Actor Beau Billingslea – whose film credits include “The American President,” “Rebound” and “Hannah Montana: The Movie” – recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about his role as Captain Abbot of the S.S. Bradbury in “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
In “Star Trek Into Darkness,” Chris Pine reprises his role of Captain Kirk who, after the crew of the Enterprise finds an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction (Benedict Cumberbatch).
Question: Tell me about the audition process. Given the fact that it is such a high-profile project, what was that like?
Answer: I didn’t know what I was auditioning for. Nowadays in the movie industry, everything is a big secret because they don’t want other people stealing their plotlines and all of that. So I auditioned and never knew the name of the project. About 3 weeks later, my manager called and said, “You know that thing you auditioned for a few weeks ago? It’s this little movie called ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ and you booked it.” I was about to join an iconic family, so to speak, and had no idea that was happening.
Q: So now that you not only know what the project is but have come out the other end of it, what are you feeling?
A: It is a big thrill. I have been a fan since way back. It is a great joy, to say the least. As soon as I had the chance, I brought my wife onto the set so that she could walk around on the bridge and go through the transporter room and sick bay and all of that. I was moving around Sony’s studios like I was – and I still am – a fan, almost forgetting the fact that I was actually going to be working on the movie.
Q: So then, as a Trekker, what was your take on 2009’s “Star Trek” and the fresh faces that portrayed such iconic roles?
A: In a way, it was kind of eerie. I thought that they did a terrific job in casting. You can make a mistake and lose the essence of what you are trying to do – especially with a part of Americana like this. You are risking a lot even taking on the project obviously. But J.J. Abrams did a fantastic job on the first one and on this one as well. I am signed to secrecy but this one is a bit darker than the first one that J.J. did. It is full of action and just a lot of fun. I was like a little boy sitting in the screening room, watching it and acknowledging in my mind that I am now part of this family.
Q: Forgive me for not knowing this but, before you, was there ever another Captain Abbot of the S.S. Bradbury?
A: Not to my knowledge. I was forging my own path, so to speak.
Q: Finally, what did your experience working on this film teach you about yourself?
A: One of the things that it taught me about myself is that there is still a little boy inside. My excitement of being a part of Hollywood is still here. Sometimes it can get lost over the years but one of the things that it taught me – aside from the way the business goes – is that I am still a young guy at heart who loves Hollywood and is just pleased as pie to be a part of it.