Russ Appreciated Tuvok As Role Model

By Michelle
January 12, 2006 - 8:29 PM

Tim Russ spoke about the monotony of playing a character with no emotions but said that he wanted to portray a Vulcan convincingly when following in Spock's footsteps.

Starbase 972 interviewed Russ about playing Tuvok and his work since Star Trek: Voyager, particularly his directing. "I was somewhat concerned about portraying the character accurately for the fans, but my first concern was satisfying the producers, because if they hadn't liked what I did in the pilot I would have been out of a job very quickly," he explained. Though he said it was sometimes frustrating to have studied acting and the portrayal of feelings for years, only to be cast as someone so unemotional, he also felt it let him stretch himself.

"'Gravity' was a good episode, but 'Meld' showed a side of Tuvok that no one would normally have seen, and I had a chance to show more of a range of emotions," he recalled. "One of my favorites was 'Futureís End', as it was a lot of fun to shoot. It was a nice break from the routine."

Russ appeared with original Star Trek actors in Generations, with the Deep Space Nine cast in the Mirror universe and in a flashback with Captain Sulu. "It's always a good thing to play many different parts," he noted, saying of Tuvok that the character "was a good opportunity to portray a positive, intelligent, sophisticated black role on television, which is rare here in the States."

Being able to direct on Voyager "was one of the benefits of being on a long running series", explained Russ: "I was very very lucky to be able to take advantage of the opportunity." Currently he is directing documentaries for Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel, doing voiceover work and performing music, though he said he did not miss singing on Star Trek as "the Doc did enough singing for the whole crew."

The full interview is at Starbase 972.

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