Actor Jeremy Raymond, originally from Cranbrook, boldly went where not many have gone before – onto the re-imagined sets of one of his favourite childhood series, Star Trek.
Raymond has a part in the new Star Trek Into Darkness, currently in theatres, and took some time Tuesday afternoon to chat with the Townsman about the high-profile role.
Raymond said that it was director J.J. Abrams himself that chose him for the part.
“What happened was J.J. had seen a TV movie I had done a few years ago,” Raymond said. “It was around the same time when there was a special role that he was trying to figure out and I guess seeing me in that project triggered something and he said, ‘Get me that guy.’ He called and I came running.”
That was a TV movie called The Pastor’s Wife.
“Although I was quite proud of it, I didn’t expect anything like this to come out of it, I’ll tell you that,” he said.
Raymond couldn’t talk too much about specifics on the set, since there are a lot of surprises in the movie and he didn’t want to take any chances on ruining them. But he did comment on the overall experience.
“It was amazing,” he said. “It was the kind of thing, when I was a kid imagining being an actor, this was the kind of wildest dream scenario that I was imagining. So I was really wowed. And to work with J.J. Abrams… There’s a reason that so many of his movies have that wonder, that magic and that excitement. A lot of that comes from him directly. It was amazing – the energy, the enthusiasm and the ideas that were constantly pinballing in his head.”
When asked whether he’d consider himself a Trekkie, he said he is careful not to categorize himself.
“You always think you’re a fan, then you meet somebody who’s really into it and you’re like, ‘Oh, I wasn’t a fan,'” he said. “But yeah, I watched the original series with my dad growing up. That was the series I was always plugged in to and the one I connected with most. So it was cool to see the first reboot that J.J. did a number of years ago, because that was the series that they drew from.”
Since then, Raymond said he’s seen bits of every Star Trek incarnation, but he always goes back to that original series.
Raymond said growing up he was caught between wanting to be an actor, a musician and Batman.
“I still think I’m going for all three,” he said. “I’m still doing the music stuff, and the acting stuff. I can’t talk about my crime fighting stuff for obvious reasons – I’m sure you’ll understand.”
Raymond said the last time he spoke with the Daily Townsman was for his Gemini nomination some 10 years ago.
He started his acting career many years ago in a Crestbrook play, when he was four or five. At 13, he joined a theatre company that toured western Canada. It was then that he got a taste of the real work behind acting and said he came off the tour bus content with that notion.
Then he did summer theatre in Kimberley. He picked up films after studying music at Grant McEwan College in Edmonton.
He said Star Trek has opened some doors and now he’s looking at where to jump next. He may do some voiceover work, as well as film and theatre.
He said his best friend, also from Cranbrook, is the lead animator on the Ninja Turtles TV show, and inspired his interest in voice acting.
“Throughout this whole thing it’s been really cool to get all this support from Cranbrook,” he said.
Raymond also offered some career advice.
“Find a way to do what you love in a way that sustains you. Then you can just wrap your life around it,” he said.
“That will carry you a lot further than you think. If you get fortunate, you can make a bit of money too.
“The people I’ve met, whether it’s in acting or music or animation or dancing – and there’s actually a lot of very talented people that have come from Cranbrook and found a way to work in the arts – but the people who sustain themselves over the years, through the ups and downs, are the people who are doing what they do in a way that satisfies them. I think that is key.”