Jess Bush recently shared how she directed “Star Trek: The Original Series” star Majel Barrett to play nurse Kristin Chapel in “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” The latest episode of the sci-fi franchise is dedicated to Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and the crew of the aircraft carrier Enterprise. Five years before Captain James T. Kirk takes over the Federation flagship, Strange New Worlds is aiming to return to the episodic structure of the old Star Trek before the franchise’s rebranding under writer-producer Alex Kurtzman.
Bush plays Chapel, a civilian nurse aboard the aircraft carrier Enterprise who works with the chief physician Dr. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) in the ship’s medical bay. Chapel is one of the few Strange New Worlds characters who previously existed in the Star Trek universe, as the series tells of events that occurred shortly before the Star Trek timeline: The Original Series. The chapel was originally portrayed by Barrett, starting in 1966 and continuing throughout the period of the original series. She also returned to the role in the films “Star Trek: The Animated series”, as well as in the films “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” and “Star Trek IV: Journey Home”.
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In a recent interview with THR, Bush revealed how she channeled Barrett when she took on the role of Chapel in Strange New Worlds. When asked about how she created her character, Bush explained that because she had no basic knowledge of Star Trek before she was chosen, she was able to immerse herself in the role head on by watching all her episodes in the original series while transcribing. kem Chapel was a young nurse. Read below what Bush said.
“It’s a huge honor to be the second actor to play Nurse Chapel after Majel Barrett. I think I was lucky in the sense that I didn’t know about Star Trek from the beginning, so it wasn’t particularly overwhelming. I watched all her performances. I have also read the memoirs of nurses and continue to read various materials that tell about what it is like to be a practicing doctor in different situations, for example, in a medical evacuation situation.”
“As for how much Nurse Chapel goes through in this iteration, it was a conversation with [Akiva Goldsman] and [Henry Alonzo Myers]. It was a balance between honoring the Chapel of Majel and creating a new one. The Chapel of Majel definitely had a special essence. about her, but there were still so many opportunities to explore her background, what she was like when she was younger, what she might have been like in our time when she was a young woman, and they gave me a lot of opportunities to explore. a fun, collaborative conversation.”
As Bush explained, episodes of the original series described the character’s personality for many years after Kirk became captain of the USS Enterprise. This new time period allowed the actor to explore a side of the Chapel that had not yet been seen on screen. According to the actress, the showrunners worked with her to fully realize the character from a new perspective, even allowing her to choose a new costume for Chapel.
Bush helped create a new version of the character that shows youthful enthusiasm, but at the same time demonstrates intelligence that goes far beyond the years of a young nurse. Although Chapel’s appearance is very different from Barrett’s original portrayal, Bush honors what made the character unique. Thanks to the extremely positive reception of “Strange New Worlds” by both critics and the public, Bush got the chance to open a new chapter in the career of a Chapel nurse in the Federation.