Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 opened up La’an Noonien-Singh emotionally, and finding her right tone was a challenge for Christina Chong.
- Christina Chong struggled to find the right emotional tone for her character, La’an Noonien-Singh, in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2. This was evident in the numerous takes for a kissing scene with Paul Wesley.
- Chong continued to face challenges in finding the right emotional pitch for her character even in later episodes. It took her a long time to get a scene with Kirk waiting for Uhura at the right level of emotion.
- It was a tricky process for her, but she enjoyed allowing her vulnerability to come out in the end.
Christina Chong revealed she kissed Paul Wesley “so many times” in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2, episode 3, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” which was indicative of Chong’s struggle to find the right emotional tone for her character, Lt. La’an Noonin-Singh. La’an and an alternate reality Captain James T. Kirk fell for each other when they were thrust into 21st century Toronto on a mission to save the timeline. Kirk heartbreakingly died in La’an’s arms, but complications ensued when she met Lt. James T. Kirk in the restored timeline.
In a conversation with the cast of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to support the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Christina Chong discussed needing numerous takes as she struggled to find La’an’s “pitch” as she became less “closed-off and straitlaced” and more emotionally vulnerable in Strange New Worlds season 2. Check out her quote and watch the video below:
We’d shot episode 3 out of order. I think we’d shot the last scene first. And the first scene was the last scene, and the first kissing scene with Paul. So it was kind of like the top and tail of the episode… And I remember the kissing scene, I did it so many times. And then like take 20, we’re like, hang on, we’re going the wrong way with this. Maybe she needs to be a bit… less out there and open. Bring that back to La’an… It was trying to find that… So yeah, it was tricky.
Even after episode 3, I think it was episode 6 [when] Kirk was outside waiting for [Uhura], even that… I remember that scene taking me ages to get that pitch at the right level… I think it was Dan Liu who directed that episode. I was like, “I’m so sorry, I don’t normally take 20 takes.” (laughs) I just couldn’t get the right level of where she was, emotionally… So it was tricky for me but really nice to allow that vulnerability to come out at the end of episode 3, and also with Kirk in the musical episode as well. Obviously, now, he’s got a wife and a baby, so who knows?
Kirk’s girlfriend, Carol Marcus, is pregnant with their son, David, and she may appear in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 3.
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La’an Noonien-Singh Opened Up Emotionally In Strange New Worlds Season 2
Meeting Kirk made La’an change her paradigm.
Lt. La’an Noonien-Singh was introduced as the stern and taciturn Security Chief of the USS Enterprise who found dealing with people difficult. But La’an’s time-tossed romance with her alternate reality Captain James T. Kirk, and not being allowed to discuss how she lost him violently, set La’an on a path towards “changing her paradigm.” Certainly, the arrival of the Prime timeline Lt. James T. Kirk gave La’an the temptation of a second chance with a different James, but Kirk’s revelation that he’s about to be a father seems to curtail that romance.
La’an’s emotional arc can be followed in Strange New Worlds season 2, episode 3, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” episode 6, “Lost in Translation,” and episode 9, “Subspace Rhapsody,” which is Star Trek‘s first-ever musical. Throughout these three episodes, La’an’s outer shell comes down, and she begins to accept being more open and vulnerable with her feelings, despite the risks. It will be fascinating to see how Christina Chong evolves La’an even further into a more complete person while remaining the La’an we’ve come to love in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 3.