Star Trek: Discovery's Sonequa Martin-Green Talks Breaking Barriers in February Emmy Magazine
Sonequa Martin-Green's trek to stardom has been a self-described process of discovery. So it's fitting that her first starring role would be in the most recent franchise of a pop-culture phenomenon: the CBS All Access series, Star Trek: Discovery. The latest issue of emmy magazine explores how the actress is pushing the boundaries for women in this role and in the industry.
The award-winning official publication of the Television Academy hits newsstands Feb. 20.
The Alabama native didn't always dream of a life in show business. Growing up, she had imagined a career as a psychologist. "I was fascinated with human behavior and why people do what they do," says Martin-Green. It was only during a rehearsal for a high school play that she discovered her true calling, going on to earn a degree in theater and scoring roles on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Army Wives and The Good Wife. It was her five-year run on The Walking Dead that prepared her for another sci-fi/fantasy as she entered the Star Trek universe as xenoanthropologist Michael Burnham.
Martin-Green is the first woman of color to play the lead in a Star Trek series, and she has embraced the historic role. "I've discovered I have such a great capacity to carry the weight of this show," she says. "What I've learned is there's your capacity, and then you're stretched beyond it, you know? That's how you grow—you have to break the muscle to build it."
The actress has earned the admiration of her cast and crew. In the cover story "Come Reign, Come Shine," the cast of Star Trek: Discovery describe the actress as a natural leader. "She runs around before each scene starts and gives everybody a fist bump... the cast, the extras. It's a nice little subtle connector that's like, 'Hey, we're here together, and everybody's important,'" says costar Doug Jones, who plays alien crewmember Saru. "She's just such a matriarch; it's amazing. She made a choice for us all to be a family, and then she actualized it," says costar Mary Wiseman, who plays Sylvia Tilly.
As season two of Star Trek: Discovery unfolds, Martin-Green's performance continues to evolve. "Her instincts are second to none, says executive producer Alex Kurtzman. "She's so emotionally driven and so intuitive that she always excavates layers under the dialogue."
Additional feature highlights from the new issue include:
- More than a decade in the making, NBC's Manifest has found an audience with a modern hybrid that combines science fiction with classic family drama. In "Map Quest," emmy talks to the cast from the set of the popular new series about what they would do if faced with the unimaginable circumstances at the heart of the show.
- In "The Pursuit of Patton Oswalt," emmy sits down with one of the busiest and hardest-working stars in the industry to discuss his journey to comedy, writing and acting; his unconventional choices; and the personal tragedy that nearly ended his career.
- With clients including The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Lethal Weapon, Jane the Virgin and the Veronica Mars reboot, Modern Props is the producer's secret weapon for bringing imagination to life. In "Imagine That!," emmy takes readers inside the company's 80,000-square-foot prop house filled with everything from flying saucers to Egyptian mummies.
Emmy, the official publication of the Television Academy, goes behind the scenes of the industry for a unique insider's view. It showcases the scope of television and profiles the people who make TV happen, from the stars of top shows to the pros behind the cameras, covering programming trends and advances in technology. Honored consistently for excellence, emmy is a six-time Maggie Award winner as Best Trade Publication in Communications or the Arts and has collected 52 Maggies from the Western Publishing Association. Emmy is available on selected newsstands and at TelevisionAcademy.com for single print and digital copies as well as subscriptions.
Download the press release here.
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