Frakes On ‘Leverage’

TNT heist show will feature two ‘Star Trek’ actor guest spots. Leverage, the TNT show about a team of Robin Hood-like thieves, hackers and grifters, will feature a Star Trek: The Next Generation star as well as one from Star Trek: Voyager in guest roles next week.

As reported by, The Next Generation’s Brent Spiner (Data) will have a guest role very different from that of Riker, while Deep Space Nine’s Armin Shimerman (Quark) will be a corrupt doctor in next weeks Leverage: The Juror #6 Job episode. “That was my idea,” explained Frakes. “I asked [Producer] Dean [Devlin] if I could offer it to Brent, and he was already big fan of Brent’s because he used him in ‘Independence Day.’ And I suggested to the casting director to offer [the corrupt doctor] to Armin and why don’t we give [Armin’s wife] Kitty [Swink] the judge, she also had a recurring role on DS9. Everyone signed off on it. These are wonderful actors who just happened to be on ‘Star Trek.’ And this interview is a perfect example of what happens, the bloodlines from ‘Star Trek’ to ‘Leverage’ are connected and I think that is interesting for people. It will be great for Data fans and fans of Brent to see him play a slime-ball sleazy character.”

Frakes is hoping that Leverage is picked up for a second season. He is a fan of heist movies. “I love heist movies,” he said. “‘Leverage’ is influenced by ‘Oceans Eleven’ and [Steven] Soderbergh. Dean established that in the pilot and that is something that we have all maintained as the template, it doesn’t hurt that we have a great cast to work with. The characters are very well defined thanks to [writers] Chris Downey and John Rogers. I think it is a great show.”

Having worked on Star Trek can be both good and bad. The bad is being so well-known for his Riker role, that it becomes hard to find other roles. “I am looking for a[n acting] job,” said Frakes. “It has been good to direct, but, you know ‘Star Trek,’ as you know from talking to all the people from all the shows, is a double-edged sword. It makes you famous and you run the risk of type-casting.”

The Juror #6 Job, directed by Frakes, airs Tuesday, February 10th at 10 P.M.

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