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Sonequa Martin-Green – Star Trek: Discovery

This is the second time you’ve said goodbye to a long-term character – first Sasha on The Walking Dead and now Captain Burnham on Star Trek. How would you compare those two experiences?

That’s a really good question. I haven’t spent a ton of time thinking about the similarities between Sasha’s journey and Burnham’s journey. But there was this metamorphosis with Sasha as well, where she went from death to life, in a lot of ways — and then, of course, back to death. There was this complete detachment, and this defensive barrier — and then that broke open to where she ultimately sacrificed herself by weaponizing herself. This is interesting because there are parallels with Burnham — where she started cold and detached, because of the Vulcanism, and mutinied and started the war by accident . . . but she was able to fall and fail and grow and heal and restore and change over the course of the seasons — to get to the point where we end, where you see this captain who is secure, who is settled, who understands who she is, who understands what she’s here to do, who leads with grace, from the inside out . . . But I’m a different person now, bringing Burnham to life, than I was bringing Sasha to life. I think there’s probably a depth that I was able to access, just because of my own maturity.

Star Trek: Discovery on CTV Sci-Fi. Pictured: Sonequa Martin-Green as Cmdr. Michael Burnham.
James Dimmock/Paramount+

Between Walking Dead and Star Trek, are you planning to just retire and live off of the sci-fi fan conventions? You could!

[Laughs] Let me tell you something: I have a dream of being a homemaker — like, apron, A-line skirt, the whole thing! The softness of it is just so appealing to me. I’m sort of joking when I say that, but for real, I just know now, I’m so settled as Sonequa in what I want to do, what I want to lend my voice to . . . and I’m gonna go wherever God tells me to go, I’m gonna do whatever He tells me to do. That’s what I’ve always done, which is why I know that everything I have, I’ve been given. I want to continue to tell stories that matter. I want to tell stories that jump off the page and become activism, in a way — that have a societal impact, a cultural impact, a historical impact. I know that’s what I want to do now. And if I can do that and be a homemaker . . .

Star Trek: Discovery on CTV Sci-Fi. Pictured: Sonequa Martin-Green as Cmdr. Michael Burnham.
James Dimmock/Paramount+

Did something feel a bit different about filming this last season, knowing the end was nigh? Maybe a  sense of finality or higher stakes?

What I’m about to tell you is going to blow your mind: We did not know it was our final season. But this is interesting, because I agree with you that there’s a sense of “finality” to season five. There is a sense of conclusion. It’s big and grand and epic [as usual], but in a culminating way. I even picked up on it a little bit as we were shooting, but it was just what the storyline was for this big, bolder, grand, fun, adventurous season. No one knew — including the showrunners. When we wrapped, we found out a few months later that we were not going to be coming back. And then Paramount+ and CBS — because [showrunners] Michelle Paradise and Alex Kurtzman really fought for this — graciously allowed us the opportunity to come back up there to Toronto and shoot a “coda,” and that’s what we used to wrap up the series.

So, we had both experiences — we had, “Oh, this is just another season, this was so fun” and then we had, “Oh my goodness, this is the last time we’ll do this.” But I’m actually grateful that it turned out this way, because it was such an intense experience to say goodbye, that if we had had it the entirety of season five, it might’ve been a bit too much. But we only had some days when we did the coda — so it was nice that it was compacted and charged, and we were all there in the moment and engaged fully with our last moments.

The series finale of Star Trek: Discovery airs Thursday, May 30 on CTV Sci-Fi


Many TV lovers got their first glimpse of this Alabama native via CBS’s The Good Wife, where she played Alicia Florrick’s assistant, Courtney, in the Emmy-winning legal drama’s early seasons. Not long after, she landed her career-launching role on The Walking Dead, spending five seasons as sharpshooting walker-pocalypse survivor Sasha. You’ve also seen her on New Girl as Winston’s prank-obsessed girlfriend Rhonda, and in the Space Jam reboot as Mrs. LeBron James.


Since 2017, Martin-Green has been at the helm of modern-day Star Trek’s flagship TV series playing the rebellious human-raised-by-Vulcans, Cpt. Michael Burnham. The show’s fifth and final season wraps Thursday with a two-hour sendoff, as Burnham and her crew look to contain an ancient power of universe-shaking proportions.

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