Billingsley Puts The Twinkle Into Phlox

By Lisa
October 12, 2001 - 11:32 AM

Casting a man who's face will be hidden by rubber seems like a simple task, right? In a new interview John Billingsley, explained why he made their task even easier.

"I hate to say this, but what they told me was that I had a twinkle in my eye." Billingsley told Star Trek Monthly (via Cyfy Pulse). "Now, how do you respond to that? You go in the next day and you think, 'Do I still have that twinkle?' I made my wife look at me and said 'twinkling or no twinkling?'"

Aside from the twinkle, the actor was given few other clues about the back story of the character. "[Phlox's race is] never seen before," he explained. "As yet unnamed planet, as yet unnamed backstory - nil except what I've created for myself. I'm sure it will be explored. Because [the Enterprise creators are] swamped, they've not provided me with a detailed back story, so I've created one for myself, which doubtless they will contradict. Maybe if I say this enough times, they'll subscribe to it themselves."

Billingsley is prepared for the opposite reaction too. "The hardest thing I think about doing a series is, you make all these decisions and then you read an episode that [makes you have to say], 'Oh! Throw that out!'"

"What I really like about the show and its world view, is that it is fundamentally optimistic," Billingsley concluded. "It's hard sometimes to be optimistic looking at the paper. On the other hand, if you're not able to summon the kind of optimism that envisions a future for the world, and envision us getting healthier and stronger, you're dooming us to perdition. So I think this show is one of the few shows out there that really tries to speak in a positive way."

More from Billingsley including his theories about Phlox's background and discussing this with the writers can be found in the new edition of Star Trek Monthly, on sale in the UK. Alternatively, a transcript of the interview is available here at Cyfy Pulse.

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