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Live long and prosper: First Take’s Stephen A. Smith discusses making his Star Trek Into Darkness spot

If you were watching SportsCenter Tuesday morning, then you — and Stephen A. Smith himself — saw the debut of his commercial for the upcoming film, Star Trek Into Darkness.

Front Row caught up with Smith, who grew up watching Star Trek. He discusses the commercial filming experience, his acting future and names the NBA duo that compares favorably to Star Trek’s famous Kirk-Spock pairing. In the videos above and after the jump, see outtakes from Smith’s dramatic interpretations.

You’re a Star Trek fan, so Kirk or Spock?
I’m a Captain Kirk guy, and not just because he was the captain. I loved everything about him. His emotions were always funny. Spock was relatively even keel, logical and a bit stoic. Even though those are traits I have, I’m a Kirk guy.

Stephen A. Smith in stars in new Star Trek ad. (ESPN)
Stephen A. Smith stars in a new Star Trek ad. (ESPN)

What was it like seeing your commercial for the first time yesterday morning live on SportsCenter?
I loved it. It was hilarious sitting there watching it live on SportsCenter [with anchor Hannah Storm]. My favorite part was seeing the part in the commercial when I covered my mouth looking horrified [which was based on a female character’s actions in the movie]. Seeing six of me at the same time was really, really funny.

It took more than eight hours to film the commercial out in Los Angeles. How does that experience differ from doing a live First Take or SportsCenter?
Shooting the commercial was just pure fun. I had a blast doing it, and seeing it come together from start to finish was a great experience. Doing the commercial was great, but I love being on First Take and SportsCenter. They provide me platforms to disseminate information as a journalist, and to discuss topics that not everyone gets the opportunity to discuss. I’m honored to do that.

Any future acting aspirations?
I don’t want to be an actor, but I do wish I had certain roles sometimes. I wish I was on Law & Order, Martin or Scandal. General Hospital could call me any day. They wouldn’t even have to prep me for the show since I’ve been watching the soap opera for the last 37 years.

Star Trek fans know Kirk and Spock are a great duo. Are there any NBA duos — past or present — that compare to the Kirk-Spock dynamic?
That’s easy, Shaq and Kobe. Shaq is Kirk and Kobe is Spock. And that’s not about who’s No. 1 or No. 2. Kobe is a pragmatist and is introverted. He is a thinking man. Shaq is more fun loving and outgoing and gets along with everyone.

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