This article and interview with Brian were written on the last day of filming of his first episode of Star Trek: Phase II, “Bread and Savagery” in June 2012:
While at the shoot we had the re-launch that James Cawley has been hinting at… and no I will not tell you all the itty bitty details. One of the surprises that was revealed and I am now allowed to tell you is… James has cast Brian Gross as the legendary Captain James T. Kirk.
Having worked with James, I was skeptical at first about a new Captain taking the center seat, after-all besides William Shatner, James has been MY Captain Kirk. But after 2 weeks of hanging out and working with Brian, I can tell you not only does he act like Captain Kirk, but he looks like Captain Kirk. And so direct from the set… I give you Brian Gross
1. Brian, thank you for joining me, let’s get into it… Are you a Star Trek fan?
I was not a Star Trek fan, I have seen several episodes and now have an appreciation for it. But I am not a Star Trek fan to the level of fan we have here at the studio.
2. How is it you are coming to Phase 2?
James was working really hard behind the scenes to find someone to replace him as Jim Kirk, Mark Burchett who directed this particular episode had me in mind for the part called Bill Devers who got in contact with me. And the rest as they say is history.
3. How does it feel now that you have stepped into the role that William Shatner, James Cawley and Chris Pine have made famous?
It was pretty nerve racking, knowing the great actors that have gone before in the role and knowing that Star Trek fans are very critical of every aspect of a Production whether it is done by CBS/Paramount or done by fans. But, as the experience started I was welcomed into a family, not knowing what to expect and now I am completely comfortable with the cast and crew that we have because not only are we there to work but we have fun.
4. Have you seen any of the Phase 2 episodes?
I saw the one with George Takei (World Enough and Time), and was impressed by the level of story telling and acting that went on during the episode. I have also seen a bunch of the Original Series episodes to prepare for the role of Captain Kirk.
5. Who did you have fun/ enjoyed working with during the episode?
I enjoyed all the personalities that were on the set but I think my favorite parts would have to be the stuff with Brandon Stacy (Spock) and Doc John (Dr. McCoy). Especially the beam down stuff, because it shows the bond between the characters.
6. What do you think of James and the Production re-creating the Original Star Trek?
It’s great! Everyone is very detail oriented…with lines, sets, costumes. It is refreshing to have a bunch of people who care so much about the product that they are producing and want to make it the best it can be.
7. What can you say about your experience so far?
It was really important to bond with the crew, we were filming both an episode and a vignette during the shoot. The Vignette it was very important that the whole crew be present for the speech I was giving, because it is about change and family. And, this group whether you are new or old is a family. And besides being greeted with applause when I came into the studio and was introduced, this was the moment that I felt I was a part of this family, because even though I was not there for the losses that they had, I felt that I experienced them too.
8. Any Last Thoughts?
I really hope that there is more to come, I hope the fans enjoy my performance and the episodes overall. As we go further and do more episodes I feel I will get better and more comfortable in time, and we will raise the bar each time as James has decreed, and I can’t wait for that!
I want to thank Brian and the whole Star Trek Phase 2 production for everyone’s time. Look for Brian’s episodic debut as Captain Kirk in “The Holiest Thing” written by Rick Chambers, Release Date: TBA, on November 22… Stay Tuned!
Until next time my friends… Live Long and Prosper, Look for the next post from the crew of Star Trek: Phase II