McNeill: Acting Will Have To Wait For DirectingBy Christian
February 14, 2001 - 7:38 PM
After 'Star Trek: Voyager' has ended, fans of Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris) may have to wait a while before they see him on screen again, as the Voyager star recently said he would most like to continue directing after Voyager has ended.
McNeill has already directed several episodes of 'Star Trek: Voyager' and most recently he released his new independent film, '9mm of Love', which is currently touring the film festival circuit. Available now at RanDoM Flight, the actor's official fan site, are several articles and interviews providing more info on his directing career. This definitely is something which McNeill wants to go on with in the future.
"I think I would like to continue directing the most because itís newer to me," McNeill recently told Charles Wall of the French magazine 'Le Padd'. McNeill continued, "The acting I have been lucky to make my living at since I was nineteen. The acting is harder to plan, you have to wait for the right thing to come along, you have to hope to be cast in the role so I think the acting will have to wait."
Over the past few years, McNeill has already been busy honing his skills as director. "I've been directing and working outside of Star Trek as much as I can," he said to Paul Simpson of British SFX magazine. "I produced a TV movie last year that aired on UPN, Monster, a spoof of the old 1950's horror movies. I was beginning to direct it, but I couldn't because it was filmed in Sydney. It's hard to be in Australia and L.A. at the same time!" He continued, "I've also been directing for the Nickelodeon network and I'll be directing for Dawson's Creek, hopefully this year. I'd love to stay on and continue with Star Trek family, maybe as a director or guest star on the new series. There's a movie right now that I'm working on; we're talking to Ralph Fiennes and Jeremy Irons about starring. But with our production schedule, there's not time to do that one hundred per cent."
His latest project is the short film '9mm of Love', which was apparently well accepted at the annual Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. While there, McNeill spoke about why he finds making short independent films so attractive. "It may not sound sincere, but it's not about the money. For a short film, it's really not about trying to make back some money, but [for people who] have a feature up here, that's definitely something they should be working for. But having a short relieves you of that, because you know you're not going to make a ton of money, so it's just to get the movie out there and get people to see it."
If you would also like to see the film, it has just been accepted for the annual HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen, Colorado. The film will be shown on the Thursday the 1st of March at 4:30pm and Sunday the 3rd of March at 2:15pm.
And if you would just like to read about McNeill's directing career, check out some of the new features now available at RanDoM Flight. In the first place, there is the interview Charles Wall of 'Le Padd' conducted with McNeill while at a convention in Sacramento, where he also spoke about Voyager in general. Secondly there's a reprint of the interview from the December 2000 issue of SFX, and finally here you will be able to see a video clip of McNeill talking about '9mm of Love'.