Weyoun Was Undiscovered Territory, Says CombsBy Caillan
July 7, 2001 - 7:01 AM
Although there had been other Vorta before his arrival, it was Jeffrey Combs who put a stamp on the race with his portrayal of the cunning Weyoun.
"It was undiscovered territory for me, and for everybody else," Combs said in a question and answer session at the official site. "No one had any idea who these things were and how to play them. So it was up to me, and the writers to give me the words and the situations to fill it out."
In order to play the wily Vorta, Combs turned to his theatrical training. "What I drew on was some of my experience doing period pieces in theatre and sort of that whole court etiquette and gracefulness," he said. "Also, when I finally got into the make-up I thought that there was a very Japanese elegance about him as well, which sort of fit in with the silky diplomat idea. That whole gesture Weyoun does where he opens his hand out, that all came out of that idea too — I'm open, I'm at your service, I have no weapons, I supplicate myself. It was sort of instinctual. I was trying to capture that court intrigue, the snake behind the throne. With elegance, serenity and honesty."
Although Combs loved to play the villain, he cited 'Treachery, Faith And The Great River' as his favourite episode because it allowed him to delve deeper into the character. "It gave me theopportunity to play not one, but two versions of Weyoun — a supposedly defective Weyoun who wants to defect, and the latest creation of Weyoun, who is the very faithful pursuer of the Founders' high ideals, i.e. he's ruthless and conniving," he said. "They were on screen together having conversations with each other and I wanted to colour them just slightly different. They are the same person, just slightly different. That, to me, was a big challenge. I had to keep my wits about me, and my concentration."
During the question and answer, Combs was asked whether he liked playing "the character everyone loves to hate." In reply, he said that "I think it's because they don't compromise, and you and me and everyone who's reading this, we compromise big and little every day of our lives. We fantasize about what it would be like to be in a position where we didn't have to do that and we get rivetted by these characters who seem in control and are not easily flustered. It's fun to play people who are completely poised."
The full Q&A, in which Combs also talked about working with the other DS9 actors, his make-up, and the character of Brunt, can be found here.