Some actors don’t like having their faces hidden behind makeup and prosthetics, but for actor Casey Biggs, working behind the Cardassian makeup was liberating.
According to Biggs, actors don masks of some type anytime they act anyhow. “It was magnificent because you didn’t have to do anything,” he said. “The guy who was my stuntman, he hated the makeup. He couldn’t stand being in it. To me, you’re most free behind a mask, as an actor, anyway. Every role, you put on a mask of some sort, and this is actually almost a literal mask. All you had to do was stand there and trust that you were interesting enough to be paid attention to.”
But the actual process of being made up could be tedious for Biggs. “I did get tired of it at the end, though, of it being four o’clock in the morning and then having three hours of makeup applied,” he said. “It was very exciting and interesting at the beginning, but by the fifth year it was, ‘OK, let’s get this over with.'”
Biggs was able to avoid that long preparation time in the makeup chair when he played a human character, Dr. Wykoff, on Deep Space Nine. “That was [the producers’] idea,” he said. “I think they honored me by doing that, because they could have hired another actor. But I got to play Damar and Dr. Wykoff in the same episode, which was great. It’s like what they did with Jeff (Combs). I finally said, ‘Jeff, just let other actors play some parts, too, will you?’ He was playing Brunt and the Weyouns and the blue guy, whatever his name was. Same thing with Vaughn Armstrong. He played like five hundred characters.”
Still acting as seen recently in Shameless, Biggs has branched out a bit since his Star Trek days. “I just directed a really great production of The Elephant Man down in Richmond, Virginia,” he said. “I teach at the Master’s program at the New School for Drama (in New York City). I teach directing and classical acting. In October, I directed Henry VI, Parts 1, 2 and 3 at the New School.”
Biggs is also involved in the Enterprise Blues Band. “I’m still doing the Enterprise Blues Band,” he said. “They want us to play in Europe, but the problem is that all the guys live in L.A. and I live out here. Trying to get together and rehearse and put together gigs around Europe, that’s a very complex thing, but it’s a whole lot of fun when we play. That’s me and Vaughn Armstrong and Steve Rankin (plus Richard Herd, Ronald B. Moore and William Jones). So, I’m bi-coastal and very busy.”