For Dawnn Lewis (Captain Carol Freeman), being part of the Star Trek franchise is a dream come true. Note: Spoilers for Moist Vessel.
The actress has “watched every incarnation of Star Trek, the TV series, movies, you name it, even the first animated series back in the day. I am a huge Star Trek fan.”
Lewis used to stay up late to watch Star Trek with her brothers when she was young. “We would put a sheet and blankets and make a tent over our huge black and white TV,” she said. “We’d try to watch Star Trek and keep the volume down. I had the biggest crush on Chekov, of all people. I thought he had the cutest little round face and his accent, I loved. Everybody talks about Kirk and Spock, but I said, ‘Nah, I like Chekov.'”
Captain Freeman is “shrewd,” said Lewis. “You got to see that she has a plan. You got to see she has a backbone. And I don’t care what anyone says, the Cerritos is the most important ship in Starfleet!”
Lewis is “on a pretty short list of captains,” she said. “But with Black female captains, that list is even shorter. I know there was Madge Sinclair before me, but it’s still a small list. Over the years, I got to become friends with Nichelle Nichols who played Lt. Uhura. Then, I got to meet Mae Jemison when she did a guest spot on Star Trek: The Next Generation. I mean, she was the first [female] African-American astronaut. So, I have lived the legacy of this as a fan. I’m a Star Trek fan. I’m a Star Wars fan. And now I’m the captain of a ship. I’m honored and humbled and jumping up and down.
“To be the captain of this new Starfleet vessel, the Cerritos, is really like a dream come true. This is awesome.”
Captain Freeman’s daughter is also aboard the USS Cerrito, and thus far, that has been stressful for both characters. But in Moist Vessel, we see a temporary halt to the conflict between the mother and daughter. “As the episode goes on, and you get to see us working together, in a mother-daughter dynamic, and when we are in peril together and we actually see each other, I think that is really beautiful,” said Lewis. “I think it comes full circle for any parent and child relationship out there. You’re so busy going at each other, that you stop seeing each other for a while. But, for a moment in this episode, they actually see each other.”
Would Lewis ever do a live-action version of Captain Freeman if that role was offered to her? And if so, would she change anything about her portrayal of Freeman? “Nothing,” she said. “I would change nothing. And yes. I’m ready.”