Armstrong On Becoming HumanBy Caillan
June 7, 2003 - 12:54 AM
In the fifteen plus years since first appearing as a Klingon in Star Trek: The Next Generation's first season, Vaughn Armstrong's Trek parts have run the gamut of alien races, but he didn't land a human role until Enterprise came along — and even then, he was auditioning to play a Vulcan.
Armstrong, who has portrayed Starfleet's Admiral Forrest in several Enterprise episodes since "Broken Bow", originally tried out for the role of his character's sparring partner, Ambassador Soval. "I was very excited," the actor wrote at TrekNews.de. "I had had a relationship with this company for almost 15 years, since the first season of Next Generation. I wanted this job! I walked into the room and there was Rick Berman and the director of the pilot, James L. Conway.
"Rick welcomed me warmly and then asked, 'How many have you done for us, now, four or five?' At that time the number of characters was 8. A magazine had recently told me that I had set the record for different characters. It was still even a surprise to me. It really surprised them. We all got a big laugh out of it. I read my scene, thanked them very much and went home."
Armstrong didn't get the part of the Vulcan ambassador, but he did finally land his first human Trek role after years of playing Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, ex-Borg and others. "I wasn't home an hour before I got the call from my agent," the actor recalled. "He told me they saw Admiral Forrest the minute I walked in the room. This made me very happy! A human, at last! He's been a pleasure to discover. The more I play this character the more personality I find in him. I hope I'm able to develop him for years to come."
The role of Admiral Forrest has expanded over the past two seasons. Armstrong's character is no longer limited to subspace transmissions, but has been prominently featured in episodes such as "First Flight", which flashed back to the early days of the NX programme, and the second-season finale, "The Expanse".
But that doesn't mean Armstrong is finished with the aliens. "When I got the role of Admiral Forrest I thought the days of varying foreheads were over, but, lo and behold, the powers that be have seen fit to give me two other characters in Enterprise thus far!"
These were the Klingon captain from "Sleeping Dogs" and a Kreetassan in "Vox Sola" and "A Night In Sickbay". Armstrong said he sees "great possibilities" for the latter race on Enterprise. "The make-up for the Kreetassan was incredible. Lots of evolutionary material for me to play with."
The actor said he hopes to take on even more alien roles in Enterprise's third season. "I would love to play a hundred of these characters before I die. And now that they have entered the Expanse, I see great new possibilities! The opportunity to be such a changeling is an incredibly rare event in an actor's life."
Armstrong's complete article, in which he talks about all his Trek guest star parts over the years, can be found in English and German at TrekNews.de.