A regal Maine Coon is the newest cast member of CBS’ Star Trek: Discovery, continuing the proud tradition of felines serving aboard Starfleet vessels throughout the franchise’s half century of existence.
Leeu, an 18-pound fluffster, will play Grudge, the feline companion to David Ajala’s new character, Cleveland Booker. Science fiction fans may remember Ajala from his excellent performances in 2016’s Kill Command, about a military AI gone rogue, and Captain Roy Eris in 2018’s Nightflyers, which was based on a short story by George R.R. Martin.
“We put out a casting call for a large cat … and he fit the bill. So far he seems to be a one-take wonder,” said Leslie Lawrence, one of Leeu’s trainers.
For Discovery’s crew, getting a solid acting performance out of Leeu isn’t much different than a photographer getting a cat to pose for a picture.
“Everybody says that their cat can make a good set cat,” Lawrence said. “But it does take a specific animal to be able to stay cool and calm and collected, because when cats are done, they’re done.”
Find out more about Grudge in the video below: