Wang Recalls Joys of Filming 'Voyager'By Michelle
August 1, 2007 - 9:57 PM
Garrett Wang (Harry Kim) spoke on a podcast about his fond memories of filming Star Trek: Voyager, where he said the cast got along famously despite a grueling work schedule.
Wang talked to The James Madison Show from Comic-Con in San Diego. "They sold out today, so that means 120,000 people are arriving today. It's a little crazy," he admitted. Wang's parents were hoping that their son would want to be a doctor, he noted, claiming that he could offer them one consolation when he chose to become an actor: "I played one on TV."
Several callers asked whether the Voyager set was really the most fun of the Star Trek series. "When they say it's the most fun, maybe they're referring to the actual chemistry of the cast itself," said Wang. "Everyone on Voyager had their own sense of humor that was different from the next person."
Between takes, he added, there was lots of "messing around, cutting up…I remember in the early days we used to imitate Michael Flatley…" Wang, Robert Beltran (Chakotay), Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris) and Tim Russ (Tuvok) imitated the Irish Riverdance for Kate Mulgrew (Janeway), who is Irish and whom Wang described as "very playful, very funny" in addition to being able to bean him in the head with a wad of duct tape.
One of Wang's most amusing recollections took place on a hot day at Bronson Caves, where the cast was filming an episode on location during an early season. "Everyone was complaining," he recalled. "Neelix - Ethan Phillips - was the only one who was quiet." But after 20 minutes of listening to the others, said Wang, "He had a nervous breakdown. He started screaming at the rest of us, 'SHUT UP! SHUT UP! NONE OF YOU HAVE TO WEAR A MATTRESS ON TOP OF YOUR HEAD!'" And while Phillips was yelling, Neelix's teeth came flying out of his mouth. "That was one of the funnier moments on Voyager for me."
Though McNeill was closer to his own age, Wang spent more time hanging out with Beltran because McNeill had young children to whom he was always in a hurry to return. "It ended up being Chakotay and Kim as opposed to Paris and Kim," Wang recalled.
Asked whether he remembered how to move his hands to pilot Voyager, Wang said that he related to the character Laredo in Galaxy Quest who didn't remember how he actually moved his hands to do things like raising the shields. "One day it would be a Christmas tree," Wang laughed of the pattern, the only one he could recall.
Despite his enjoyment of Voyager, Wang remains a theatre actor first, saying that he finds it more gratifying even if it doesn't pay as well as film or television. "You might come in Monday and film the last scene of an episode, and then Tuesday you film the first scene...with a play, it's almost like surfing, once you catch the wave," he explained.
The full interview is at The James Madison Show.