Icheb Actor Nearly Played Wrong Borg

By Amy
March 10, 2001 - 10:06 AM

One of Voyager's frequent recurring characters is the ex-Borg Icheb, played by actor Manu Intiraymi. In a new interview, the actor revealed that he would never have appeared on Voyager so often had he been cast in the role he originally wanted.

"The audition [for 'Collective'] was for Boy 2 or Boy 1," Intiraymi told the official Star Trek Magazine. "I read for Boy 2 first, but then they said they wanted me to read for Boy 1, so I came back and read for that. Then they decided to keep me with number 2, which was the luckiest thing in the world, because Boy 1 croaks! What's funny is that I really wanted that part; I wanted to play a bad guy villain instead of the sensitive number 2. But number 2 lived and became Icheb, so I was very lucky."

It's well known just how involving makeup on a Star Trek show can be, particularly with the Borg costumes. So, despite describing his first outing as a juvenile drone as an adventure, he's immensely thankful that most of those grueling makeup sessions are behind him now. "It would have been a lot harder," he remarks on the idea of having to continue to play Icheb in full Borg attire, "I would have kept doing it, but I might be a little cynical and I might be sick of itching, and then I'd be sitting here telling you, 'I'm so tired of this costume!' I'm glad I'm not rubbered up."

As far as the legendary comradery and goofing off on the set goes, Intiraymi has found the regular cast to be very accepting, which hasn't been the case on previous shows he's worked on. "I've felt very welcomed by everybody I've worked with there," he told the interviewer, "They pick on me a little bit, but it's just good fun!" Roxann Dawson (B'Elanna Torres) and Eathan Phillips (Neelix) are two he singles out as particularly nice and welcoming.

However, since most of his time on screen has been spent with Jeri Ryan's Seven of Nine and Robert Picardo's EMH, he has more to say about those two than others. He describes Ryan as "really amazing", and that on the set she "joke[s] around too, but when it comes down to shooting, as soon as she looks at you with that Seven of Nine stare it demands you to come back with something." Picardo, on the other hand, is someone Intiraymi has seen in other roles and has always admired, even to the extent of commenting that "working with him [Picardo] is like a dream come true -I don't want to use those words because it's kind of corny, but I guess that's it, actually!" The veteran actor also helped Intiraymi put his career in perspective with tales of what he himself did in his 20's - notably a Broadway production with Jack Lemmon.

The full transcript of the interview can be found by following this link to Voyager's Delights, or can be found originaly in the March 2001 edition of 'Star Trek: The Magazine'.

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