EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Tawny Newsome & EXCLUSIVE Clip from ‘Lower Decks’ S2 Blu-ray Featurette

Tawny Newsome

ViacomCBS Tawny Newsome voices Mariner Beckett on "Star Trek: Lower Decks."

Any “Star Trek” fan who missed the masturbating Mugato is in luck. “Star Trek: Lower Decks — Season 2″ will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD on July 12, 2022, from Paramount+, CBS Home Entertainment, and Paramount Home Entertainment. According to a press release distributed to the media, the two-disk “Lower Decks — Season Two” collection will feature all 10 episodes of the animated “Star Trek” show’s sophomore season plus an hour of bonus content that includes two featurettes (“A Sound Foundation” and “Lower Decktionary: Season Two”), animatics, Easter eggs, and audio commentaries with such cast and crew as series creator and executive producer Mike McMahan, Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Paul Scheer, Garrick Bernard, Jonathan Frakes, Gabrielle Ruiz, and Kathryn Lyn.

In advance of the Blu-ray’s release, Heavy spoke to Tawny Newsome. The actress — whose credits, according to Internet Movie Database, include “Two Broke Girls,” “Brockmire,” “How It Ends,” “Space Force,” and the current season of “Physical” — voices the character Beckett Mariner on “Lower Decks.” The comedy follows the adventures of the U.S.S. Cerritos and her crew of good-natured misfits, which include Mariner, Boimler (Jack Quaid), and Tendi (Noel Wells). They answer to Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) and Commander Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell). Complicating matters, Captain Freeman is Mariner’s mother. During the interview, the high-energy Newsome looked back at season two, discussed recording the commentary track for one of the Blu-ray extras, looked ahead to season three (the show is renewed for seasons three and four, according to Variety), and discussed her other current projects. Heavy is also pleased to share an exclusive clip from the “Lower Decktionary” featurette.


Mariner & Tendi and Newsome & Wells Finally Got to Work Together in Season 2 — Exclusive Clip

 


What worked best for you about season two of “Lower Decks”?

The characters are in their groove. There’s no more introducing who they are. The end of season one had some of our strongest episodes of that season, for that same reason, because people understood how the storylines worked and how the characters interact. Season two got to go even deeper. I love Episode 203, which has Tendi and Mariner doing their little girls’ trip, because we cheekily point out that these two don’t pair up very often. We have a joke about them not even knowing each other’s first names, which I thought was funny and meta. I love that we got this opportunity to mix up the pairings and dive deeper.

How much fun was it to sit and do the Blu-ray commentary for “Where Pleasant Flowers Lie”? We are assuming you did it by Zoom with Paul Scheer and Garrick Bernard…

We did it via Zoom or some equivalent to that. I love Paul Scheer. I’ve known him for a number of years. He’s super-fun. Garrick and I have now gotten to know each other socially a little bit. He’s such a good Trekkie, and it was very comfortable. Paul and I are both podcasters, so it felt like one of the many weirdo comedy pods that I’ve done with Paul over the years, but we happened to be talking about “Star Trek,” which is honestly my dream.

In what ways do you feel Mariner has grown over the first couple of seasons, and in what other ways do you hope she’ll evolve going forward?

There’s been a lot of talk about Mariner’s growth, right? She’s a rebel and intentionally self-sabotaging as a way to keep herself an ensign, because she believes that’s where she can do the best good. It’s hard to follow a protagonist who doesn’t want to evolve at all. Mike and the writers did a good job of making it clear that she does want and needs to evolve, grow, and change. It’s just in specific, nerdy ways that only make sense to her, or at least don’t make sense outwardly to the Boimlers of the world, who are all about promotion and leveling up. She’s got her path that she’s on. It may not be clear to everybody, but she’s not stagnant at all. They’ve done a good job of making that clear.

In the final moments of season two, Captain Freeman got carted away. Where does that leave Mariner? And how will that carry over into season three?

It was a tough cliffhanger and a dramatic note. There were no jokes at the end. It’s a little unsettling. I’ve talked to some fans who were like, “We did not like seeing that” and “We didn’t love how this season ended.” I get it. It’s off-putting a little bit. Season three, they have to figure it out. They have to figure out if Carol’s guilty, what happened, where she’s been taken, and how to get her back. It’s going to be a madcap romp.


Newsome & Her Co-stars Are Still Recording Their Dialogue Separately Due to the Pandemic 

Tawny Newsome

ViacomCBSThe cover of the “Star Trek: Lower Decks — Season 2” Blu-ray.

What’s your sense of Mariner? Is she more upset — as a member of the crew or as Carol’s daughter — about what happened to Captain Freeman?

With Mariner, I don’t know if those two are all that separable at this point. They found a way to work together in season two, so being the captain’s daughter is no longer this separate, compartmentalized secret. Now it’s part of her job, weirdly. It’s all a big gumbo of emotions. It’s probably pretty difficult to wade through.

The pandemic is ongoing. Have you been able to record season three together? Or are you all still separate, like with the commentary?

We’re still doing it separately, and even our producers aren’t in the booth at all yet. They’re still on Zoom. I don’t know if it’s just convenient that it works this way so we’re gonna keep doing it, or if it’s the studio’s safety protocols, but it doesn’t feel like we’re going back to those big, in-person things anytime soon. I have mixed feelings about it. I miss seeing everybody, plus standing in the kitchen and having a coffee in between sessions. But we never had a bunch of actors at once like the way “Bob’s Burgers” or some of those other animated shows do it. That was purely just for the ease of editing. It can get a little chaotic with how much improv we do.

What else are you working on at the moment?

Right now airing is season two of “Physical” on Apple TV. I did a few episodes of that with Rose Byrne and Rory Scovel. It’s fun to be in live-action and to be in the 1980s, in Southern California. It’s a different, breezy vibe than my last live-action work that I did. Also, I’m working on a film right now. I don’t know if it’s been announced, but I’ll be going out of town to work on that. I’m doing that, and working on music. We just built a deck at my house, so that’s been fun.


Newsome & the ‘Lower Decks’ Cast Finally Got to Hang Out at a Convention in Chicago



Going back to “Lower Decks,” how ready are you for a few more years of the show? And, at the end of the day, what do you want your last scene to be?

I’m ready for more. It’s so much fun to do. At this point, it’s gotten into a groove. It’s easy. Mike and I speak such a bizarre twin language now where I understand the voice he’s written something in, so I’m able to, on the first or second take, give it exactly how he heard it, and he’s able to dial into my comedic rhythms. He doesn’t tend to put words in my mouth that I can’t make pretty funny, so it’s a nice, symbiotic relationship. As far as my last scene, I don’t want that to ever happen. Maybe it’s Mariner being put in some kind of hologram program like Janeway has been for “Prodigy” so that I can keep coming back in future “Star Trek” series. Although, I don’t think Mariner would be as helpful as the Janeway hologram is.

You and the “Lower Decks” cast made a convention appearance in costume. How interested would you be in doing live-action “Star Trek” if they ever called you in for it?

I would love it if they called me up, and Jack (Quaid) has to dye his hair purple. I would have it so easy. I don’t have to do anything. I will just put my hair in a ponytail, but Jack has to dye his hair purple. Noel (Wells) does not have to be green; I’m asserting that right now, because they can do that in post. Eugene (Cordero)? We’ll stick a Texas Instruments 86 on the side of his face and that’ll be good enough.


The “Star Trek: Lower Decks — Season 2” Blu-ray is available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

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