Steven Culp Talks Challenges To Joining Trek

By Christian
May 21, 2004 - 8:34 PM

Steven Culp (Mayor Hayes) recently revealed that he had to battle movie cuts and his own doubts in order to become part of Trek lore.

Speaking during a live chat with fans at, Culp said that he originally wanted to turn down the role of Hayes. "My manager called one afternoon and said there was this role on Star Trek: Enterprise, she faxed the material, there wasn't a lot on the page, and I resisted going in for it. But Ron Surma, the casting director, had assured her that this character would become more prominent as the season went along, and at that time they were talking about him appearing in as many as 10 epsiodes, so I decided to go in and read for it."

While Enterprise marks his first appearance in canon Trek, Culp was previously cast in Star Trek: Nemesis as Riker's successor, Commander Madden. But this role he also nearly turned down. "I know I sound like the pickiest actor in the world," Culp said, "but my first response was 'absolutely not.' It was such a tiny little scene. But then I ended up reading the script over the weekend, and I thought it was just a terrific script, and then I saw how the character of Madden actually fit into the movie and I thought it would be the coolest thing in the world to just show up at the end of this movie and take over as second in command on the Enterprise."

Can't remember this scene? That's no surprise, as the scene was cut from the final film, and only appears on the DVD. "As soon as I heard they were cutting 40-50 minutes out of the film, though, I had a feeling that the scene would not survive and I was right. I did see it on the DVD and I have to say I think I could have performed it better. Although I don't think that had anything to do with it being cut."

As Major Hayes, Culp has now finally become part of Trek history. "I think it's fabulous," Culp said. "And it really is historical. This is a show, and here I'm talking about the entire Star Trek mythos, if you will, this is a show that has had a profound impact on our culture and still sends out a message of peace and unity between disparate and dissimilar cultures. It still inspires us to explore worlds and accept worlds that are not like ours, and that is a message that is as timely as it ever was. And I'm proud to be a part of it."

As for whether Culp will continue being part of Trek, the actor wasn't yet sure. "I think the intention was to have the MACOs here only for the Xindi arc, but it's possible that they could bring the MACOs back next season. I think that's probably up in the air. I can't speak for the writers or producers, but I think we won't really know that until they map out the next season."

More can be found in the full transcript, in which Culp talks about on action scenes, his roles on shows such as JAG and West Wing, and his new film The Sisters. More information about Culp himself can be found on his unofficial fan site,

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