Longtime Star Trek producer Rick Berman is proud to have given two A-list Hollywood actors their big break.
Berman, who was instrumental in Star Trek's revival, producing Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise and the four Star Trek films starring The Next Generation cast, reflected on casting Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Tom Hardy in their first major acting roles.
"People like Dwayne Johnson, whose first acting job I think was on Voyager, and he's a world-renowned movie star now. You could say the same about Tom Hardy, who never had a role bigger than a couple of lines prior to getting his role in Nemesis." Berman said in an interview with StarTrek.com. "Now, he’s a world-class movie star. So, that's a good feeling, too. There's luck involved in all that, but when you give somebody a first shot and then they manage to take advantage of it and let their talent soar and allow them to build a career, it feels good."
While Johnson had first become famous as a professional wrestler, his role in the sixth season episode of Star Trek: Voyager "Tsunkatse" was the Jumanji actor's first major acting role. After his guest-starring appearance on Voyager in 2000, Johnson went on to play the Scorpion King in 2001's The Mummy Returns which catapulted his film career.
Hardy had made his big screen debut in a small supporting role in 2001's Black Hawk Down. Soon after, he played the evil Jean-Luc Picard clone Shinzon in 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis. While the final film starring The Next Generation cast wasn't a success, Hardy eventually went on to become a major Hollywood actor starring in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises, 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road, and this year's upcoming comic book film Venom.
Now major box office draws, both Johnson and Hardy owe the start of their acting careers to a universe where no one has gone before.