In 2016, Sonequa Martin-Green made headlines as the first Black woman to lead a Star Trek franchise after being cast in the CBS hit Star Trek: Discovery.
Fans of the show love Martin-Green as Michael Burnham, a science specialist on the USS Discovery. However, fans of The Walking Dead may still feel some type of way about her character Sasha’s death on the AMC hit series.
The actress spoke with ESSENCE for a recent episode of Yes, Girl!, where she opened up about both roles and Sasha’s powerful arc.
Martin-Green spoke candidly about being uncertain about what would come next following The Walking Dead, but after landing the lead in Star Trek: Discovery, she decided to dive in despite (gasp!) not being a die-hard Trekkie.
“I just did not think that this would be the next step after The Walking Dead,” the actress told ESSENCE. “I know [God] has a plan and I’m very on board with his plan because I think it’s divine and much better than anything I could plan, I was very hopeful when The Walking Dead was wrapping up. I was excited for the next step.”
She continued, “Then, Star Trek came and I was excited to do it on a digital streaming platform, but more than that [I was excited] that they wanted to do it with a Black woman. They were quite adamant about that. And, I thought that maybe through the casting process that might change because I’ve seen those things before, but they stuck to it.”
Martin-Green says she feared she would be able to take the role because she wasn’t available at the time, busy filming episode of The Walking Dead. Thankfully, everything worked out. “It all timed out, it was all very divine how it timed out.”
The actress reflected on those last days of shooting for the AMC series and her character’s growth, calling Sasha’s arc “gorgeous.”
“It was such a gorgeous arc. I came onto the show [with] Sasha very closed off, very pragmatic, very rough with this really thick barrier,” Martin-Green said. “I wasn’t open for connection. Then I got broken down in the best way by these people in my circle, by love and romance. I made that trek from darkness to light as Sasha. She got all the way down to wanting to die, to kill herself and then found a way to rise, found a way to live. That was such a tremendous experience, they gave me nothing short of poetry for those last [episodes].”