Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Bruce Horak Explains Enterprise’s Aenar Influence, Plus ‘Living A Dream’ With Hemmer’s Eyes

Hemmer in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds really impressed many Paramount+ subscribers with its premiere episode, and the fun is only getting started. The end of the first episode saw the ship’s chief engineer, an Aenar named Hemmer, join and become one of the final members of the crew. The character gets a more proper introduction in “Children of the Comet” and future episodes, and audiences will get to see what actor Bruce Horak’s character is all about. 

I spoke to Bruce Horak about Hemmer ahead of Episode 2 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and asked if the Aenar of Star Trek: Enterprise influenced his performance. Horak, who listed Enterprise’s Trip Tucker as one of his favorite engineers of the entire franchise, talked about what he loved about the past Aenar performances:

I particularly liked just the physicality of those actors and how they were moving. Not kind of stumbling around with their hands or anything, but moving with this grace and the slowness and the stillness. That I really appreciated. That was a big part of it. Just really taking on and trying to embody some of that physicality.

The Aenar are a small population of the much more prominent Andorian species and are most notable for their pale skin and lack of eyesight. While the Aenar are blind, their telepathic abilities act as an enhanced sight that allows them to sense the thoughts and movements of those around them. Hemmer boasts these abilities in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and will no doubt use them to maintain the flagship of Starfleet. 

Playing an Aenar means that Bruce Horak is the latest of Star Trek actors who must sit in the makeup chair and undergo extensive work to look the part. I asked Horak if there are ever days when he gets up and wishes that he wasn’t the guy who has hours of makeup before shooting, and he shared how playing Hemmer is “living a dream” for him:

I guess? I don’t know. I’m still in the cosmos with this one, it’s great. I took some film and television classes when I was in college, and I just absolutely hated the way that my eyes looked on screen. And my teacher at the time said, “Listen, the camera doesn’t lie. It’s going to pick up. It’s going to be able to tell that you’ve had work done and that one eye is prosthetic, and that’s just the way it is. Either you’re good with that, or you do theater, or you do something else.’ And, for a long time, I was very, very shy and self-conscious of how I looked on screen. The first time I saw Hemmer on screen– they’ve digitally given me new eyes, and it’s like living a dream. I’ve gotten this incredible transformation. Essentially, I’ve gotten eye surgery, and I got paid for it, so, you know, who can complain?

Bruce Horak isn’t quite tired of the prosthesis yet, and with good reason. It’s cool to hear how satisfied he is with the end result of how Hemmer turned out, and how pleased he is with the final product in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. After all, prosthetics aren’t for every Star Trek actor. Just ask Jeffrey Dean Morgan or even a noted vet like Colm Meaney!

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds releases new episodes on Paramount+ on Thursdays. It’s the latest entry in a lot of Star Trek coming in the near future, so be sure to jump on board and see why many fans are excited about this show. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.