Jason Isaacs has been making the rounds speaking about taking on the role of Captain Gabriel Lorca and keeping secrets about the character’s story arc. Note: If you haven’t yet watched last night’s Discovery episode, hold off on reading this article until you do.
Isaacs took on the role of Lorca because it was going to be fun. “I wouldn’t have said to yes to just ‘being a Captain’ in the abstract,” he said. “I also knew it wasn’t going to be like any Star Trek captain that had come before. I knew the whole story. It gave me something juicy and fun and very secretive to play with.”
One thing that was difficult for the actor was keeping quiet about the truth about Lorca, namely that he was really from the Mirror Universe. “I feel an enormous relief now that I don’t have to lie anymore,” he said. “Not just to journalists and the public, which is horrible, but also to my friends, my family, everybody. Only my closest circle knew I was going to die and it was going to be over and that I was from the Mirror World. I felt like the shackles are off now.”
“I knew everything from the first minute because producers told me, ‘We think he’s probably from the mirror world,” Isaacs told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m afraid I’ve lied to the press consistently from the word go…and I’m quite glad that that’s over. I don’t have to pretend anymore.”
“I had to know the whole thing, because I had to plant little seeds and secrets,” Isaacs told IGN. “I had to be able to give clues here and there, and more importantly, I had to play him honestly like a guy from the Mirror Universe who was lying and hiding. So if I hadn’t known, I wouldn’t have been able to play it. And if you watch…it a second [time], and I suspect some people will watch it for the fiftieth time, if you watch it through you’ll see that it’s always clear. Once you know, it’s like The Sixth Sense. It will always be clear that I’m the guy from the Mirror Universe. And even when I’m doing things that seem noble or heroic, they’re always only to engender more loyalty in Michael Burnham, or to make sure that I keep the ship so that I can work on the spore drive and get home again.”
Lorca’s Achilles heel turned out to be Burnham. The actor addressed the relationship between the two Mirror Universe characters and it wasn’t as creepy as viewers first feared when learning about it. “When she was an adult, it turned sexual,” said Isaacs. “When she was younger, I wasn’t that close to her. But, you know, I saw – there’s a number of reasons [Lorca was interested in her]. One is that she’s gorgeous, there’s that. And two is that she was gonna help me run the Empire. So that’s a two-for-one there. It wasn’t a question of anything untoward when she was younger, no. Because I didn’t really have very much to do with her when she was younger.”
Mirror Lorca may be gone, but what about Prime Lorca? “We don’t know anything about the fate of Prime Lorca,” said Isaacs. “Is he as interesting as Mirror Lorca? What is his taste in fashion? Does he wear leather coats, does he wear puffy-sleeve shirts, does he have a goatee, does he blow-dry his hair? Who knows? We know nothing.
“Or is he that different? Frankly, I mean, how different are any of us from the Mirror version of ourselves? They say we’re all five meals away from being savages. This particular administration in America has brought some of the ugliest parts of human nature out from in the shadows.
“And who knows what other exposures the Mirror world might have done. Who knows where he is.”
Is this it for Lorca, who could still exist as a Prime Universe version? “I’m not telling you,” said Isaacs when asked if he is returning to the series.
I wouldn’t count on Lorca returning though.