McNeill On Missing Regular Paycheck

By Christian
June 4, 2001 - 11:02 PM

Over the past months, many Voyager stars have commented they will be missing their co-stars, the crew and the regular contact with the fans. But Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris) recently admitted they will also be missing something far less romantic yet highly essential: their regular paycheck.

"We got very used to that, so now it's a bit of a flashback," McNeill told Paul Simpson and Ruth Thomas at the British SFX Magazine. "[Certainly] for me personally, going on these auditions [is]. I'd forgotten about them for seven years - I didn't have to worry about them for all that time. If I went on an audition while I was working on the series, it didn't really matter if I got the part or not. Whereas now, it kind of matters. If I don't get a job now, it's like, am I going to work? What's going to happen?"

Luckily for McNeill, he was able to immediately move on from Voyager to a starring role in 'Infested,' opposite Amy Jo Johnson. "It's a horror film and a thriller," McNeill described the movie. "The premise is similar to 'The Big Chill.' A bunch of friends get back together for the funeral of a friend they grew up with, and reminisce about their high school teenage years. The movie has a killer mystery element to it as well - the friends start getting killed one by one. We finish filming Voyager on 9 April, and I ly out that start that on the 13."

In addition to acting, McNeill also will keep busy as director. He recently achieved success with his comic short film '9mm of Love,' and last month was scheduled to hone his directing skills even further through a deal with Fox Searchlight Pictures. "They have a workshop programme called the Fox Searchlab. It's based on the Filmmaker's Lab which is run by the Sundance Festival. Fox Searchlight signs a deal with six directors each year. They put them through a workshopping programme, and help them develop feature films. I start on that in May when I get back."

"It's a wonderful programme because they help you develop short film making," he said enthusiastically. "You work on scenes and pieces that you want to develop, and if you come up with something, they have first dibs on it. They also let you mentor under some of the Fox Searchlight directors. Baz Luhrman, wh's just working on a picture called 'Moulin Rouge' with Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, has been mentoring. He's just finishing up 'Moulin Rouge' and he was there last week. You have access and guidance from some really successful directors.

The official web site of Fox Searchlab indicates that the short films created by the directors will likely be shown both on the Fox Movie Channel and on the internet. McNeill's most recent film, 9mm of Love, was last month already made available for download online (story).

McNeill's thoughts on the end of Voyager, as well as those of Ethan Phillips (Neelix), can be found in the June 2001 issue of SFX Magazine, now for sale in the UK.

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