An Interview with Kherkovian Voice-Over Performer Anjuli Cain
Just before the SAG-AFTRA strike began, I lucked into an exclusive interview with Anjuli Cain, who plays the ethereal roles of Blue and Yellow in this week’s episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, “Charades”. What was it like to voice such otherworldly beings? Here, the actress herself fills us in.
Firstly, thank you so much for allowing this interview. I love your work on episode 205 of Strange New Worlds, “Charades”. It’s fascinating to watch how you differentiated your performances as Blue and Yellow from each other.
I really appreciate you reaching out to me. The show was definitely a lot of fun to record, and it’s always great to see the finished product and how people respond to it!
What are your earliest memories of Star Trek? Were you a Trekkie before you took part in Strange New Worlds?
I have a soft spot for The Next Generation. I used to watch it with my mom when I was little. It was our thing. I was the older one between me and my sister, so I got to stay up later and watch it.
How did you get involved in Strange New Worlds?
I actually didn’t know what I was auditioning for before I booked it. The part just said it was an interdimensional being and had the names “Yellow” and “Blue”. It wasn’t until after I booked it and got the paperwork that I saw it was for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and I was pretty stoked. It wasn’t until after I recorded the episode that I looked up the cast list and was pretty amazed that Ethan Peck plays Spock. It felt pretty fortuitous that I ended up working on this show as my little sister did a student film with Ethan when they were both about eleven!
Do you have a favourite colour between blue and yellow?
I think I’d have to say Yellow. The beings don’t really show much emotion but Yellow has more of an emotional arc. Plus, I get to have a little attitude with Captain Pike!
You’ve voiced blue and yellow, two colours of the rainbow. Does that mean there are only seven Kherkovian characters? Or do black and white count too? Are they all named after colours?
I think all of the beings are named after colors. And all pleasing colors. I’m sure there are a vast variety of different beings: teal, lavender maybe, even chartreuse.
Do the Kherkovians have gender? If so, are they all female?
They have no gender but they have found a female voice is more pleasing to the ear, which is why they choose a female voice to communicate with.
When you recorded your lines for Strange New Worlds, did you have anything to watch? And if so, was that previz or completed visual effects?
Yes, the entire episode was already filmed with the VFX in it already, so I was acting against the picture, essentially reacting to the other actors on screen as if we were in the scene together.
I noticed from that, while recording the episode, you were pleasantly surprised to find you had your own parking spot. Was it blue, yellow, or just any colour?
Haha. Yes, they don’t always put your name on your parking spot when you come in to record, so I had to take a picture of that! I believe it was white!
Do you find it easier to get into character doing voice-over or in-person acting?
With voice-over, since I am not being watched, it is easier getting into character, because I don’t have as much attention from people looking at me! Haha.
Can you mimic anyone vocally, either singing or speaking?
I wish I could do impressions! Sadly, I cannot. I can do different qualities in tone, sound older or younger, and do different accents, but that’s about it.
Do your kids recognize you when you’re on TV?
They sometimes hear my voice and ask if that’s me. They think it’s pretty cool for a little bit but it is short lived!
Is charades a game you play?
We LOVE charades in our house. I’ve been playing it since I was a kid. When we have family reunions, we all play. Definitely a favorite.
How do you feel about the SAG-AFTRA strike?
It has become a “strange new world” in the entertainment industry with streaming shows and apps, plus more and more AI. It’s becoming harder and harder for actors to make a living. Things have changed so much and we really need to ensure we are not being taken advantage of, going forward. It’s a really tricky thing. I am really hopeful that things will get resolved quickly and it is not drawn out too long.
Would you like to return to the world of Strange New Worlds?
It was a great experience and the people were so wonderful to work with. I would love to return again some day!
For more information about Anjuli Cain, visit her website at www.AnjuliCain.com.
Editor 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 coordinates the SubSpace Chatter (formerly The Scotch Trekker) YouTube channel, which regularly features live interviews with the cast and crew of Star Trek.