In a new interview with Den of Geek, veteran character actor William Morgan Sheppard revealed he has a small part in JJ Abrams new Star Trek (and TrekMovie.com has verified the report). Trek fans should recognize Sheppard from his multiple Trek appearances, most notably as the Klingon commandant of Rura Penthe in Star Trek VI. Sheppard only revealed that the role is ‘small’ and he plays a race he hasn’t played before.
Den of Geek asked if Sheppard was reprising one of his previous three Trek roles:
No, I will say that much, definitely not. In fact I am playing a different race, I’ve done Klingons…actually, I am going to be judging as a Klingon, though I won’t be dressing up as one for it, at one of those big conventions up in Maryland. That one’s in July, and they want me to go. It’s a Klingon convention. Can you believe it?
Sheppard also talked about dealing with the challenges of working in make-up, like in Star Trek VI:
It holds you back, really. Sometimes you can act the wardrobe, or the wardrobe does the acting for you. When it’s prosthetics like that it’s hard work to get any kind of humanity, even if its an alien. Hard work to get any kind of life behind it. I had fun being a Klingon. My favourite is ‘Soul Hunter’ in Babylon 5. [J. Michael] Straczynski really let me go with that one.
Sheppard in Star Trek VI, TNG and VOY
In addition to his role on Star Trek VI, Sheppard appeared as Ira Graves in TNG episode "The Schizoid Man" and Qatai in Voyager’s "Bliss." The 75 year-old English-born actor might be best known for his recurring role as Blank Reg on the TV series Max Headroom. He also played Maj. Gen. Isaac Trimble in the films Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. His other films include The Elephant Man, Cry Freedom, Wild at Heart, Needful Things, and The Prestige. Sheppard had a recurring role on SeaQuest DSV and appeared in an episode of JJ Abrams’ Alias. In addition to Alias, he has another connection to the Abrams team, appearing as Captain Archibald Witwicky (Sam Witwicky’s great-grandfather) in Transformers (written by Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci).
Sheppard in Transformers