Star Trek: Feature: 50 for 50 (Part 10)

Star Trek 50Five decades of Star Trek through the eyes of 50 actors


In the week of the 50th anniversary of the first screening of Star Trek’s first episode, Nick Joy takes a personal look back at 50 of his Star Trek interviews in the final instalment of this ten-part feature…


 kim-1Name:  Garrett Wang

Key Star Trek credentials: ‘Harry Kim’ (VOY)

Original interview: February 2007, SF Ball, Bournemouth

Quote… Unquote: “Some people accuse Harry of being emotionless. Well, we were all told that the actors playing human characters on the show were required to downplay their roles. Why? Because it would make the aliens look more realistic! Can you believe that? And if we tried to sneak in some added emotion they’d make us re-shoot it.”

“I got the paid the same if I was central to the episode or just spouting out ‘shields down to 30%’! Hey, I was getting paid more per word than many of the others!”

“I made my intentions clear. I wanted to direct a show. It never happened. I have no doubts that the chance will come in another project, but I genuinely believe that I would have delivered a superior best first directing job of any of the Voyager cast. Yes, I’m disappointed that it never happened on Voyager… It happens.”

kim-2Ouch!: “Janeway is the first female starship captain in Star Trek history and Kate felt that being a woman captain is one step forward for womankind everywhere. But with the arrival of Seven of Nine in her tight silver cat suit she went ‘Wait a minute, that’s two steps backwards!’ It’s also the older woman vs. younger woman thing. It became quite difficult going to work when they were working together.”

Star Trek fatigue: You know, I lived, slept and ate Star Trek for seven years –literally. We were always on call, so I never had any real time for vacations or holiday. It was work work work work work work. Frankly, I’m just surprised that my hair isn’t completely grey at this point!”






neelix-1Name:  Ethan Phillips

Key Star Trek credentials: ‘Neelix’ (VOY), ‘Ulis’ (ENT), Holodeck Nightclub Maître d’ (First Contact)

Original interview: February 1999, SF Ball, Bournemouth

Quote… Unquote: “The writers have been stimulated by the arrival of Jeri Ryan and that’s an achievement when considering how many episodes have already been written to date. If you had Seven of Nine or me in a room, who would you rather look at? She’s good for the show and anything that’s good for the show is good for all of us.”

“Let’s face it, I’m not the star of the show, but I’m an integral part of the crew. I can’t expect more than one or two shows a year. We do 26 shows a year, there’s nine regulars, two or three of whom who get more than their share because they are so popular, and then some shows are focused on the guest stars.”

On whether Voyager will return to Earth: “He wouldn’t give a damn if they went to Earth or Mars, he’ll go where they go. He has no investment in Earth, but he does have an investment in the crew. Of course, when he does get to Earth, everyone will disperse and he’ll be stranded there. What will he do? Perhaps he’ll become a writer for a sci-fi television show?”

neelix-2LOL: “Neelix has seen a lot of exotic women in his travels. He used to stay on a planet called Tititia which is a planet inhabited by people who all look like Seven of Nine. It’s a planet of supermodels and all the women that model clothing in the Delta Quadrant live on this planet and Neelix lived there for months as the resident stud. So, he’s not that impressed by Seven of Nine.”

“The English fans are a lot more respectful of your privacy. They let you be. In America they stalk you with pig’s penises and stuff.”

Hindsight is 20/20: On prosthetics: “It gets worse. Rick Berman told me that when I first put it on. I said to him in the first year that this isn’t too bad and he said, ‘Oh yeah? Tell me again in five years’ time.’ He was right, it gets worse and worse. When I get a big show I can be wearing that make-up for 21 hours in a day, you tear that shit off by the end and stuff it down the make-up man’s throat after about 5 hours.”

Ouch!: “You’ve got so say everything exactly the way that it is written in the script. They get really pissed if you don’t. They treat it like it’s the First Folio of Shakespeare, every damn line is treated with that reverence.”


travis-1Name: Anthony Montgomery

Key Star Trek credentials: ‘Travis Mayweather’ (ENT)

Original interview:  October 2003, by phone from LA

Quote… Unquote: “[Travis] was a great kid and did his job well, but it’s time to break him out of that ‘good guy’ shell. I’ll be interested to see how my ideas get translated to the screen.”

“I definitely want to see more of an edge. Everybody has another side to their character and we haven’t seen Travis’ flip side in the first two seasons. It makes a difference for the cast that instead of just an exploratory mission we’re on a mission to save mankind.”

travis-2Ouch!: “Whether the fault was with the acting, writing, the visuals, whatever, we weren’t connecting in a way the previous shows in the franchise did. To those who aren’t decided about the new look – please come back! Just give it a chance.”

Hindsight is 20/20: “God willing, we’ll be around for the full seven years, but we all know that this is a business and nothing is guaranteed. For my part, I want to continue to get the word out about the series and bring us back to the prominence that the executives want.”

Anniversaries: “This franchise has been around for 35 years and in my heart of hearts I think it’s going to be around for another 35.”




pierpoint-1Name:  Eric Pierpoint

Key Star Trek credentials: ‘Voval’ (TNG), ‘Sanders’ (DS9), ‘Kortar’ (VOY), ‘Harris’/ ‘Shiraht’ (ENT)

Original interview: August 2005, by phone from LA

Quote… Unquote: “Playing a Klingon was something I had to do. It’s such a great historical character. When I put on all that stuff – the make-up and the costume – I lost myself completely. Eric Pierpoint ceased to exist and I created a new character from the toes up.”

“I was seen for the Riker character… but that went to Jonathan Frakes. Then… I was one of the people on the list if Avery Brooks hadn’t taken the role of Sisko. And, finally, when it looked like things weren’t working out for Genevieve Bujold on Voyager I was on the list if they couldn’t find an appropriate female captain. Then, when they chose Kate Mulgrew, I was asked if I would play her husband, but I didn’t take that.”

“It was also a special thing for me to appear on Star Trek because I had fond memories of watching it in high school on this little TV. I was that 20-year-old fan who said ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to be on that show.’”

pioerpoint-2“I’ve been a captain, a hunter, a spy, a Klingon and an ambassador of love. What a range! I’m part of part of a huge family of Star Trek guest actors, who will be proud to feature these appearances on their CVs for a long time. I just wish I was old enough to have been on the original show – then I could have been on all of them.”

LOL: “It’s always to fun to see your friends wearing some sort of funny head and how they adjust to the make-up. I don’t know how long it takes for [Alien Nation co-star Gary Graham] to put his Vulcan ears on, but it’s fair play as far as I’m concerned. I just wish they’d covered him up completely… see how he felt about that!”



Name:  Tom Hardy (Whatever happened to him?) 

hardy-1Key Star Trek credentials: Shinzon (Nemesis)

Original interview: October 2002, Back of a moving cab, London

Quote… Unquote: “I get to see my [Art Asylum] action figure for the first time. It’s every boy’s dream. In fact, one of my friends has just given me a Reservoir Dogs figure of Steve Buscemi’s character and said, ‘When your character comes out, they can fight each other in the bath’. Of course, my mum wants one too.”

“You never know what you’re going to get when you work with someone fantastic like Patrick Stewart. You do your homework, go out there and play the game. I felt very nervous most of the time, and it was formidable working with him.”

“When I heard that I was auditioning to play his clone, I wondered whether I could actually look like him. But with the prosthetics it started to become more feasible, and looked like it could actually work. I actually started off with a gelatine nose, but it would swell, and after three hours I’d end up looking like an Irish thug.”

hardy-2LOL: “I said to [Rick Berman], ‘Because I’m a clone, do you think you might need me again after this? I could pop back as a young Picard in Starfleet Academy’. But he said, ‘No Tom, we’ve had enough of you.’ I think it could be the final journey for me!”

Ouch!: “I have a knife fight with poor old Mr Stewart, but I couldn’t see him, and so I actually ‘stabbed’ him by accident in one take. It would have been terrible if I’d come all this way and killed Patrick for real. Thank God for rubber knives!”

Hindsight is 20/20: “This is the first time I’ve ever done something so massive on my own, and it’s been a bit of an eye-opener. The teasers are starting to pop up all over the place, and that’s very exciting. It’s a special moment in my life, and even if the Heavens fall now, then at least I know I was on a poster once.” History shows that the Heavens have, as yet, not fallen for Mr Hardy!




Part 1: Leonard Nimoy, LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden Alexander Siddig, Robert O’Reilly

Part 2: Robert Beltran, Robert Duncan O’Neill, Mark Allen Shepherd, Peter Weller, Connor Trineer

Part 3: Patrick Stewart, John de Lancie, Carolyn Seymour, Casey Biggs, Brian Thompson

Part 4: Kate Mulgrew, Armin Shimerman, John Billingsley, J Paul Boehmer, John Fleck

Part 5: Jonathan Frakes, Robert Picardo, Dominic Keating, Vaughn Armstrong, Nicole deBoer

Part 6: George Takei, Colm Meaney, Jeffrey Coombs, Max Grodenchik, Chase Masterson

Part 7: Brent Spiner, Nana Visitor, Marc Alaimo, Aron Eisenberg, Roxann Dawson

Part 8: Michael Dorn, Tim Russ, Linda Park, Harry Groener, Denise Crosby

Part 9: Nichelle Nichols, Marina Sirtis, Andrew Robinson, Tony Todd, Louise Fletcher


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