As Titania in Marvel’s She-Hulk, Jameela Jamil knows a thing or two about playing a larger-than-life villain. But in Star Trek: Prodigy, Jamil’s latest antagonist turned out to be one of the show’s best-kept secrets. As Prodigy Episode 16 reveals the true identity of “The Vindicator,” Jamil caught up with Inverse about playing baddies, her childhood love of Star Trek, and why she’s ready for a Trek-Marvel crossover. Spoilers ahead.
Through some twisting time travel paradoxes, the back half of Prodigy Season 1 has revealed that the Vau N'Akat plot to destroy the Federation has even more players than we thought. Although the Diviner (John Noble) was responsible for placing the destructive “living construct” in the heart of the USS Protostar, Episodes 15 and 16 have revealed that another Vau N'Akat — the Vindicator (Jamil) — was also sent back in time to make sure Starfleet is eradicated.
But as revealed at the end of “Masquerade,” and explored further in “Preludes,” the helpful Trill Starfleet ensign named Asencia has been the Vindicator in disguise. Jameela Jamil tells Inverse that even she didn’t know Asencia had a secret identity when she was hired.
“I had no idea of anything,” Jamil says with a laugh. “I signed on and didn't ask any questions. I just said ‘yes.’ But, when I found out, we had to establish the two voices to make sure that they were very different. I think Americans have a natural desire to make the English accent the villain accent because it sounds inherently more evil and condescending.”
Jamil said that finding the voice for the Vindicator was a bit easier than it was to “establish Ensign Asencia.” She decided to play Asencis as “plucky,” and like a “protégé of Janeway.” This proved challenging when she had to switch between the personas in the same scene.
“There would be moments when I would have to jump between both accents,” Jamil says. “That was so hard. And I was doing it live. I didn’t record them separately. I’m going back and forth between both completely different mindsets and characters in real-time.”
Despite some difficulty in making her dual character a reality, Jamil says that starring in a Star Trek series is a dream come true.
“The Next Generation was my real introduction to it, because of my age. My brother was a huge Trekkie, and we watched [TNG] together,” Jamils says. “So, when I got to meet the Next Generation cast at [New York] Comic-Con, I really let my freak flag fly. It just took me right back to being four or five years old and just losing it.”
“A lot of people can be incredibly jaded in this industry,” she adds. “But, that cast — and pretty much all the Star Trek casts I’ve met — they love it so much. They get it. And they know how much it means to people.”
Now that she’s part of both the Marve Cinematic Universe and the Star Trek Universe, Jamil thinks the link between those fandoms is “passion.”
“I've got to meet both fanbases at the same time,” she says. “And there is a real similarity there. Dedication and intense knowledge. It would be amazing if the two worlds can meet and I got Titania to fight Asencia.”
In 1996 and 1998, Marvel Comics did cross over with the Star Trek universe in a series of comic books (and one novel) in which the X-Men met Kirk and the TOS crew, and later the TNG crew. This was new to Jamil.
“Oh my god, what the f***!?” she says with a laugh. “That’s ridiculous. I think my brain would explode, just pop like a piñata. That’s wild. Wild, but it makes so much sense.”
Can we get her support to make a Marvel-Star Trek crossover happen onscreen? As an actor, Jameela Jamil only has so much power, but as a fan, she’s down to try.
“I’d love that,” she says. “I will do anything I can!”
Star Trek: Prodigy airs new episodes on Thursdays on Paramount+.