This week, the Watch brings you an update on the much-rumored stage team-up of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, as well as news on Scott Bakula being a candidate for a SAG board election. Plus: interviews with Robert Picardo, Wil Wheaton, and Chris Pine, and pics from the San Diego Comic-Con. If that isn’t enough, we also have Jonathan Frakes singing!
Stewart/McKellen ‘Godot’ update
Rumors that Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) and his X-Men co-star Ian McKellen will reunite for a production of Waiting for Godot (first reported in June) continue to abound. According to Variety, the actors will reportedly team up for Godot at the struggling Theater Royal Haymarket next spring. It is hoped that their pairing will help get Haymarket out of its current box office slump. In the meantime, Stewart is currently starring with Doctor Who‘s David Tennant in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet, which premiered at The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on July 24th. The Leamington Observer covered the show’s premiere and also interviewed Stewart, who discussed his love of Shakespeare and the theatre. You can read that report here.
Chris Pine, the actor playing James T. Kirk in the upcoming Star Trek, tells the National Ledger that he’s ready for the swarm of attention (and lack of privacy) he will be getting as a result of his role in Trek.
It’s definitely something I thought about upon taking something like ‘Star Trek.’ There’s a certain price one pays for being able to act, which is what I’ve chosen to do, and a certain price to get to that position where one is able to get more opportunities, to be picky, to say yes and no, and be particular.
Pine can next be seen in the film Bottle Shock, which opens this Wednesday. It’s not opening everywhere, though, so check your local theaters to make sure it’s playing in your area.
Spiner Talks Trekkies
Brent Spiner (Data) was asked five questions by blog.JR.com, which you can read here. For one of the questions, Spiner tells us how he really feels about Trekkies:
Well, if you mean the movie, “Trekkies”, I’ve never seen it. I hear it’s great, but I still haven’t seen “The African Queen”, so priorities…Now, if you mean the group of people who enjoy Star Trek on a grand scale, I’d say outside of Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa they are among the finest people on earth.
Wheaton on being villified by Trek fans
Spiner isn’t the only one talking Trek fans. The third and final part of ComicMix’s interview with Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) is up for your reading pleasure here. For those who don’t feel like reading the whole thing (shame), here is an excerpt some excerpts:
What makes a book — just a standard book — very good, is the story and the dialogue and the interaction of the characters. So what makes a comic book great is those ingredients all put together, matched up with good pacing and really good artwork. A lot of the Alan Moore comics have all these wonderful elements that make reading comics fun, too. Top Ten is like playing “Where’s Waldo,” because after you’ve read the story you can go back through and read it again. Or if you read Watchmen and see the issues, there’s the Rorschach issue that’s in the middle where it mirrors itself — that kind of stuff. A book like Sin City that uses positive and negative space really creatively, that’s a great book, too.
Of course, I should disclaim all this stuff. I recently wrote that I was worried about the new Star Trek movie being good, and I was vilified by Star Trek fans for having the temerity for expressing an opinion about this. Like I don’t deserve to have an opinion about this.
It was like I farted in church. It was just like the very few times I wrote anything political. It’s as if, because I was a celebrity at one time, I’m not allowed to have these opinions as a voter and as an American.
Takei helps ACLU honor Nichols
Last week The Watch noted that Nichelle Nichols was being honored by the ACLU, now we have a couple of photos of her co-star George Takei presenting her with the ACLU Liberty and Justice Award for recognition of here "contributions toward establishing and protecting civil liberties and civil rights."
Bakula nominated in SAG board election + attending Saget roast
Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) will be attending the Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget, according to the Comedy Central Insider. Don’t ask us why, we just report these things. In other Bakula news, he and his one-time Enterprise co-star Keith Carradine (A.G. Robinson in “First Flight”) are among the candidates running for an upcoming board election in the Screen Actors Guild, according to The LA Times and The Hollywood Reporter. Bakula and Carradine are two of the eleven actors running as part of the new SAG group MembershipFirst to fill in 11 national board seats and 22 local seats. Good luck to them both!
Burton to appear with Vereen (again)
LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) will be making a special appearance when actor, dancer, and singer Ben Vereen takes the stage at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse for a night of conversation and music, as reported by Broadway World. Vereen played Geordi’s father in the TNG episode “Interface”; before that, Burton and Vereen worked together on several other projects, most notably the acclaimed mini-series Roots. The Freud Playhouse event, called “Ben Vereen: Up Close & Musical”, will be presented by the Reprise Theatre Company for one night only: on September 8th at 8pm.
Picardo talks ‘Atlantis’, attending ConnectiCon with Phillips
In a new interview with SyFy Portal, the one, the only Robert Picardo (VOY’s Holodoc) says it may take a while for fans to get used to his character on Stargate: Atlantis coming in and taking charge of things, since fans had just gotten used to the previous commander (played by Amanda Tapping, who parted the show for Sanctuary). Bob explains:
I was at the premiere for [‘Stargate: Continuum’ Thursday] night, which was pretty spectacular. I’ve never been at a premiere on top of an aircraft carrier before. And when I laid eyes on Amanda, she was so beautiful. Even I would rather watch her than me. [She is a] terrific actress [but] I don’t look like I am trying to replace her in any way. In fact, I’m trying to provide a middle-aged, bald alternative.
In other Picardo news, he and his friend and VOY co-star Ethan Phillips (Neelix) will be attending the ConnectiCon in Hartford, Connecticut this weekend. For more info, see the con’s official site.
Trek celebs hit comic con
Lots of our favorite Trek stars showed up at Comic Con last weekend to promote various things, appear on panels, sign for the fans or maybe just party. Here are a few of them.
Wil Wheaton at the Trek publishers panel
LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis
signing at the Lightspeed booth
Simon Pegg at the Hamlet 2 party (Wire Images)
Robert Picardo at the EW/SciFi party (Wire Images)
Jonathan Frakes ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’
Jonathan Frakes (William T. Riker) broke into song at a hotel bar near the San Diego Comic Con. Check out his rendition of “Ain’t Misbehavin'” below.
Visitor casts the ‘Swing Vote’
In the off-chance you’re heading out to see Swing Vote this weekend, be on the lookout for Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys). The political comedy features Visitor in the supporting role of Galena Greenleaf, the wife of the Democratic presidential candidate played by Dennis Hopper. She’s not the only Trek alum appearing in the film, though; TNG cameo-maker Kelsey Grammer (Capt. Morgan Bateson) stars as the other candidate, while Charles Esten (Divok in TNG’s “Rightful Heir” & Dathan in VOY’s “Remember”) and Mark Moses (Naroq in VOY’s “Riddles” & Henry Archer in ENT’s “Broken Bow”) also have supporting roles.
Nana Visitor (center) with Dennis Hopper (left) and Nathan Lane in Swing Vote
- William Shatner (he who was Kirk) will be among the 10 “Giants of Broadcasting” to be honored by the Library of American Broadcasting in New York on September 25th. (TV Technology)
- In his latest Fine Print column, Armin Shimerman explains what travel provisions are offered by the Screen Actors Guild.
- Casey Biggs (Damar) will be starring in the Berkshire Theatre Festival production of Noël Coward in Two Keys, which runs from August 12th through August 30th. (Playbill)
- The episode of NBC’s Fear Itself featuring real-life couple John Billingsley (Phlox) and Bonita Friedericy (Rooney, ENT’s “Regeneration”) aired this past week; check out some reviews at Fangoria and IGN.
Trek Birthdays: The Trek Continues
Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) will be turning 30 on August 7th. They grow up so fast, don’t they? Other Trek actors celebrating their birthdays in the coming week include: Bobby Bass (a TOS extra & stunt double), 66; Ray Buktenica (Deyos), 65; Joanna Cassidy (T’Les), 63; Shannon Cochrane (Kalita; Sirella; Senator Tel’aura), 50; Daniel Dae Kim (Gotana-Retz; Corporal Chang), 40; Richard Fancy (Capt. Satelk; Sky Spirit), 65; Molly Hagan (Eris, DS9’s “The Jem’Hadar”), 47; Catherine Hicks (Dr. Gillian Taylor, Star Trek IV), 57; Leland Orser (Gai; Lovok; Dejaren; Loomis), 48; and Louise Sorel (Rayna Kapec, TOS: “Requiem for Methuselah”), 68. Celebrating their birthday today, though, is Melanie Shatner, the youngest daughter of William Shatner who appeared in the TOS episode “Miri” and in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (directed by her father). To everyone listed here and everyone who isn’t, TrekMovie.com wishes you all a very happy birthday!