Next up in our series of roundtable interviews is Babs Olusanmokun who plays Dr. M’Benga. Babs is no stranger to genre film and television. My introduction to Babs was his role as Sowande in The Defenders. He’s also starred in Black Mirror, Gotham, Veronica Mars, and most recently as Jamis in Dune. That’s just a little flavor for his work. Babs also starred in the 2016 adaptation of Alex Haley’s Roots. He’s a third-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is fluent in English, Portuguese, French, and Yoruba. Pretty cool, right? Also, I’m just putting it out there, Babs Olusanmokun has the best beard in all of Starfleet.
Dr. M’Benga, I Presume
For those unfamiliar with the character of Dr. M’Benga, you’ll want to check out Memory Alpha for the full rundown. The very short version is that Dr. M’Benga was only in two episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series and was portrayed by Booker Bradshaw, a veteran TV actor and writer. While we only have a couple of appearances to work with when it comes to Dr. M’Benga, what we also have is the opportunity to flesh out an existing character. But I’ll let Babs talk about that. Watch our interview with Babs Olusanmokun. He’s joined in this interview by Jess Bush.
Thank you to Paramount and ViacomCBS for inviting Fangirlish to participate in these interviews! Thanks also to Babs Olusanmokun for consenting to the interview and for his thoughtful responses. I’m so excited to watch you take a Star Trek legacy character that was effectively a cameo performance and elevate him to a full-blown cast member. It’s long overdue.
Stay tuned to Fangirlish for all your Star Trek news, reviews, and information. We’ll be sharing more roundtable interviews with the rest of the cast of Strange New Worlds soon.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will premiere on May 5, 2022, on Paramount+.