Manu Intiraymi shares his memories of his favorite Star Trek: Voyager episode.
Giving his best performance in Imperfection meant working himself up to get ready for his emotional scene with the EMH and Captain Janeway.
Star Trek Magazine #25 is on sale at newsstands now and included in this issue is an interview with Manu Intiraymi, who played Icheb, a young former Borg. Intiraymi described the challenges and thrills of working on the seventh season episode in which Seven of Nine’s life is in danger and Icheb is desperate to save her.
“There was an intense conflict in this story and some intense acting as well,” explained Intiraymi. “Near the end of the episode, Icheb disengages his cortical node and is dying. At the same time, he’s yelling at the Doctor, Captain Janeway and Seven to give his node to Seven.
“All these emotions are going on inside me, and [as the character] I’m thinking, ‘Am I going to die? Why won’t these people listen to me? I know I can save Seven.”
Preparing for the role was different for Intiraymi as he needed to be more emotional than usual. “It was the only time during my Star Trek experience that I had to walk off to the side of the set before we began to do that scene and really build myself up emotionally and convince myself that I was dying,” said Intiraymi. “It was the one time when I really had to act. Of course, in the other episodes I was acting, but here I had to yell, cry, scream and maintain that emotional intensity for take after take and keep it fresh for that scene. It was really difficult, but extremely fulfilling as well for me as an actor.”
In addition to being extremely fulfilling as an actor, Intiraymi was paid a compliment by someone he admired. “And the best thing that happened to me with this episode had to do with Robert Picardo,” he said. “I’d looked up to him for quite a while and it’s a kid’s dream to come to Hollywood and work with someone like him. After we shot that scene, Robert came up to me and said, ‘Because we’ve been doing this for so long, we’ve got it down and things don’t seem as new. Every once in a while, though, a guest star comes along who’s good and who wakes us up. And you’re a good actor, kid.’ My heart jumped. To get a compliment about your acting skills from someone as talented as Robert is a total thrill. So that episode was definitely a big plus for my soul, my career, everything.”