Frakes Keeps Faith With Star Trek Fans

By Michelle
November 28, 2006 - 11:02 PM

Jonathan Frakes (Riker) admitted that he might have swiped his phaser from Star Trek: The Next Generation and praised the loyalty of fans, saying he would rather have been typecast from Star Trek than not cast at all.

The actor spent part of his Thanksgiving weekend at Starbase Indy and told the Indianapolis Star that more than a decade after The Next Generation went off the air, he still makes such appearances because "Conventions are the lifeline of keeping the franchise awake. The fans are incredibly loyal. It's like a celebration. Plus, conventions are a blast."

Though Frakes has directed numerous television episodes and several motion pictures, the actor is well aware that he is far better known for his portrayal of William Riker. "There are far worse fates. I think Leonard Nimoy said it best once: 'It's better to be typecast than not cast at all.'" He added that he preferred being well-known to being "lost as a character actor" and noted that Patrick Stewart (Picard) had done quite well moving on to other projects.

Married for nearly 20 years to actress Genie Francis, Frakes said that he enjoyed curling, fishing and selling home furnishings in a store he co-owns with his wife as well as teaching directing and playing the trombone - a hobby Riker shared with him. He did not need to bid on memorabilia in the Christie's auction because he has a Starfleet uniform in his closet as well as a phaser.

Though he has not been approached about the upcoming eleventh Star Trek film either as an actor or director, Frakes said he thought that an original series prequel at Starfleet Academy "seems like a perfectly good idea" so long as the producers are respectful of Gene Roddenberry's vision. Frakes has two directing jobs in the works: The Librarian, which he describes as "an action-adventure" for the cable network TNT, and Masters of Science Fiction for ABC, a series of vignettes including a story by Harlan Ellison.

The full interview is here.

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