As we approach season two for the zany Paramount+ Star Trek: Lower Decks, the animated comedy is looking to up the ante for its ensigns as they endure the maximum amount of suffering without somehow getting killed. Trek Movie spoke with stars Noël Wells and Eugene Cordero on what we can expect from Tendi and Rutherford and their upcoming misadventures with Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Boimler (Jack Quaid), and the duo's own chemistry.
"The biggest development for me is that we took away some development, and then we added it back," Cordero said. "So my biggest development for Rutherford was finding out what he doesn't know and finding out some new information and then trusting what he does know from the past now that he has some of that information again. I think there's a weird mix of growth in certain ways. As a friend, he definitely grew, but as himself, he's finding out new things about himself that he didn't know in season one even." "I think for my character in the first season, Tendi's very wide-eyed," Wells explained. "She's soaking up everything like a sponge. She is a bit naive. In the second season, she maybe had her bubble burst a couple of times, but because of that she gets to sort of take herself to the next level and you see her pushing back a little bit more and having a little bit more agency. Not only taking more risks but standing up for herself."
The actress delves into how Tendi will be more independent. "I do think in the first season Tendi's not like a 'yes woman,' but definitely like the kid," Wells said. "She has that sort of vibe that she's along for the ride. In the second season, she is having to run some things herself and take a little bit more control. And you get to see a little bit more of her dark side, and her sense of her capacity to fight. And if you didn't know already' or feel it from the first season, she definitely a three-dimensional 2D animated character." One dynamic creatively explored with Rutherford is how his Borg implant allows him to operate in various modes often to his own detriment, but Cordero explains how his character will grow more organically. "In this season you're going to see more modes of Rutherford as a person, not so much as the implant," he said. "We're not going to go through them as much. But he's figuring out things for himself as well as what happened to him and trying to figure out those things. We get more into Rutherford, but it's more about what he is as a person than it is about which ways he can play."
For more on what Rutherford modes Cordero likes, the sexual tension onboard the U.S.S Cerritos, how both compare their characters, the actors' reaction to their action figures, Tendi's Orion origins, and their involvement of becoming part of the Star Trek franchise, you can go to Trek Movie. Lower Decks season two premieres August 12 on Paramount+.
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