Deep Space Nine fans know Max Grodenchik as the loveable Rom, but the actor first tried out for the part of Quark.
Grodenchik was told of the audition by his makeup supervisor, Mike Westmore, while the actor was working on The Next Generation‘s The Perfect Mate.
His first audition for the role wasn’t what Grodenchik wanted it to be. “I did the audition, left there feeling terrible about what I did and went home,” he said. “There were a lot of actors there that day, the place was pretty crowded. Anyway, thought I’d never hear from them again and after a few days I forgot about it.”
But Grodenchik was called back for another interview. “Three weeks later I got called in again,” he said. “I really worked on trying to be good. I think I was even worse than the first time. And now this time there’s not many actors there. There was quiet and tension, like they’re whittling it down to semi-final or final choices. I was pretty upset, but what could I do about it? I felt they gave me a real fair shot.”
Just outside of the Paramount Gower Street gate, he met up with Armin Shimerman, who cheered him up after the disappointing second audition. “I said that I felt like I’d just blown a series regular role and it was such a good opportunity, it was for a new Star Trek series,” said Grodenchik. “So by this time Armin’s sitting on the steps, too, sitting next to me, and he says, ‘I know, I saw you in there,’ meaning he’d read for the series as well. He said that he felt he’d read pretty badly, too. Then he said, ‘but here’s the good news: it’s between only you and me for the role.'”
Grodenchik asked, “How do you know that; that it’s between you and me for the role?”
“And he said, ‘Well, we were the only two short people there.’ And the simple logic of his answer floored me,” said Grodenchik. “And, as I’ve said many times before, that was my introduction to the wisdom of Armin Shimerman.”
While Grodenchik, as feared, didn’t get the Quark role, he did eventually get the role of Rom.
Grodenchik currently lives in Austria, where he and his Austrian-born wife are raising their baby daughter.