John de Lancie explained what he liked about his The Next Generation character Q, and what he felt worked best for the character.
De Lancie put his own particular brand on the character beginning in the pilot. “…The only place that [director] Corey [Allen] and I had a difference of opinion … is that Corey wanted Q to be straighter than I thought he should be.”
“I always felt that Q was more of a god, an omnipotent being with clay feet,” said de Lancie. “No, sorry – an omnipotent being who was too stupid to know it! Or, a god with clay feet. Or, a supremely confident person who privately was really insecure. Those were the things that I thought were … and because I got a second chance, you began to see it later on.”
De Lancie preferred that viewers were never quite sure just what Q was, or what to expect from him. “Well I prefer them both [the threatening menacing Q and the comic-relief type Q],” he said. “I don’t think that there is one element that defines him. What I tried to do was fracture all of that so that you were never quite sure. You know the lines might say ‘I love you’, but you can say it in a way where the other person gets an unpleasant chill down their spine. So it’s just to make sure that all of the colors – you know, all of the colors of the rainbow were open to … and it just made him unpredictable. You’re just never quite sure – he seemed to be nice, but wait a minute – you know what, I don’t know! You just can never settle with the character. You’re never quite sure. So if you were sure that he were always mean-spirited or evil as some people would say: ‘You know he was always evil! He was evil wasn’t he?’ The answer is no! Then you just get a cardboard character of him.”
These days, de Lancie is involved in other projects, including a Brony documentary. “Right now I’m doing something which is particularly strange,” he said. “I’m doing a documentary on ‘Bronies.’
“I’m really excited about that, I think it’s going to be really terrific.”