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July 17 2024


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Billingsley Reflects on Phlox, Talks Upcoming Pilot

By Michelle
March 29, 2006 - 9:43 PM

John Billingsley said that while he enjoyed acting on Star Trek: Enterprise and his guest turn on Stargate, but said that personally, he's glad humans don't practice polygamy like the fictional Denobulan he played, Dr. Phlox.

In an interview from The Sci-Fi Reporter passed on by, the actor said that he "can't imagine having more than one wife. I'll leave others to interpret that statement as they will." Though he said he could not take credit for Phlox's "blowfish face" as a defense mechanism, he did contribute Phlox's nudism, having suggested at a cast party once that they should write a nude scene for him.

"The mannerisms, vocal tics, etc., for better or worse, were mine," Billingsley explained. "The nudism came about because one of the writers called my dare...what I'd suggested was that he should be puttering around in the nude when a crewman arrived and that we should see the crewman's eyes bug out, if you get my drift - anyway, the writers said nah, you wouldn't do it, and I said of course I'd do it, the goofier the better."

Phlox's accent, he said, was the result of playing around with accents for the audition, where he was asked to sound like an alien. "It seemed to me that Phlox, as written, had the detachment and gentle sense of humor of a Zen Buddhist so I tried to create an accent that would have a touch of the guru about it," he noted. "I don't know that I ever got as comfortable with it as I might've liked - in fact, when I go to cons and people ask me to talk like Phlox, I can't always do it."

Though he was sorry not to be invited back to Stargate, Billingsley did several episodes of Prison Break and is currently shooting a pilot for ABC (said to be titled Nine Lives, though the actor was uncertain what title it would have when aired). His real-life wife Bonita Friedericy will play his fictional wife on the show.

"It's about a botched bank hold-up and the way the ensuing hostage crisis plays out," he explained. "I play a sad-sack who rises to the occasion, does something heroic and finds that his new found celebrity gives him a shot at a brand new life."

Thanks to for this interview.

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