Sonequa Martin-Green’s departure from The Walking Dead on the explosive Season 7 finale was not a big surprise for those following Star Trek: Discovery news. It was already reported, a few months ago, that Sonequa Martin-Green – who portrayed Sasha Williams on TWD – would be joining the new Star Trek series as its main character, First Officer Michael Burnham. So it was a pretty good guess to assume Sonequa would be leaving The Walking Dead. But which came first – did Sonequa land her Star Trek: Discovery role, and was then written off TWD, or was it the other way around?
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Sonequa Martin-Green sheds light on her departure from The Walking Dead. According to Sonequa, while many have speculated she negotiated for her Star Trek role before leaving TWD.,In fact, talks for her new role only started after Sasha’s fate was already sealed.
“It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly, because what was happening on The Walking Dead was already underway. It was the path. It was definitely in place. And then as we were going into the very end of the season, the very end of our shoot for the season – that’s when the opportunity for Star Trek came.”
In fact, once Sonequa was told her character on The Walking Dead was going to die by the end of Season 7, she was worried about being out of a job. That’s a constant risk when you’re working on a show like TWD – your character is never safe, and could die at any moment, as several actors realized during Season 7 – Steven Yeun’s Glenn, Michael Cudlitz’s Abraham, and so many others.
“I didn’t know what I was going to be doing next”, Sonequa explains, “And when Star Trek came I thought, Oh my goodness! This is…unspeakable! Like, what?? It’s going from such a Goliath that reaches so many people in such a profound way, to a legacy. So basically going from legacy to legacy.”
Sonequa Martin-Green’s Star Trek: Discovery Role
Star Trek: Discovery will be the first Star Trek TV series to air since Star Trek: Enterprise was canceled back in 2005. Set a decade before the original series (the one with Captain Kirk and Spock), Star Trek: Discovery will follow the crew of the USS Discovery starship. And for the first time in a Trek series, the show’s main protagonist would not be the ship’s captain (portrayed by Jason Isaacs), but its first officer Michael Burnham – portrayed by Sonequa Martin-Green.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Sonequa Martin-Green says Star Trek: Discovery is going to be wild, both in front of the camera and behind it. Having played with such a diverse and talented cast on The Walking Dead, Sonequa is expecting to be impressed yet again by the performances on her new series.
“Being the first officer on the ship is going to be a wild ride because we haven’t seen that happen before in the Star Trek canon, we haven’t seen the story be told from the perspective of the first officer rather than the captain. It’s going to open up so much potential for new storylines because not being the captain automatically gives you a different perspective.
“It’s going to be a wild ride and everybody on board – in front of the camera and behind – I’ve been floored by the performances on The Walking Dead from the beginning and I’m going to be astounded again by the people we’ve got assembled on Star Trek. I’m really excited.”
Moving from one major series to a new one in such a short span of time isn’t easy. According to Sonequa, she had very little time to mourn TWD’s Sasha, even though she was told her character would die before actually filming the finale. But with Star Trek: Discovery set to debut on CBS All Access later this year, we at least don’t have to say goodbye to Sonequa – just to one of her beloved characters.
[Featured Image by AMC]