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Interview: Robert Beltran On “The Circuit” And Working In The Star Trek: Voyager ‘Factory’

A number of Star Trek and sci-fi vets from in front and behind the camera have come together to make a new sci-fi anthology series called The Circuit, from executive producer Manu Intiraymi (Icheb on Star Trek: Voyager). The project is currently seeking crowdfunding for a pilot via Kickstarter with a plan to eventually make a season of ten episodes telling different stories with different sub-genres along the lines of Black Mirror, The Twilight Zone and Amazing Stories. Star Trek luminaries who are attached include Walter Koenig (TOS), Terry Farrell (DS9), Armin Shimerman (DS9), Ethan Phillips (VOY), Robert Picardo (VOY) and others.

One of those others is Star Trek: Voyager’s Robert Beltran. TrekMovie talked to the actor about The Circuit and his seven years playing First Officer Chakotay on the USS Voyager.

Robert Beltran is one of many Trek vets who are attached to The Circuit

Besides your connection to Manu, what is it that attracted you to The Circuit? Do you have an interest in sci-fi anthology types of shows?

No. The only the thing that attracted to me to it is that Manu and I are friends and he asked me to be involved. He told me what it would be about and so I like working with friends. I like working with people I know and trust. That is why I did Renegades. That is why The Circuit is something I am willing to work on, because I like the people involved.

As far as any kind of genre I am attracted to, I am attracted to a good script. Even if it is about gorillas in space, I don’t really care. As long as it has a good story, it’s compelling, it’s got something for me that is interesting, that’s the only criteria.

I know they are still working on stories and scripts and each episode is going to be different. Do you know and can you talk much about which one you will be doing?

I have no idea. Manu has thrown a couple of things at me which he says are not written in stone just to get my reaction on what my thoughts might be. He has even asked me to bring some story possibilities so maybe I will do that.

I know you recently directed a play with the Angel City Theater Ensemble; with The Circuit do you think you might be doing writing as you mention or directing in addition to acting?

Manu mentioned something about possibly directing one of the episodes. But everything is merely conjecture and possibility into the future because they have to raise the money. It is not easy to raise the money. If they can only do one episode, it probably won’t be me who is going to direct it, and it may not be me on the next four or five because I think he has commitments to other directors. Mine would be way down the line. It would be something that I would be interested in, but it is not something that is keeping me up at night awaiting jubilation, because it may never come.

Robert Beltran directing actress Rachel Gonzalez for Mariela in the Desert at Casa 0101 Theater

Fighting and pitching on Voyager

 

Speaking of directing, was that something you ever pursued on Voyager? I know a lot of the other cast members spent time behind the camera.

At one point I was kind of interested until I realized what it would entail. I liked going to the meetings and working with the editors, you learn a lot from seeing how the editors worked. Then I realized I wasn’t that interested in directing an episode because it is very time-consuming for at least a couple of months where you are going to work doing your acting job and then also doing the editing on the episode you directed. I decided I wanted to take full advantage of the time that I had free.

But, you weren’t shy about pitching ideas to writers and producers, like with “The Fight.” I understand that one started with you?

Actually the boxing episode, there was Ken [Biller], Brannon [Braga] and Joe [Menosky], we were having dinner and they were asking me what I would like to do and with holodeck with Chakotay. And I gave them some ideas and they said, “Nah, nah, we already did this or that on Next Generation.”  And then they said, “What about a boxing episode?” And I said, “I like boxing, OK, let’s do that. Just give me about two months heads up so I can get in really good shape, so I can look like a real boxer.” And they said “Okay, we will do that.” But then one day I get a call saying they were doing the boxing episode the next week. [laughs] It was an episode I really liked, but I didn’t feel the bare-chested thing would be a smart thing to do because I was in good shape, but not boxing shape. Those guys are in incredible shape. I was working with former World Champ Carlos Palomino who I had seen box and was a great fan of, a Mexican fighter. His body and mine were a little different. [laughs]

Beltran with Ray Walston in “The Fight”

Working in the Star Trek ‘Factory’

 

You mentioned that there were other ideas you had. Are there some in particular you still wish they had taken up for Chakotay?  

What I told them at the meeting was when it comes to sci-fi, everything seems possible, so nothing seems that interesting to me. I said, “If I chose this thing, I miss out on a myriad of other possibilities, so I would rather it come from you guys.” The several episode suggestions I had, and they weren’t really heartfelt, they were just things off the top of my head, so I didn’t have any strong feelings about a Chakotay episode.

But it is fair to say you were outspoken about the show while it was on the air and after. You have expressed a lot of opinions and critiques about Voyager.

That’s true. That same night when we had that meeting, here is what I told them: “Look you guys, all I ask for is one good scene. You don’t have to put me in anything else in any of the episodes, just give me one really good scene.” And I am not talking about “Captain, shields down to 30%” on the bridge. I am talking about a good scene between me and Tim [Russ], between me and Garrett [Wang], between me and whoever. Where there are some human feelings explored, where some human ideas are being explored.  “If you could just do that for me, I would be happy,” I told them.

My criticism of the show, which a lot of people agreed with, and most of the cast agreed with, was it seems to me they were taking the easiest choices for the characters. So much of it was about these characters that were kind of omniscient and infallible. Look, Seven of Nine was a Borg and they know everything about everyone they assimilated. She has got all that knowledge. The Doctor was this all-seeing and all-knowing guy. And eventually Captain Janeway became that. And I thought, “How in the hell can you get drama from characters that know everything and see everything?”

When you know that at the end of the episode everyone is going to get out of the catastrophe that we are in, it just seemed to me the antithesis of drama to have these characters that know everything and can do anything. What is the big crisis? That was what my criticism was about. It was never about more time onscreen for Chakotay. Believe me, I loved my days off. That is why I said to those guys, just give me one good scene per episode and I will be very happy.

If they could concentrate on one good scene for Chakotay I would have been so happy, instead three or four scenes of walking down the hall and saying some kind of inane stuff.  And those endless scenes on the bridge when we are being attacked and everyone knows we are going to make it out of there. We always used the same way “reroute this to that” and we are saved! “Shields are down to 18%”–well so what? We are going to make it anyway. My criticism of the writing was they were taking the easy way out.

They were probably very busy. It is very difficult doing a series and we used to do 26 episodes a year, nobody does that now, nobody. You are lucky if you get 13. So a lot of pressure on the writers and they managed to write some really good scripts and some really good episodes. But other times I and others thought, “Come on, we have seen this, we have done this before.” And that comes working seven years in a factory. You go to work, you say your lines, you try to do the best you can, you clock out , you go to work the next day and get your weekends and holidays off, otherwise you go back to the grind.

You are saying by the time Voyager started, it was already a factory with two shows in production?

When we came on Deep Space Nine was still running, The Next Generation just finished and they were also doing movies. So I guess you could say there was a glut, a Star Trek glut. And I think Voyager suffered for that. Besides the fact that we had to hold up this asinine network, UPN. We were the flagship show on that network that didn’t even reach the entire United States. At the most we were in 80% of the country.

Voyager cast publicity photo

Love, sex and Janeway

 

One thing they did do with Chakotay was pair you up with romantic partners quite a bit. There was romance with Seksa, implied with Janeway, fantasy sequence with B’Elanna, and with Seven. Do you feel that was good for your character? Did you feel the chemistry and drama with those?

There really was never any romance. Janeway never took Chakotay seriously. They had Chakotay doing some things that indicated he was interested in her. Like that one episode where we were stuck on that planet, but it was just her and I, so it was either Janeway or a monkey. I thought it would be better with Janeway and she had the same option, but she almost did chose the monkey the way it was it was written. [laughs] And the thing with Seska, that was before so we weren’t having a relationship, that was a back-story. And B’Elanna and I were never seriously romantic at all, we were more tight buddies from Maquis days.

The few romances I had well I once kissed Species 90210 [jokingly referring to Species 8472] when she was morphed into a beautiful woman. The other one was with Virginia Madsen and that was all about her forgetting about being caught and sent back to her planet and me trying to remember it because they had some kind of pheromone. And then there was another Borg girl, or was once Borg, and he had a thing with her. There was precious little romance for Chakotay.

So you would have liked to have seen a more genuine relationship, is that what you’re saying?

Well, yes. The thing is that I would have liked to have seen genuine relationships across the board, not just with me. I think they did a good job with Paris/B’Elanna, but where were the other relationships? Certainly not with me and Janeway. That was never being seriously considered. I know the fans wanted it, but the writers weren’t that crazy about it.

Did you want it?

When we just started the show, I thought it would box them in too soon. And so I thought flirtation here and there would be a titillating thing and that is what happened for most of it. But then I think they had Chaktoay show his hand to her and then she rebuffed him every time and after a while I had to call them and say “come on, you are making this guy out to be a complete asshole, let’s let him get over Janeway and move one.”

So I was indifferent to any kind of relationship as far as a romantic relationship and Kate [Mulgrew] was too. We didn’t see what the advantage would be and we didn’t know what the disadvantages would be. It was very early, right at the beginning of the show, when people were talking about Chakotay and Janeway and counting how many times she touched me and how many times I smiled and what kind of smile it was. Oh my god!

What I was interested was good scenes and good episodes and they did write some good episodes with her and Chakotay. They really did. The Chakotay-centered episodes I was mostly happy with, a few of them I wasn’t, but that is the way it goes in a 26-episode season.

Chakotay and Janeway together on Star Trek: Voyager

More Beltran to come

This is just part one of a two-part interview with Beltran, and he was just getting started. In part two (coming soon) we talk more about Voyager including what it was like switching from Genevieve Bujold to Kate Mulgrew, from Jennifer Lien to Jeri Ryan, and more, including Star Trek: Discovery.

The Circuit

Beltran is one of a number of Star Trek vets and others who are involved in the sci-fi anthology series The Circuit, which is currently seeking funding via Kickstarter to get off the ground. They have already passed their initial goal of $50,000 but there are more stretch goals for more resources to make a pilot. The Kickstarter campaign closes on May 23rd. The video below featuring Star Trek’s Walter Koenig gives an introduction.

 

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This guy ragging on Voyager annoys me. Good actors like Picardo et.all make scenes work. They imbue the characters with life and inspire the writers.

Picardo took a role that could have been stupid or boring and make it SPARKLE. He was really wonderful!

I agree. Picardo was my favourite actor on Voyager. He worked wonderful with Jeri Ryan too!

Beltran was wooden. He had his moments granted. Scorpion comes to mind. Hos speechs to Janeway are well acted. But he was mostly wooden!

That is not what he is critiquing here! He’s critiquing the writing and nothing else – and I personally agree with him wholeheartedly.

Good actors would take on the BAD writing and run with it. Beltran was so-so at best really!

Lots of people complain about their old jobs even though they took the money. He didn’t like working there…oh well.

Completely agree with him in all aspects. And to be honest, he has every right to “rag” on this show because he was part of it. Voyager was horrendous and it could have been so much more. The writers were lazy and bored. It showed in the scripts, concepts, and execution of each episode. Boring boring stuff.

So what would make you happy on Star Trek ? Because all you do is whine and bitch …. the 24th century stories suck , the reboot movies are horrible

Do you have any positive reviews about anything on Star Trek?

I don’t think Voyager was boring, I loved it. And I agree with Robert Beltran’s critique. He isn’t ragging or complaining. He is just expressing that he feels it could have been so much more. Gosh I would have loved that! I have loved each and every Star Trek.

Love the honesty from this guy. Wish others were as outspoken… yeah Star Trek paid his wages for 7 years but he’s fully entitled to slate it.

Actually he wasn’t that hard on it compared to interviews I read on him in the past. He comes across as bitter in some ways but same time he acknowledge the amount of stories they had to tell every year and yeah after awhile things start to repeat themselves.

But in general I agree with pretty much everything he said. I think giving him a romance would’ve been great. It didn’t have to be with Janeway but with someone. They threw in him and 7 of 9 literally at the last minute. It almost felt like the writers saying, “happy now?”

Beltrans a better actor than Shatner at least, which isn’t hard to accomplish.

A LOT of Star Trek actors are better than Shatner lol. I love Shatner but his acting was for a different time and audience.

Harry Plinkett & Tiger2,

You two realize that your personal open animosities towards the man, as revealed in the many pejoratives you’ve seen fit to apply to him, betrays a certain inability to look at his craft with dispassion and even-handed rationality?

You two are certainly not his peers, as are those at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences who saw fit to bestow upon him 5 Emmy nominations with two wins on this side of the millennium. Further, those peers saw fit to induct him into the Academy’s Hall of Fame for his many accomplishments in the field of television in 2006.

And critics certainly far superior to your meager contributions here, saw fit to award him a Golden Globe in these post-millennial times as well.

Shatner’s certainly appeared in more Emmy award-winning TV series than Beltran — not to mention an Oscar winning classic motion picture.

According to IMDB Shatner is currently filming or has completed filming 3 acting gigs in 2017 to Beltran’s zip.

Will you stop sounding like William Shatner’s agent lol. Yeah people can disagree on an actors skills. I didn’t say William Shatner was a bad actor, but far far from a great one. He was good as Danny Crane though! Probably his best role outside of Kirk. But most of the time its just Shatner being Shatner.

The argument is not that Shatner is great, its to question the weird personal hatred by a couple of people here.

Also, I thought personal insults were not allowed here? Personal insults to actors are okay though?

“He’s won awards, he must be good!”

Unfortunately, that’s not always how awards work. It should– but it doesn’t.

“He’s been in famous movies and show’s, that means he’s better!” No it doesn’t. There are plenty of terrible performances in great movies.

‘Great movies’ aren’t always great because of their performances, anyway. It might be because of one performance, or a great script, stellar directing, etc. Or it might just be an all around great film with nothing that stands out.

“He commands a higher fee, he’s the better actor!”

This is the least objective measure I can think of. Otherwise Tom Hanks would command the highest salary of all, but no, that title goes to The Rock. Let that sink in for a moment.

Torchwood,

Re: “He’s won awards, he must be good!”

No one listed his numerous awards. I pointed out that his PEERS saw fit on this side of the millennium to award his acting TWICE with Emmys. And it just so happens that it was for the same character across TWO different productions. And the non-domestic esteem of the Hollywood Foreign Press likewise recognized this performance with a Golden Globe. That’s a consensus no matter how you contort yourself in an attempt to distort it as otherwise.

One Emmy for a particular performance in his dotage and some would claim it as trying to do something nice for a trooper while he’s still here to feel the love, but TWO would tend to ameliorate that type of pish-poshing of the recognition of his talent.

@Disinvited

“No one listed his numerous awards.”

I beg to differ. You specifically said, and I quote, “Shatner’s certainly appeared in more Emmy award-winning TV series than Beltran — not to mention an Oscar winning classic motion picture.”

But it’s pointless because of everything else I said. FIRST: An award is not an objective measure of talent. Plenty of undeserved awards have been handed out over the years. It’s one factor to judge, to be fair, but not the only one, and not definitive..

Second, Beltran has not had the same opportunities Shatner has had because he did not have the fortune to star in a legendary TV icon.

Torchwood,

Re:I beg to differ.

My main focus was clearly NOT on yours, mine or Joe Schmoe’s evaluation but that of his peers. The concept of an evaluation by a group of one’s peers is supposed to be something fans of science-fiction grasp.

Now, you can rightly pick apart the popularity contest of the productions that I cited as the entire unweighted population of the Academy members votes for those, but his Acting Emmys were awarded by a GROUP of his fellow performers which I would hope you are not equating to a random Pauley Shore fan?

Re: Plenty of undeserved awards

An equally pointless observation under your own stated criteria, as where do you go for that just as challenging objective DEFINITIVE evaluation of an award being undeserved?

Re:…Beltran has not had the same opportunities…

I should say. Beltran has had MORE opportunities. His STAR TREK produced far more hours of film than Shatner’s Trek series and Trek films combined, icon or no.

@Disinvited. You clearly misunderstand what I mean by “opportunities.”
And you clearly are not capable of making a salient point, so I’m done discussing it. You are simply factually incorrect, end of story.

Torchwood,

So you are denying that Beltran has had far more filmed on-screen opportunities in which to give if not his Trek role, then at the very least his production an iconic turn?

You may not regard this as salient, but it sure seems as though you are giving indication that between the two only one of them had the iconic right stuff?

@Disinvited “You two realize that your personal open animosities towards the man, as revealed in the many pejoratives you’ve seen fit to apply to him, betrays a certain inability to look at his craft with dispassion and even-handed rationality?”

I know you think talking like this makes your arguments sound more intelligent but it really doesn’t. I looked at Shatners body of work over the decades and I see nothing really noteworthy that any C-list actor who’s biggest role isn’t iconic could accomplish. Shatner gets his accolades and awards not for his great range and accomplishments as an actor but because he played the great Captain James T. Kirk. Or maybe there was some great performances in TJ Hooker, Kingdom of the Spiders, or Airplane II that I’m missing?

The Shat was actually very good in Boston Legal. David E. Kelly brought out the best in him.

Harry Plinkett,

It is the nature of the human animal that none of us springs from the womb achieving one spectacular success after the other unto death. We are learning animals.

Spectacular successes are achieved by a trail of equally spectacular failures, citing them proves nothing other than he’s human.

Re: because he played the great Captain James T. Kirk.

That’s just not objectively true.

The fact that you believe that to be somehow true, gives me cause to question if your real problem with Shatner is that he acted that role so well that he convinced you that James Kirk was real, and upon your later realizing Shatner was just a flawed afraid to fly man nothing like the role he played, you’ve committed yourself to excoriating the man merely for having disappointed you by failing to actually be the man he so convincingly portrayed on the flickering screen?

Yea you got me. All these years I thought Kirk was real because I always thought there were tiny people living in the magic box. His portrayal of a 23rd century starship captain was so convincing I thought that Star Trek was actual future history. Keep googling more big words and maybe you’ll finally figure it out.

Harry Plinkett,

Re: …gogling…

When I have recourse to a dictionary, which has not been the case in those replies to you as you erroneously suggest, I use my copy of the OED. There’s no Googling involved as neither the internet nor Google is needed to access the wealth of information encased in that tome.

And stop saying I have ‘animosity’ against Shatner just because I don’t care the guy ever plays Kirk again. Its not personal. I don’t want Sean Connery to play Bond again and he was actually my favorite one. I could even do without Ford playing Indiana Jones again but at least they didn’t kill him off in that role 20 years ago so you just shrug and hope the next time its still believable.

I have nothing against Shatner but yeah its time to let go and move on, thats all. I have no issues seeing him in other roles although to be honest Boston Legal was the last thing I ever saw him in (and which I loved btw).

Tiger2,

Your time to move on logic escapes me in terms of your purported knowledge of how Paramount reasons. In his universe, Shatner’s Kirk has only been dead 16 years, while Hemsworth’s Kirk has been dead for 33 in the KT.

Disinvited…move on. He’s not playing Kirk again. Get OVER it.

Tiger2,

Re: Get OVER it.

I’m MORE interested in how you plan on telling the new head of Paramount:

deadline.com/2017/05/sherry-lansing-paramount-jim-gianopulos-biography-1202087373/

to get over Sherry Lansing and her STAR TREKs? Or explaining to the LA TIMES

http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-brad-grey-dies-20170515-story.html

that Brad Grey wasn’t OLD SCHOOL?

Tiger2,

I’d say the odds of a fellow that cites performances in shows he’s never seen as examples of failures, and could not name a school of acting or identify Shatner’s supposedly obsolete “style” to save his life, and yet still makes haughty proclamations about it with smugness is displaying a certain degree of animosity. The “I love Shatner.” line is just an expected topper to your passive-aggressive attacks.

Shatner is not your boyfriend. And I will say whatever I want and stand by everything I said which was nothing more than he’s not a great actor, because he’s not. But I still like him in certain roles, but no I don’t seek the guy out in anything other than his his time as Kirk. If you can’t handle that opinion, wow, how do you survive the internet? Again get over it.

Tiger2,

Re: Shatner is not your boyfriend.

And there it is…

Shatner IS your boyfriend? How did I offend you this time lol. I don’t care man, you’re just annoying. I wish there was an ignore button here.

I’m with You Disinvited , in knowing Bill is an outstanding actor . I’ve enjoyed his acting in TJ Hooker , Tekwar and Boston Legal . Not to forget Raw Nerve and Weird Or What . And I’m looking forward to Better Late Than Never (2016) . And I am also a former Member of Bill’s My Outer Space Group !

Darfyn,

Re: Bill

Full disclosure: In a head-to-head, I prefer Nimoy to Shatner, but that personal preference doesn’t mean I allow myself to believe for one second this marvelous malarkey being proffered that Bill is a one-note washed-up easily bested has-been, and I am certainly with you in recognizing that he’s still an outstanding actor capable of delivering significant moving performances to today’s audiences.

Yes belief is a wonderful thing, it can make imaginary things seem real, such as you have demonstrated.

I sometimes enjoy taco bell but by no means does that mean that taco bells food is “outstanding”. Similarly, you can certainly enjoy Shatners acting but the fact you enjoy it does not make it outstanding. In fact I would compare Shatners acting to Taco Bell food in that both make me run to the toilet to quickly evacuate my bowels in disgust and shame.

Agreed. The lack of character and class shown by them, especially with the personal and petty insults is something else. And of course, they wont actually reveal their own names and photos so we can all pick them apart if we choose. Very low character. Hopefully they grow up. I guess its an attempt at creating an identity for themselves as the ones who hate Shatner here…but it just looks foolish and tinges everything they post with an aura of irrelevancy,

objectively, Shatner is the better actor. He commands a higher fee and is far more accomplished.

James,

Re: objectively, Shatner is the better actor.

And that’s all I’m saying, thanks.

And that’s total crap, just like your brain. Here’s the list of highest paid actors in 2016:

#1 Dwayne Johnson, $64.5 M. more.
#2 Jackie Chan, $61 M. more.
#3 Matt Damon, $55 M. more.
#4 Tom Cruise, $53 M. more.
#5 Johnny Depp, $48 M. more.
#6 Jennifer Lawrence, $46 M. more.
#7 Ben Affleck, $43 M. more.
#8 Vin Diesel, $35 M. more.

I would not consider any of these all-time greats. Johnny Depp is easily the best on the list, but even he hasn’t had a great performance in quite a few years. Salary’s are based on the roles they take, and you’ll notice most if not all of these are action stars.

Shatner is known for Kirk. Therefore he commands a higher salary than Beltran, who is known mostly for Chakotay. Hence the salary disparity.

I don’t know what any of you do for a living, but surely look around your own industry, and would you honestly agree that every person’s salary dictates their quality of work? Or are their other factors involved? Maybe they got a gig at the right company at the right time when a big project got them a lot of noteriety?

It’s not just salary. Shatner has more recognition, awards, range and scope to his body of work.

His body has a lot of range and scope that’s for sure, and he might want to start wearing a bra too

“It’s not just salary. Shatner has more recognition, awards, range and scope to his body of work.”

Again, read my full run-down: all of that is largely meaningless in terms of objectively valuing their acting talent.

Shatner benefits from having been on an iconic television series, which makes him instantly recognizable around the world, and that’s what casting directors look for, almost moreso than talent.

In a very meaningful way, he got lucky.

Do I think Beltran is better than Shatner? I don’t know, I’ve not seen him in anything but Voyager. I would never say that Shatner’s been anything more than servicable though. But more to your point: does his salary, recognition, and career mean that Shatner is objectively better than Beltran?

Absolutely not.

First of all, there is no way to say that anyone is objectively a better actor. I think we can all agree that Denzel Washington is a better actor than Pauley Shore, but there is probably some guy out there who thinks different.

I could see a rational argument in fact where a fan of Pauley Shore would say “Pauley Shore plays a more convincing buffoon in dumb comedies than Denzel plays his characters in his movies.”

Actually I would think awards would be a fairly objective valuing of ones talent. We can debate awards all day but ultimately receiving awards and nominations is validating the talents of the performer.

Regardless, the irrational hatred for Shatner pretty much makes you’re points irrelevant. You’re simply too biased.

You know what i’d love to see? I would LOVE it if the producers of Discovery cast Beltran as Chakotay’s Great-Great-Grandfather! Just to stick it to that bloated windbag, Shatner!

Torchwood,

Re: Just to stick it to that bloated windbag, Shatner!

For this to achieve your stated objective, wouldn’t Robert Beltran have to be on Shatner’s radar so that he would know who Robert IS?

Everything Star Trek is on Shatner’s radar. If it weren’t, he wouldn’t be begging to get on Discovery like the pathetic out-of-touch “actor” he is.

Unfortunately his trophy case tells a different story. But he was my favorite character on Voyager. Terribly under utilized.

i dont know how i feel about this….i like him..i liked his character on the show…i like what he’s saying but the guy was paid 100 000$ per episode for 7 years…sounds a bit like a douche..

Yeah I understand what you mean BUT if you look at it from his POV, they were paying him millions of dollars that he didn’t feel he was really earning. Actors are like that, the bigger ones get paid a lot of money but most actually DO want to earn it meaning they want substantial roles and characters. I’m sure there are plenty who are just happy to be working, come in, say their lines and get a nice fat paycheck every week. But for actors who are truly passionate and especially a TV actor where you can just play one character for years on end as he did, I think it just wanting to be challenged and feel passionate about it before it just becomes a routine. Feeling a sense of real accomplishment. Look at Trek actors like Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Kate Mulgrew, Michael Dorn, Avery Brooks, Nana Visitor etc they gave those guys tons of things to do with their characters. Challenged them in a lot of ways and made their characters very popular because of it.

I think thats what it really about, he’s kind of frustrated while the show gave him fame and fortune he never got to do things on the show to truly propel his work or character.

i understand what you’re saying..well said.

Thank you. And don’t get me wrong, I do think he comes off waaaaaay too angry and bitter lol. I think thats what put off a lot of people. I don’t disagree with his basic points but he’s far from the only actor to feel that way obviously, especially in Star Trek, but he wears his emotions on his sleeves vs others who have expressed they wish they could’ve done more with their characters but same time don’t try to burn down the entire (sorry) enterprise when discussing it.

So yes there is definitely a better way he could handle it and as I said in my OP he actually came off more diplomatic here than I read in the past. He does put a lot of fans off because he seems to do nothing but complain about it although I understand his POV for sure.

He complained, but wasn’t willing to contribute real ideas or take any additional initiative. His own words. He liked his free time….

If there is a problem, it’s largely with him.

That’s actually something that’s starting to get me worried about Discovery.

With a cast so large, will any of the characters be substantially developed? Will any of the characters have moments? Or will the story be spread out amongst everybody? How will the writers avoid having cardboard characters with 13 one-hour episodes (if the episodes are that long)?

He’s got great indie film credits before VOY. Hopefully the second part of the interview will get into interesting theater he’s done since, instead of people negging on his lackluster TV career.

Not one comment about that damned face tattoo?

Don’t Litter!

AP,

I appreciate your catching that when I perused your article. Good job.

Nothing belonged on Star Trek LESS than spirit-animal vision-quest peyote-dream bullshit.

I too disliked it, but mostly their execution– there’s nothing inherently wrong with it. There ARE spiritual cultures currently, and this IS supposed to be a future of our world, so it doesn’t seem unlikely… just… the way it was done felt so forced.

so agreed with him, star trek voyager should of been way better

Just Another Salt Vampire

Did Kes ever have curly hair on the show like she does in that publicity photo? She looks like Lambchop.

Beltran is an interesting person. It would be nice to see him in an Earth-bound drama. Chakotay was a character than never reached its potential, like most of the Voyager cast other than Janeway, the Doctor, and Seven.

I thought Tom and Belanna were quite well written. Neelix, Kes and Tuvok…. Not so much.

I loved Tom and Belanna relationship because it really did feel it happened organically. They didn’t seem to care for each other much, but little by little he started to win her over. And they are the first and only Trek couple that had a baby together. Worf and Dax almost got there, but, yeah…

Oh yeah Kassidy was at least pregnant with Siskos kid before, yeah…

Uhm, well, Keiko and O’Brien and their two kids?

I have to somewhat, pour some vinegar, on Beltran’s words, here. This is an actor who has not done anything of any note since Voyager had ended, in 2001! Voyager has some problems like he said, but he must take some flak for its problems. He was not an outstanding actor, and he knows it.

He was solid in Big Love.

How soon is coming soon?

I enjoyed Voyager, but I can also see the truth behind Beltran’s words. The lack of real drama in the show was only highlighted more by DS9 being on the air concurrently for 5 seasons. The concept of Voyager lent itself to the possibility of more character conflicts and inner turmoil, but that went mostly unexplored.

I recommend finding Ron Moore’s Voyager experience when he was supposed to go to Voyager following DS9’s end. Apparently Voyager was not a pleasant experience for writers either.

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