A Mind Meld with Vulcan Visitor Eduardo Roman
I recently chatted with actor Eduardo Roman, who played a mysterious Vulcan in the Star Trek: Picard episode “Mercy”, the eighth episode of the show’s second season. This Vulcan’s mind meld with a young human boy (Wells) is interrupted when he is beamed back to his ship.
Hi, Eduardo. First, congratulations on being cast as the Vulcan melder. How did you start acting, and how did you obtain that particular role?
I discovered the wonderful world of acting while in college/law school. I started doing theatre workshops and then plays. The course of my career changed after that. I graduated from law school in my hometown in Mexico and right away moved to Mexico City to study and pursue acting.
What are your earliest memories of Star Trek?
Back in Mexico, at least in my hometown, we didn’t get The Original Series. However, we did get the first Star Trek movies, which I watched as a young child and later made me want to go back and watch The Original Series. I was always drawn to Spock the most, of course.
I believe there was a time you presented Doug Jones with an award. Can you tell us some more about that?
In 2017, I was the recipient of the Visionary Award from the ShortsTV channel, which is a channel dedicated to showcasing short films 24/7/365, on DirecTV. The Visionary Award is given to artists who have contributed to the world of short filmmaking. Previous recipients are Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Modine, and John Lasseter, among others. Doug Jones was 2018’s recipient, so I had the honor of presenting the award to him that year. He is as nice in real life as he is in interviews. He is a very kind, humble and extremely talented artist.
Have you thought up a backstory to who the Vulcan you played was?
As an actor, sometimes all the information you’re given is whatever is in the script and what the Director gives you right there on set. Many times, this information is limited, so yes, we have to come up with a backstory to help us be real with our performance the moment we hear “action!”… and which I will keep private to keep my options open for the future.
Some parallels can be drawn between this group of Vulcans and those in the Enterprise episode “Carbon Creek”, and Vulcans have been appearing on Star Trek ever since the 1960s. So, were any previous portrayals of Vulcans inspirational to your performance?
I couldn’t get Spock out of my mind the whole time during my process of preparation. Leonard Nimoy’s work is just on another level! So, I went and watched plenty of Spock. I went with his mind-meld hand position, too. I also watched scenes that featured Sarek.
How long did the makeup process take?
Around two hours. I was surprised to see that the covering of my real eyebrows was what took the longest (I do have thick/dark eyebrows).
What was it like to film your scene?
The Star Trek: Picard production team is one of the most professional groups of people I’ve ever worked with. Everything was so organized. It’s refreshing to work with people who know exactly what they want and how to achieve it.
While on set in the woods, I was standing next to Director Joe Menendez and Director of Photography Crescenzo Notarile, right before our first takes, and I mentioned to them that the whole atmosphere they had come up with the lights and the darkness in the woods felt like that scene with Elliot and E.T. in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. They immediately turned to me in astonishment and said that that was what they were going for. That’s how you know everyone is working on the same page.
I also remember looking at actress and friend Chuti Tiu, who plays my Vulcan partner in the scene, and talking about never wanting to leave the set. We were both having a truly amazing time on an imagination playground, so to speak.
The whole thing felt like a dream! My ten-year-old self would never believe he would get to play a Vulcan on Star Trek later in life.
How was it to work with Director Joe Menendez?
Joe is an amazing Director. He knows what he wants and how to achieve it quickly. I remember watching him work and thinking of all the prep work he must’ve done beforehand, in order to have things work out impeccably on set. Joe is a combination of hard work, discipline, and of course, talent. He inspires me and everyone around him.
Did you get on with the child actor who played the boy you mind-melded with?
Oh, yeah! Jackson Garner. He’s a really nice kid and he was having a great time. He did a great job and totally nailed the expression of fear.
Was there any footage you shot as the Vulcan which ended up being deleted?
What you see in the final product is exactly what was in the script.
Did you keep any mementos from the filming, such as your Vulcan ears?
Only the memory of a childhood dream coming true.
That’s brilliant! Thank you for allowing this interview, Eduardo Roman.
Webmaster of WarpFactorTrek, Dan is an avid Star Trek fan who lives in Aberdeen, Scotland. Dan has loved Star Trek ever since discovering it in his childhood. He worked as an administrator, for six years, on the encyclopedic Star Trek website Memory Alpha, which involved studying the making of the various series and films. He has been mentioned in the official Star Trek Magazine, has qualified from a Star Trek course taught at Glasgow Clyde College, and coordinated the SubSpace Chatter (formerly The Scotch Trekker) YouTube channel, which regularly featured live interviews with the cast and crew of Star Trek.