work. I love it here. I do miss London a little, but never want to live there again. The quality of life here in L.A. is so amazing, and the opportunities that have come to me just didn't exist in London. I'm looking forward to doing some more voice work for Elder Scrolls and Star Wars: The Old Republic, and I'm pretty busy doing guest appearances all over the U.S.A. and Australia this year. There are a couple of great scripts I'm reading and meeting about, but nothing that I can speak of at the moment. The main "problem" about looking like me is that I tend to get involved with a lot of secret work which I can't say anything about. LOL. My life has become one long non-disclosure contract! But watch this space...
Click HERE to read part one of our interview with Joseph Gatt.