Anson Mount has had a long successful career spanning over 20 years since his on-screen debut in TV's Ally McBeal. While he's been regularly active on film and television, it's the legacy role of Capt. Christopher Pike, originally played by Jeffrey Hunter on Star Trek: The Original Series in 1966, on Paramount+'s Star Trek: Strange New Worlds that's helped take his acting career to new heights. While promoting his psychological thriller MK Ultra, Mount spoke to Collider about his success on the series and what to expect in season two.
When it comes to how Mount's career has gone since 2002's Crossroads, "Oh, no. But I was a different person," he said. "I was a much more solipsistic, self-involved, fragile ego-ed young man who desperately wanted to win awards, right? Now, that stuff doesn't resonate with me. I like telling good stories in whatever medium I'm offered. It doesn't surprise me. Yes, every day that I'm on the set of Star Trek, I'm looking around and going, 'I can't believe I'm on fuckin' Star Trek.' At the same time, it doesn't surprise me because I'm not saying that I take everything I'm offered, but generally, understanding that we, as freelance artists, cannot afford not to at least somewhat consistently walk through the open door, and you have no choice over what that open door is going to be sometimes. Go look at my IMDB page, and you'll see that is proof positive."
As far as how Mount describes season two, "It's like Christopher Guest in 'Spinal Tap,' discovering that these knobs all go up to 11. Akiva [Goldsman] and Henry [Alonso Myers], our two showrunners, are so courageous," he said. "I am not a conservative storyteller at all. I am all for saying, 'Fuck tradition; let's do it our way.' But I've even found myself going, 'Really? Can we do this?' Their mantra is that Star Trek can be a lot of things. Star Trek isn't Star Trek because there's no such thing. Star Trek can be a lot of things because Star Trek, as the best TV does, operates as a metaphorical platform, and when you jump into that wholly, you can find a lot more elbow room than you think, including playing with not just story but genre. If you thought we took some big swings in Season 1, and we did in a lot of different ways, we're going for the rafters in Season 2."
About if Mount ever expected to land Strange New Worlds since his Trek debut on Discovery, "I didn't even realize what role I was auditioning for, initially," he recalled. "To back up, I had been talking to Nina Jacobson about this when it was still in development, and they ended up hiring Jason Isaacs for the captain in the first season. When the second season rolled around, they said, 'Hey, what about this captain, and would you put yourself on tape?' It was somebody like Captain Parker or something. And then, the next day, they said, 'Okay, look, we wanna do this, and by the way, it's Captain Pike.'"
That took Mount by surprise. "I was like, 'Oh, my fucking God!' I knew exactly what that meant, but I didn't know that it meant there was going to be my show. I just knew that it was an incredible canonical role. There were no other plans in the works. But even during the development of Season 1, Akiva had been nudging Alex [Kurtzman] into conversations about how there should be a Pike show. This is them saying, 'Well, let's see how a Pike would work in this show.' Then, they continued talking about it. It wasn't even until we finished shooting the entire season that Alex did a soft pitch to the network and got a green light, and then called me."
For more on MK Ultra and more, you can check out the whole interview here.