Next up in our series of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds roundtable interviews is Celia Rose Gooding. Celia is taking on the mantle of Cadet Nyota Uhura. Uhura is one of the most important legacy characters in the Star Trek universe. Originally portrayed by Nichelle Nichols, Uhura is a character that has influenced more than just Star Trek. Her presence on the bridge in Star Trek: The Original Series changed the trajectory of many African-Americans.
Moreover, NASA actually hired Nichelle Nichols to help them recruit women and people of color. Her campaign was met with roaring success, including bringing on board the first African-American in space, Guion “Guy” Bluford, and Dr. Mae Jemison, who was the first African-American woman in space. Dr. Jemison also holds the distinction of being the only actual astronaut to appear on an episode of Star Trek. For more info on this, take five minutes and listen to the episode of Sci-Fi 5 on Nichols. It’s really incredible to learn of the influence she had just by showing up.
Hailing Frequencies Open, Captain
All that being said, it is a daunting task to wear the communications earpiece of Nyota Uhura. However, Celia Rose Gooding is more than up to the challenge. Like her predecessor, Nichelle Nichols, she brings a background in music to the role. Gooding has performed on Broadway, winning a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album for her performance in Jagged Little Pill. She also holds a Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical in 2020, making her one of the youngest nominees in that category ever.
No spoilers from me, as I’ve had the benefit of screeners, but I’ll say this much about Celia’s performance as Cadet Uhura. Celia brings a bit of whimsy, a bit of youthful optimism, and a deep reverence for Uhura. I absolutely cannot wait for the rest of the world to see her performance.
Straight From the Communications Officer’s Mouth
Unfortunately, my internet was knocked out due to a power outage during the interview, so I missed my chance to ask Celia Rose Gooding a question directly. Fortunately, my fellow interviewers got a lot of great info out of her about Cadet Uhura. I’ll let Celia do the talking from here on out. Check out her interview, where she’s joined by Melissa Navia and Christina Chong.
Thank you to Paramount and ViacomCBS for inviting Fangirlish to participate in these interviews! Thanks also to Celia Rose Gooding for consenting to the interview and for her thoughtful responses. I’m so excited to watch you breathe new life into one of my favorite legacy characters in the Star Trek universe, especially one that holds such historical and social importance.
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+.