Husband-and-wife actors Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn are on parallel career treks these days. They both play gold-shirt-wearing first officers, traditionally nicknamed “No. 1,” in separate “Star Trek” series: Romijn in Season 2 of “Discovery” and its upcoming prequel “Strange New Worlds,” and O’Connell in the animated “Lower Decks,” premiering Thursday on CBS All Access. …
Husband-and-wife actors Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn are on parallel career treks these days.
They both play gold-shirt-wearing first officers, traditionally nicknamed “No. 1,” in separate “Star Trek” series: Romijn in Season 2 of “Discovery” and its upcoming prequel “Strange New Worlds,” and O’Connell in the animated “Lower Decks,” premiering Thursday on CBS All Access.
But in playing a cartoon character, Commander Jack Ransom, O’Connell laments that he is missing out on one cool aspect of the “Trek” world.
“My wife loves wearing that uniform. And every time she puts it on, it’s an absolute honor,” O’Connell, 46, told The Post during a recent Zoom interview from their home in Calabasas, Calif. “So I’m actually a little jealous that I don’t get to put an outfit on.”
Still, he’s thrilled to join — even in 2-D form — one of the most famous sci-fi franchises in Hollywood history. And he was especially moved that his first congratulatory message came from Jonathan Frakes, who plays first officer Willliam Riker in “The Next Generation” and its new spinoff, “Picard,” starring Sir Patrick Stewart.
“He did a group text between my wife, myself and him and he said, ‘Look at us: Three Number Ones. Jerry, welcome to the family.’ And it was really touching,” O’Connell said.
O’Connell described his new series — which is the second cartoon in the franchise and was given a two-season initial order — as “ ’Rick and Morty’ meets ‘Star Trek.’ ” (CBS Television Studios said that a third animated show, “Star Trek: Prodigy,” will premiere on Nickelodeon in 2021.) “Lower Decks” follows the scrappy USS Cerritos’ workers who take on menial tasks like fixing malfunctioning food replicators and cleaning virtual bathrooms on the holodeck. The hard-partying crew also has to deal with O’Connell’s upper-decks character, an attention-grabbing bro whom he described as “Riker on steroids” and “a guy who has been to Starfleet human resources a few times.”
While “Star Trek” has embraced occasional humorous moments in its movies and series, this is the first full-on comedy for the franchise. The genre shift didn’t worry O’Connell, though he knew “Trek” fans could be a protective, inquisitive bunch.
“It’s a tough crowd. I’d say it’s the most demanding audience I’ve ever been involved in,” he said. “It’s a big swing and some people want to make sure that their baby is protected. But I can assure you that we have the ‘Star Trek’ fan base and universe in our best interests. We’re just trying to have a good time with everything.”
Fittingly, a laid-back O’Connell spoke with The Post while outdoors with a laptop and sitting on the hood of his 1986 Jaguar. “If Ransom had a car, this is probably what he would be driving. Something classy like that,” he joked. The interview was even briefly interrupted by Romijn, who honked her car horn and stopped to say hi as she drove by.
But fans looking for intel about her secretive, much-anticipated “Strange New Worlds” spinoff — co-starring Anson Mount as USS Enterprise Capt. Christopher Pike and Ethan Peck as first officer Mr. Spock — will need to look elsewhere.
“You want any spoilers?” he asked us before imploring her, “Give us a spoiler — come on!”
No such luck, Trekkies; it seems he’s not great with keeping coveted secrets.
“My wife says she’s gonna sit on the spoilers,” he relayed as she drove off. “Rebecca doesn’t tell me anything or let me read about anything. She’s afraid I’m going to say something online — and she is probably right. If pushed hard enough, I would probably tell you.”