Horan Reveals Face Behind Future GuyBy Michelle
June 22, 2005 - 4:15 PM
It should be no surprise to fans to learn the title of the favourite original series episode of James Horan, who played several powerful aliens over several Star Trek series as well as an Immortal on Highlander: it's "Who Mourns For Adonais", the episode with the mighty immortal Apollo.
"I do think Star Trek does provide those positive role-models," Horan told StarTrek.com. "I think that's why it occupies such a place in television history and will probably always be there in one form or another. I think that the success of all the series has shown that there's a hunger for that sort of — not only escapism, but a hopeful vision of the future. There are always these heroes that are part of the crew in whatever situation they find themselves."
Horan's first experience with Star Trek was an episode of The Next Generation, Jo'Bril in "Suspicions". He went on to play Lieutenant Barnaby in "Descent, Part II", Ikat'ika in Deep Space Nine's "In Purgatory's Shadow" and "By Inferno's Light", Tosin in Voyager's "Fair Trade", and most famously the mysterious shadowy figure in several Enterprise Suliban episodes, known among fans as "Future Guy."
"The character is sort of made for you when you're wearing that mask," he said of creating his prosthetic-heavy first role, "It's like acting in a mask. It goes back to the ancient roots of drama, where people did put on masks and it evoked a spirit that came through the actor." When he played a Jem'Hadar on Deep Space Nine, he added, he did not know much about the species and did some research watching earlier episodes, "but it still is true that the character comes through you when you're wearing a mask. You don't have to find it as much as you do when you're playing a human or yourself."
Ikat'ika ended up being the role which interested him the most, because over the course of the two-parter the character had a great deal of growth, finally sacrificing himself rather than killing Worf because his core beliefs had been challenged. When he played Tosin, however, he found a different challenge altogether. "The Kolaati was interest[ing] because as they're putting it on me they go, 'You don't have a problem not breathing through your nose, do you?'" he related. "'No, I guess not.' But fourteen hours later, of course, I was going, 'Man, I have a problem with this.'"
On Enterprise, Horan wore a jumpsuit with his hair pulled back, an easier costume to deal with. "What you see is a shadowy figure that they do behind a blue-screen, or a green-screen, and then they do a ripple effect, like he's coming from the future through some kind of big force that's bringing him back into the past. Then I'm just using my voice but they electronically alter it to sound spooky," he noted.
Having read for the role of Riker during auditions, he lamented that it "would have been a lot of fun to have been a part of that show" and named Patrick Stewart as his favourite Star Trek captain. "The fact that he had such a striking look, so commanding — such a commanding presence. He was wonderful."
For more, including Horan's feelings about conventions, see the original article at StarTrek.com.