Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Made Celia Rose Gooding Audition For A Mystery Role

In a story previously reported on in the pages of /Film, actor Pedro Pascal was asked to meet with Jon Favreau, the creator of "The Mandalorian," not knowing what he was going to audition for or anything about his role. It took the actor a long time — and a long drive — for him to understand what he was even being asked to undertake. This sort of story is common in the modern pop production world, wherein the makers of high-profile, IP-driven studio entertainments have to keep details, characters, and even entire shows secret from their actors, operating under fears that details may leak to the public. Thanks to the viciousness of the 24-hour-a-day, publish-in-an-instant news landscape, productions have to be kept under tighter wraps than ever, allowing showrunners to produce in peace, free from a deluge of online speculation. The speculation must be saved until the publicists can release actual information. 

As such, it may not be a tremendous shocker to learn that actor and Grammy winner Celia Rose Gooding, who plays the young cadet Nyota Uhura on "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds," didn't know what role she was meant to be auditioning for. She might have known it was a "Star Trek" series, but there was no mention of the role or of anything she might be doing. 

Fun fact

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, conducted in May, Gooding described the vague audition process. Gooding was asked by the Reporter if she was drawn to the character of Uhura, the character originated by Nichelle Nichols back in 1966. Gooding had no recourse, because of studio secrecy:

"Fun fact, actually: I didn't know that I was auditioning for the role of Uhura until after I booked it. Casting went about it in a very interesting way, and I think they actually gave me a bit of grace because I auditioned under a pseudonym. But her character description really got to me: She was described as a bright, young prodigy who is deciding whether or not the place that she's in is where she wants to be right now. And as someone who is very young in this industry and is still figuring out what my explicit goal and dream is in this life, I found that a lot of her story and a lot of her mentality mirrored mine — in a different industry."

The version of Uhura seen in "Strange New Worlds" is still a Starfleet cadet, making her something akin to an intern among a crew of professional officers, doctors, and engineers. Uhura is depicted as an incredibly bright, slightly overwhelmed linguistics expert (she speaks dozens of languages) who is still getting used to working in the "big time." An actress inexperienced in the world of high-profile A-list TV productions can very likely relate. Gooding will also, like a Starfleet cadet, have a lot to look forward to: Given the ensemble nature of "Strange New Worlds," and it's return to one-and-done hour-long stories, it will only be a matter of time before she will be given a solo episode that focuses explicitly on Uhura

Prior to "Star Trek," Gooding appeared on Broadway in the hit revue musical "Jagged Little Pill" for which she received a Tony nomination.