Among other things, Joshua Jackson has spent the last five seasons running around on Fox’s Fringe, solving outlandish mysteries, battling invaders from the future, and occasionally being blinked out of existence. However, Jackson almost appeared in another Abrams project, a little thing called Star Trek.
According to an interview with TV Guide, Jackson auditioned not only for the role of Captain James Tiberius Kirk, but also for Leonard “Bones” McCoy. Obviously he didn’t get either of those roles—they went to Chris Pine and Karl Urban, respectively—but the try-out was enough to get Abrams’ attention. As it turns out, he was also in the process of casting the role of Peter Bishop in Fringe. The rest, as they say, is history.
Here’s what Jackson has to say on the matter:
I had gone out for Star Trek. I had gone and auditioned for both Kirk and Bones and maybe that was the thing that put me into their mind. Knowing J.J. peripherally long before that—I am really close friends with a guy named Scott Foley, who was in Felicity—so I just happened to be there right around the beginning of J.J.’s TV career. I’d known him off and on through all those years so I think maybe he already had a pretty good idea of who I was.
Not only is Jackson great as the reformed con man, but extra points for the Felicity reference. How often we forget that before Lost, before Trek, Abrams brought that into the world.
Can you imagine Jackson in either one of those iconic Star Trek roles? Didn’t think so. But at the same time, can you imagine anyone else playing Peter Bishop for the last five seasons? Neither can I. Jackson took that part and owned it completely. Things turned out pretty okay in this situation.
Fringe finishes up its five-year run this Friday, January 18th, with back-to-back episodes.