Paul Wesley knew better than to impersonate a legend.
The Vampire Diaries alum stars as Captain Kirk on Paramount+’s Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which wrapped its first season on July 7. In taking the role, he was well aware putting on Kirk’s iconic gold uniform would draw comparisons to William Shatner, who originated the role of Kirk in the 1960s Star Trek series.
“I think the biggest insult would be to do an imitation of what William Shatner originated and what people fell in love with,” Wesley told Variety July 7. “If I did that, it would just be a reminder that I’m not William Shatner. And that in a way it’s almost like an insult of character, right?”
Shatner debuted as Kirk in 1965 and also played the indelible Captain in in the first seven Star Trek movies.
While Wesley was adamant not to copy Shatner, he clearly did his homework to understand what made Shatner’s performance so lauded.