Weller Finds Relevance in a Genre He Doesn't LoveBy Michelle
May 4, 2005 - 10:48 PM
See Also: 'Demons' Episode Guide
Buckaroo Banzai and Robocop star Peter Weller, who appears in the upcoming Star Trek: Enterprise episodes "Demons" and "Terra Prime", admitted that he is not really interested in science fiction and does not consider himself a Trekkie.
"I don't disdain it, but it's not my metier. I like noir thrillers and movies of intimate murder," Weller told StarTrek.com. He accepted the role on Enterprise because executive producer Manny Coto - a friend with whom he had worked on the science fiction series Odyssey 5 - promised him that he could direct two Star Trek episodes during the current series' fifth season, but Enterprise's cancellation has made that promise moot.
"I said, hell, I'll do it anyway, y'know...not just as a favor to Manny. I mean, I'm honored that they asked me to do it, and I had a ball, because the cast is great and the crew is fantastic," Weller said. Coto had told Weller that he wrote the role of John Frederick Paxton for him, even though Weller was "not a big sci-fi guy" by his own admission. He did, however, have additional connections to Star Trek. One of his earliest acting roles, in 1973, was in the play Full Circle with Leonard Nimoy (Spock), who "was like a big brother, like a mentor, man, he was really there for me." And another old friend, LeVar Burton (LaForge), was directing "Demons."
Of the xenophobic character he plays on Enterprise, Weller said, "I play a misunderstood moralist...Paxton has a vision of how survival should be approached, and survival on the Earth means getting rid of all the aliens...because they taint the blood, they threaten the natural selection of humanity." Though Weller himself calls this bigotry - "He's a racist" - he found social relevance to some of the prejudices of contemporary Americans. "It's what makes the universe interesting. On our globe people move. You can regulate it, but you can't stop it. These people don't like cross-breeding and intermarrying and trading ideas, but that's what makes the world groovy."
Weller enjoyed working with the cast, particularly Jolene Blalock (T'Pol), Connor Trinneer (Tucker) and Scott Bakula (Archer), but he found the mood on the set "melancholy" since Enterprise's cancellation had already been announced. Bakula, he said, kept up morale.
"Demons" will air this Friday, May 6th, at 8:00 p.m. The full interview is at StarTrek.com, with more to come in Star Trek Magazine, on sale July 21st in the UK.