How Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell Are Making Their Kids 'Star Trek' Fans

Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell star in separate series in the Star Trek franchise

Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell
Photo: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

After 17 years together, Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell's union just hit a new peak — at least, as far as they're concerned.

The two longtime Star Trek fans are now separately regular cast members of two streaming series in the venerable sci-fi franchise.

"It's really maybe the sweetest thing that's happened since, I guess, having kids or our wedding day," O'Connell, 47, tells PEOPLE alongside his wife, 48, on the red carpet for the second annual Star Trek Day event in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Along with revealing news about the Paramount+ franchise's latest installments, the day also served as a celebration of the 55th anniversary of the first network broadcast of Star Trek on Sept. 8, 1966.

Romijn first joined the Star Trek family in 2019 on Star Trek: Discovery, playing Number One, the enigmatic first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise in the era before Capt. James T. Kirk took command — a role she'll reprise for the upcoming spin-off series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

O'Connell was next to beam up in 2020, voicing the brash Commander Jack Ransom for the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks, the second season of which premiered on Paramount+ last month.

But their Trek roots span further back. "I was a part of the fandom before I even became a part of the family — I was Trekkie as a child," reveals Romijn. "My mom introduced me to the original series. It was on in reruns, and I watched it every evening with my mom."

"Getting to step onto the bridge of the Enterprise was a very emotional experience," says the model turned actress, noting that she was taking on a role that appeared only once in the original series, played by actress Majel Barrett, later the wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. "And then getting to flesh out this character that was introduced over 50 years ago for the first time has also been a really special experience."

"I have to tell you, I love my family, but I'm the farthest thing from royalty," admits O'Connell, whose connection to Star Trek spans back to when his close friend and Stand By Me co-star Wil Wheaton joined Star Trek: The Next Generation over three decades ago.

"But Rebecca and I being sort of a Starfleet couple — it's the closest we'll ever get to royalty!" he adds. "It's the closest I'll ever get to really belonging to a movement, a lifestyle. It's an absolute honor."

"It's hilarious: we both play second-in-command on our respective ships. We're both 'Number Ones,' " Romijn says with a laugh.

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The couple, who began dating in 2004 and wed in 2007, are also quietly hoping their shared Trek fandom will filter down to their 12-year-old twin daughters, Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip.

"It's been an education for them, for sure," admits Romijn. "Because as soon as we launched into Strange New Worlds, we had the original series on every single night. And so yes, the girls had been sitting there watching it with us and getting to know what's what, and who's who, and yeah, they're fans now."

"They're very excited about Spock!" Romijn says, noting her daughters' particular interest in her co-star Ethan Peck, who plays the role of a young Mr. Spock, the iconic Vulcan character originated by Leonard Nimoy. "They love them some Ethan Peck, that's for sure!"

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