'Star Trek Odyssey' Captain SpeaksBy T'Bonz
March 26, 2008 - 5:08 AM
The second try was the charm for Brandon McConnell when it came to getting a role in a Star Trek fan film project.
As reported by Trekweb, although McConnell auditioned for a previous fan film (Star Trek: New Voyages: Blood and Fire,) it wasn't until a second audition for Star Trek: Hidden Frontier that he was able to score the part of Lieutenant Commander Ro Nevin, acting captain of the U.S.S. Odyssey.
"I responded to a casting call for James Cawley, regarding Star Trek: New Voyages, where as fate would have it, I auditioned with Bobby Rice as his love interest in 'Blood and Fire'," said McConnell. "I was auditioned by J.T. Tenapa (Corey Aster), however at this point I had no idea of 'Hidden Frontier'. I was offered the part by Mr. Cawley but, for one reason or another, we never connected again. Months later (maybe a year?), I received an invitation from J.T. and Rob Caves to audition for a different character, Ro Nevin. Apparently, after sorting through many actors to fill the role, J.T. vaguely recalled our meeting and decided to give me a shot. The rest is history I suppose."
McConnell described who Ro Nevin is and what drives him. "Ro Nevin has become a man that must constantly define his worth to himself," he said. "He is selfless and romantic. Charming and courageous. But he is not the go-to hero as Kirk was. His spotlight does not shine on his prime but rather on his definition. He is raw and unpolished, unsure and reluctant. Afraid and worried, burdened with an unwanted weight, but it is his triumph over these things that will make him worthy of notoriety. He is not a captain, but a captain in the making. He is naïve, yet knows a truth in purity. He is emotional, but thinks it unprofessional. He is twisted in conflict between duty and desire. He is loyal and he is determined."
Ro Nevin is the first gay Captain in Star Trek history. "It is my understanding that in the 24th century there is no gay or straight, only love and connection between two beings," said McConnell. "I think that is something we can all learn from. However, to address today's social atmosphere, I would have to make two points. First, to the fans of Star Trek that disagree with the endeavor, I would have to insist that negating or condemning the issue would be contrary to what ST represents and seeks to achieve; understanding through exploration. ST has always tackled controversial issues through its allegorical episodes and utopian perspective. I do not believe my portrayal of Ro Nevin as a gay character, to be for the sake of a particular audience or a gregarious attempt for a minority to be heard. At the core of Ro lies the same conflict of any young man, gay or straight; a boy struggling to realize it is time to be a man and to be the man that is true to himself."
To read more, head to the article located here.