Colm Meaney (TNG and DS9’s Miles O’Brien) continues to enjoy success in his post-Trek acting career with regular film roles including a new movie coming out this week (Three and Out) and a new series coming up on ABC (Life on Mars). In a new interview with Rotten Tomatoes the actor talks about life on and after Star Trek, and how he doesn’t regret never doing a DS9 film.
Colm Meaney on if he was disappointed not getting a DS9 movie
No, absolutely not! When we were doing the show and people asked would I like to do a movie my position was always, if I do a feature I’d rather not do it a space suit! I spent seven years in a space suit and that was fine. I did the TV show, but it’s funny, a lot of people who watch Star Trek know I do that, but they don’t know I do movies too, and similarly people who go to the movies don’t know I did Star Trek. It’s like I’m these two different actors in two different careers, and that’s great – I love that. I think if you start stepping into the feature world in Star Trek you become known to a wider audience as that and it becomes limiting.
We had a great time doing the show; don’t get me wrong, we had a great crew and a great cast. And the writing on that show was very good. We did twenty-six episodes a year for seven years and there were maybe three or four duds in a year which wasn’t bad. We got on very well. So it was a lot of fun and we all enjoyed it, but after seven years it was a perfect time to quit, walk away and do other things.
On if he was a fan of Star Trek
No, and you know, science fiction would not have been my favourite genre; I never really developed an interest in it. But doing the series was interesting because I realised that science fiction can be used to really comment on today in a very direct way. We were doing shows about genetic engineering, you know, and there was even a great two-part episode about homelessness, I remember, which was set in about 2040. It was really a social commentary where in the not-too-distant future we could develop a permanent under-class who are segregated from society. In contemporary television you couldn’t do that, so I realised the value of science fiction as a genre by doing the show.
Meaney is about to go back to regular series television as one of the stars of the American version of Life on Mars being produced by David E. Kelley for ABC. This is Meaney’s first time in a series since DS9 ended and he reflected on the return, noting that it was Rick Berman who made it so easy for him with his time on Trek:
Well I was very lucky to have a great exec producer in Rick Berman. In fact one of my worries when they offered me Deep Space Nine was that I’d be going to a fulltime role after having just recurred in The Next Generation. I could just f–k off and do what I wanted, but I was a series regular on DS9. Rick sat me down one day and said, “I promise you, I’ll always let you out to do a feature you really want to do.” And over the course of the seven years he did. There were a couple of things he said no to, but they were things I wasn’t particularly desperate to do anyway. The important ones I did get to do. They’d write me out of two or three episodes, or have me shoot the last day of one episode and the first day of the next episode. I could do a couple of days in LA and get back to wherever I was shooting movies.
I don’t know if it’ll be the same on Life on Mars, but if it does go I’ve also got four months hiatus every year, so if you can squeeze a movie in there, then great. Also, I feel I’m at a point where I want to do other stuff, I like to mix it up, but I’m just as happy doing good TV. Importantly it’s changed a lot in the last twenty years, where features were the place you wanted to be. The better writing now is very often found on television. Cable, obviously, has had a big influence on that with shows like The Sopranos and Six Feet Under and stuff like that, but it’s affected the networks now. The networks are looking for the same kind of shows now and the change in the last ten years in extraordinary. There’s no reason not to be in television now. You get to live at home and you’re not on the road all the time, they pay you decent money, and the writing’s good. You’re not compromising for it, you know
Read the rest of the Meaney interview at Rotten Tomatoes.
On Monday, Meaney attended a charity premiere for Three and Out in London, here are a couple of photos from the event.
Colm Meaney attends the "Three and Out" World Charity Premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square on April 21, 2008 in London, England (Wire Image)
Colm Meaney goofs around with his "Three and Out" co-stars, Gemma Arterton, Imelda Staunton and Mackenzie Crook (Wire Image)
Three and Out co-starring Colm Meaney opens wide in the UK on Friday April 25, check out the trailer…