Boehmer Filmed 'Zero Hour' In Absolute SecrecyBy Christian
October 10, 2004 - 9:00 AM
See Also: 'Zero Hour' Episode Guide
After J. Paul Boehmer signed on to play a Nazi officer in Enterprise's "Zero Hour," he was surprised to find out the security precautions taken by the producers rivaled those in a real war.
"It was really interesting, because it was the first time that I hadn't received a full Star Trek script in the time I'd been working with them," frequent Trek guest actor Boehmer told the official site. "I just received my pages, with a big notice on the front saying 'Absolute Secret,' don't show it to anybody, and all the ramifications if I did. Brannon [Braga] and Rick [Berman] were both very concerned about who was on the soundstage when we were shooting that, [so] it felt like a high government, Mission: Impossible kind of work doing that."
Boehmer reprised his role as Nazi officer for "Storm Front, Part One" and next week's conclusion, but as he was about to start filming on those episodes, he still had no idea what had actually happened in the series finale. "I didn't get to see 'Zero Hour.' I was doing a production of a play called Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard, who also wrote the screenplay for Shakespeare in Love. So I was doing that with a company called TheatreWorks in Palo ALto when 'Zero Hour' was on, so I don't know, still to this day, what the episode was about, or what the scene I was in meant. I knew it was the last scene of the final episode of the season, and perhaps of the series, but I don't know anything about that episode at all."
Prior to "Zero Hour," Boehmer already had some experience playing Trek nazis, as he played the Captain in Voyager's "The Killing Game". He also appeared as One in Voyager's "Drone", Vornar in DS9's "Tacking Into The Wind", and the stranded Vulcan Mestral in "Carbon Creek," as well as doing some voiceover work on Trek computer games. "The most fun I've had has playing One and Mestral both," Boehmer said. "One because the Borg are such an interesting villain, and also because he not a typical average mean-guy Borg. He had to be matured and nurtured by the crew, and really kind of claim who he was throughout the episode, so it left it open to a lot of possiblity. It lent itself to some humanity, [and] because Star Trek historically has expanded the envelope of so many things, to see them [do that] with their main villain, that was really exciting to be a part of."
As for Mestral, playing a Vulcan made perfect sense for self-described Trek geek Boehmer. "I grew up on Star Trek and the wonderful archetype that Leonard Nimoy was able to create with that, and so it was fun as an actor to try harping back to what that was."
In the full video interview, running close to 20 minutes, Boehmer discusses how he first was cast on Star Trek, the friendships he developed with Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) and Jolene Blalock (T'Pol), and much more. Click here to watch the interview.