Directing Opens Avenues For McNeill

By Caillan
August 11, 2001 - 11:07 AM

The first Voyager actor to try their hand at directing, Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris) has found that the experience has opened unexpected doors.

At the Slanted Fedora Convention held in Washington DC last weekend, McNeill was asked whether he would be appearing on The West Wing in the near future. "What I was doing with The West Wing was observing the directors on the show, especially with one named Thomas Schlamme," he told the audience, according to a report by D'Alaire.

"He's very successful and has won lots of awards," McNeill continued. "And so, he invited me to come down and observe him direct their third season opener for this year. So I was there observing, and they kind of left that door open. It's been really kind of amazing. I don't plan on directing any time this year. I'm not really expecting something like that."

McNeill found the time spent on the set to be rewarding, nonetheless. "It's a great company," he said. "All the actors are just so wonderful and focussed on their work. It's a great environment to be in. It's kind of like going from Star Trek director's school, now West Wing has kind of opened their doors to me."

The actor also talked briefly about his upcoming directorial stints on Enterprise and Dawson's Creek. "I've been [on the Enterprise set] twice since Voyager ended - once just to say 'hi' to the crew, from Voyager," he said. "Most of the crew from our show has gone over to the new show. And then one day I came over just to meet the actors and hang out for a little while, since I'm directing in September, and so I was going to be gone, directing for Dawson's Creek."

Although McNeill doesn't know much about the episode he's slated to direct yet, he did say that the series would have a lighter tone. "I know they're going for a lot of humour," he said. "And Scott Bakula is very funny. The one scene that I saw them shooting, there was more humour, that kind of goofy humour, than we tended to do on our show. So I think they're kind of going back to the Original Series in a way."

Thanks to D'Alaire for this!

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