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ETHAN PECK DIDN’T EVEN know what he was auditioning for that day. The handsome, broad-shouldered actor, 33, grew up in Los Angeles, the descendant of some pretty heady Hollywood lineage—he’s the grandson of Oscar-winning legend Gregory Peck—and was already a showbiz veteran, working steadily since about the age of 9, snagging parts in That ’70s Show and 10 Things I Hate About You.

But at the time of this mystery audition, he’d begun to harbor serious doubts about continuing his acting career. Still, when his manager encouraged him to send in a taped audition for a new character on a show that couldn’t be revealed to him, he did so. The dialogue he read didn’t give much of a clue. “The scenes were really abstract—an alien in a cave who was kind of losing its mind and speaking in tongues,” Peck remembers. A callback followed. And then another one. Around this time, it was becoming clear to Peck what role he was up for: none other than the legendary Vulcan, Spock, for the second season of CBS All Access’ hit show .

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