Trek Stars Speak In AOL Chat MarathonBy Caillan
November 23, 2001 - 1:13 PM
Earlier this week, AOL and TNN joined up to bring fans the 'Ultimate Star Trek Chat Marathon' featuring a host of stars from the various Trek series.
Courtesy of Cyfy Pulse, transcripts have been made available to non-AOL members, highlights of which can be found below.
The Original Series
The only major Original Series cast member to take part, Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov) talked about an upcoming film project he is currently working on. "[There's] a screenplay that I wrote, called 'An Illegal Alien,' that I am developing into a future film," he said. "It certainly looks promising. I am very excited about it and going forward with it. I believe it will be a very provocative film. It will be a spring board but also a very powerful tale about humans relating to each other."
The actor was also asked about his favourite Star Trek moments. "Well 'The Voyage Home' was hands-down the most rewarding experience I had with Star Trek," Koenig said. "I thought the story was extremely well structured and formed. The dialogue written for my character was indigenous to my character. Chekov was the only person who could have said those lines. The picture made a social statement that was topical. The preservation of life and environment. To this date, it is still the most successful film in the domestic market. It was a crossover film, meaning the general public [and] the science fiction audience, embraced the picture. For these reasons, I will always cherish the experience."
Two Original Series-era guest actors, Sally Kellerman (Elizabeth Dehner) and Stephen Collins (Willard Decker) were full of praise for the cast and crew. "It was so much fun," Kellerman said. "Because none of us knew what is was about, I certainly didn't. I hadn't ever done anything like that. I was always kinda chubby, so the powder blue shirts and such wasn't great and I didn't think Bill [Shatner] was thrilled either. I adore Bill Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Leonard directed me in a play before that so I knew him already. There were a lot of funny things that happened on the set."
Collins was asked whether he had any souvenirs from the filming of 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture.' "I have a great one," he replied. "It's a old Yuban coffee can that Leanard's make-up man, Fred Phillips, used to keep Leanard's used ears. It's labelled 'L Nimoy - Ears, Used.' Someday I'll sell it on eBay to put my kids through college."
The Next Generation
With the advent of what could possibly be their last feature film, the cast of The Next Generation were in a philosophical frame of mind about their Trek experiences.
"Everything in life is a double-edged sword," said Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher). "Star Trek is a perfect example of something that has wonderful, wonderful positive benefits and also some baggage, for lack of a better term. Star Trek is so successful that it gives you as an actor the ability to reach just a gazillion people. And because so many people watch it so feverishly they can be unwilling to let go of the way they have perceived you on the show.
"So while Star Trek gets you a lot of notoriety and it's really cool to be part of something as phenomenal and as iconic as Star Trek, it can actually be a detriment and as an actor now, my career on Star Trek definitely helps get me into auditions because a lot of people know it. But I have to work twice as hard as the flavour of the month sitting next to me because everyone thinks they know me and everyone has a preconception of me based on the character I play."
Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), soon to embark on filming for 'Star Trek: Nemesis,' said that the cast was concentrating on making the film as good as possible. "We really don't know about anymore Next Gen movies," she said. "We have a deal for the first three. So we had to do three. But every movie now, in the future has to be negotiated separately. It's going to be difficult, I think, to get us all together. So I'm not sure there will be another movie with all of us in it. I don't know. It's all up in the air right now. And I don't think anyone is thinking about future movies. They are just concentrating on the one right now."
The actress wasn't at liberty to divulge any of the movie's plot details, though. "I can't tell you. I can't! I have been sworn to secrecy. In fact I talked into the movie publicist today and she threatened me if I divulged anything and I'm sure he's on line checking on me, making sure I don't give away any secrets."
Although she left the cast of TNG in season one, Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar) is still very much involved in Trek fandom. The actress spoke enthusiastically about the recent 'Trekkies' documentary she produced. "I loved making Trekkies," she said. "That movie was my baby. So it was one of the most fulfilling things I have done in my career so far. I was well aware of how widespread Star Trek fans are, and how many there are. I just wanted to make the world aware."
There might even be a second film in the works. "We are putting together ideas for a sequel," Crosby added. "One of the aspects if we do that will be on the foreign fandoms."
James Cromwell (Zephram Cochrane) was asked why his recent cameo in the Enterprise premiere was so brief. "Because he was dead! I was a hologram and there's only so much you think you will want to say to future generations - that's not true. I think it was just an effort to create a continuity and background and a context for that show. And it was fun. It's always fun to do them."
The Voyager crew ended their Trek through the Delta Quadrant this May, but that doesn't mean the cast have had much time for a rest.
Robert Picardo (The Holodoc) is currently shooting a guest role on Frasier. "I am playing John Mahoney's new boss at a security company that he works for part-time," he said. "I did see Brannon Braga two days ago at [as] he came to visit me at the 'Frasier' soundstage. And it was an absolute pleasure to see him. And he apparently has been singing my praises to the 'Frasier' producers. Even though he adamantly refuses to praise me to my face."
But appearing on the long-running comedy series paled in comparison to Picardo's recent gameshow gig. "I reached a career peak by appearing on the 'Weakest Link: The Star Trek Reunion Show,'" the actor quipped. "[It] will air one week from tonight on NBC at 8PM. I was a pretty sturdy link, but I can say no more."
One castmember who will soon return to the Trek fold is Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway), who has a small role in 'Star Trek: Nemesis.' "It appears I am going to be in the next Star Trek movie," the actress said. "In which happily I will be ordering Captain Picard about."
But Mulgrew was coy about revealing too many details. "I have not read the script or received it, I don't know what I'm doing in this movie."
The actress praised her fans and thanked them for their support over the years. "I very much like to interact with the people who are so passionate about Star Trek," she said. "They fascinate me. And in fact, they lift me up. And as for signing autographs, I can believe it can be fairly stated that I have left no one unsigned."
Sharon Lawrence, who guest-starred in 'The 37s' as aviator Amelia Earhart, cited Mulgrew as one of the principal pleasures of appearing on the series. "Well, the most exciting part of that job for me, besides the honour of playing a version of Amelia Earhart, but also working with an actress who I have admired for many years. Kate Mulgrew is someone who I watched during Ryan's Hope days. And I always was drawn to the strengths she gave her characters. And I remember spending as much time getting to know Kate and picking her brain about those years, as I do actual time spent acting."
Details of the chat with Enterprise star Anthony Montgomery, in which he talked about working on a 22nd century series, can be found here.
The original transcripts are available at Cyfy Pulse.