Keating On Creating Malcolm Reed

By Caillan
September 17, 2001 - 6:37 AM

After reading about the role of Enterprise weapons officer Malcolm Reed, Dominic Keating didn't feel that he was particularly right for the part. However, the actor has been reaching inside himself to try and bring the character to life.

"I'm taking Malcolm Reed under my wing at the moment, because they haven't quite decided where he's going to go, and how dimensional he's going to be," Keating told Gregory L. Norris and Laura A. Van Vleet at Trek Galaxy. "As he was described in the breakdown when I first heard about the part, I actually thought I wasn't particularly right for it because he was written as being bookish, button-down, a real proper Brit, shy around women." Laughing, he added "I'm certainly not shy around women. That's really not me.

This character description led Keating to try and draw on a personal experience he could relate to. "I was talking with [Enterprise executive producer] Rick Berman when they offered me the part and we were discussing how Malcolm might be and sort of the avenues he might take," he said. "I mentioned that when I was in my boarding school in England, at around the age of 17 or 18, I was thinking at that time about not going to university and joining the army. My mother had come from an army family and I'd been a member of the cadet force at my school for several years and had really liked it. Then I told him that soon after that, in training, I drove a tank in Germany - and crashed it!"

Keating has found that this has helped him transform himself into Reed on the set. "Malcolm is an army man," he said. "He's a gun man, and as for the other stuff, the shyness - it's funny when somebody says they saw something of that in you, and if you're truly honest, you can own up to it and say, yes, I can be that way. That's what I'm doing at the moment. It's a very subtle osmosis, where you just start to 'chameleon' into the part. While seeing some of the rushes [daily takes] on the pilot episode we shot, I could sense it. I could see it in my eyes. That's me on the screen, but it's not me."

The full interview, in which Keating also talked about Reed's weapons creations and a typical day on the set, can be found here at Trek Galaxy.

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