Celia Rose Gooding on Star Trek, rising career & more!
Rising actress, Celia Rose Gooding, is one to watch, with a leading role in Paramont+ Star Trek: Strange new worlds as Nyota Uhura. We’re so excited to chat with Celia about her promising career, her beauty routine, and what fashion trends are lighting years away! Follow Celia here and catch Season 2 now on Paramont+
Growing up, did you ever watch Star Trek, and, if so, what character had an impact on
I didn’t grow up watching Star Trek. But my mom is a huge Trekkie. I remember on multiple occasions her
taking my sister and me to the movie theater to watch the JJ Abrams movies. I remember being
awestruck at the visual effects and expanses of space. I didn’t know it at the time, but I like to think that’s
where my Trek journey started. Zoe Saldana’s Uhura was my first! Her “take no mess” attitude is
something that that my Uhura could definitely benefit from as she grows on the Enterprise.
Do you have a favorite episode of Star Trek that you studied of Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
that helped you embody this role?
It’s a toss-up between “Who Mourns For Adonais?” and “Mirror, Mirror”. In my opinion, Uhura saves the
day in both of those episodes. As somebody who is reprising an iconic role, it’s important for me to know
what her journey to triumph looks like. In the first season of Strange New Worlds, we meet an Uhura
who’s fresh off a really traumatic experience. I really wanted those moments of triumph to feel euphoric
and earned, so it was important for me to know how out loud she was with it. The brilliant thing about
Nichelle Nichols’ Uhura is, she made it look easy.
What type of changes do we see with Uhura in Season 2?
I really want to pace myself in developing this character. A greedy part of me wants my Uhura to wake up
one day and entirely embody the essence of her future self, but that wouldn’t be realistic. It’s not
checkers, it’s chess. There are definitely tangible changes, more self-confidence, and vulnerability with
her crewmates, but she still is a young girl figuring out her place in the world. Nobody in their early 20s
has it all figured out, so I’m not gonna rush her. I know Starfleet officers have a reputation for being uber-
competent, kickass, problem-solving space heroes, but it’s her first year out here!
Has being theater trained impacted you as a film/tv actress?
Absolutely. I think Theatre activates all parts of the actor’s brain at once. Memorizing speech, song, on-
and-off stage choreography, the search for new moments in the inherent routine of it all, all of these things are practiced in the theatre world. TV and film, and forgive my generalization, are a bit more cerebral. You can’t frame a specific shot on stage the way you do on screen. Everything, your entire body, the set, the lighting, is part of the storytelling all at the same time. It requires you to be present in the body at all times or the moment is gone. I think it’s easier to keep something cerebral after you’ve processed it with your whole body. It’s hard to explain, but that’s how I see it.
If you could create your dream Starfleet (Bridge Crew??) who would be on the team?
Is it a cop-out to say I wouldn’t change my SNW crew? I would maybe add a Sulu and a Scotty and find
something else for them to do, but I think the SNW bridge crew is perfect.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Words are stupid. Feelings are hard. Sometimes you won’t have words for feelings and that’s okay. Honor
them anyway, the Good and the Bad. Sometimes you’re gonna be the only person who understands you,
know that’s more than enough. You determine what works for you. Trust you.
What steps on mental health do you take to stay balanced?
Setting boundaries! I’m pretty high-functioning even when I’m anxious or overstimulated. The kindest
thing I’ve adopted for my mental health is knowing when I’ve reached my limit, and not pushing myself
beyond that without reason. I go through phases of therapy, sometimes I need it and sometimes I don’t.
I’m really just trying to listen to what the body needs and acting accordingly.
What are your beauty rituals?
I’ve recently started dry brushing before showers! It’s a great exfoliant and it’s supposed to help with
circulation. It’s a bit intense, but the results are great so far.
One fashion trend you see for the future light years away?
Outfit repeating! There are tons of clothes that just pile up in landfills. I think I’m the future we’ll realize
how ridiculous it is to only wear an outfit once and then just trash it. I hope we’ll see a lot more
sustainability in fashion in the future.
How is your creativity disrupting culture?
somebody trying to practice kindness to me, empathy to others, and faith in a better future disrupts a pessimist culture. What drew me to acting was the ability to put yourself to the side and fall completely into a character. To really see the world as they do, live the world as they do, and learn something from it. I’ve learned so much about how I see the world through the characters I’ve been lucky enough to play. I think humans would be a lot kinder to one another if they could truly see what life is like from another person’s perspective. We’re all chasing happiness.
What is next for you on this journey?
Growth. Abundance. Joy. Laughter. Ease. Wellness. Creativity. Community. All The Good Things.
Photographer: Sophie Ming
Styling: Sierra Smith
Hair: Geo Brian Hennings
Makeup: Rebecca Restrepo