This year’s Academy Award nominees were announced this morning, and we’ll let you know the Trek veterans who made the cut. Also, we have William Shatner opening a red carpet (and opening up on Ricardo Montalban), Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes reuniting for television, LeVar Burton singing and giving love advice, and more. Read on!
Trek vets up for Oscars
The nominations for the 81st Academy Awards were announced this morning, and several Star Trek alumni made the cut. The big one is actor Frank Langella (Minister Jaro Essa on DS9), who is up for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon. In addition, Nathan Crowley, one of the set designers on DS9’s pilot episode, is nominated in the Art Direction category as Production Designer on The Dark Knight. Star Trek Nemesis sound mixers Chris Jenkins (who also worked on Final Frontier and Generations) and Frank Montano are both up in the Best Sound category for their work on Wanted. Veteran Trek effects supervisor Craig Barron and Star Trek 2009 special effects coordinator are both up in the Visual Effects category for their work on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; also nominated in this category is Generations effects artist Ben Snow for Iron Man. Undiscovered Country makeup effects designer Greg Cannom and Nemesis mechanical designer Mike Elizalde are up for the Best Make-up Oscar for Benjamin Button and Hellboy II, respectively. Ben Burtt, the sound designer for 2009’s Star Trek, has been nominated for two Oscars for his work on Disney/Pixar’s WALL·E, one for Best Sound and another for Best Sound Editing. Lastly, Wrath of Khan computer graphics artist Ed Catmull has been awarded the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, given to an individual whose technological contributions have brought credit to the motion pictures industry.
In total, the Academy has nominated nine individual Trek vets this year, which is the same number nominated for last year’s Oscars. This year, though, an additional Trek vet has been given one of the Academy’s special technical awards. Also of note is that this is the first time in nearly 25 years that a Trek alum has been nominated as Best Actor in a Leading Role category; the last time this happened was in 1985 when F. Murray Abraham (Ru’Afo in Star Trek: Insurrection) won for Amadeus. TrekMovie.com congratulates all of this year’s Oscar nominees.
Langella from power-hungry Jaro to Nixon…not a stretch?
Shatner opening the red carpet, tweeting on Montalban
William Shatner (he who is and shall forever be James T. Kirk… just not in the new movie) will open the red carpet at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center for the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, Jan. 25, as reported by News Blaze. Shatner is also a nominee at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards in the “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series” category for his portrayal of Denny Crane in the now-defunct Boston Legal. The 2009 SAG Awards ceremony will be simulcast live nationally on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. In the meantime, Shatner is getting hip and updating his Twitter. This week has has addressed the death of his Star Trek II co-star Ricardo Montalban (Khan) through a “tweet”:
Ricardo Montalban was a wonderful man I saw him on Broadway I was entertained by his movies. I loved working with him on the film we made.
In other belated Bill updates, The Shatner Project has just uploaded Bill’s New Year’s greeting, recorded on a boat off Hawaii.
Spiner and Shimerman have ‘Leverage’ with Frakes
Earlier this week, Brent Spiner (Data) announced via Twitter that he will appears in an episode on the TNT series Leverage directed by his friend and TNG co-star Jonathan Frakes (Will Riker). As if that wasn’t enough of a reason to watch, SFUniverse announced that the episode will also feature DS9’s Armin Shimerman (Quark). The site also posted a behind-the-scenes image of the three former Trek regulars on the set of the episode (check it out below). The episode, entitled “The Juror #6 Job,” is set to air February 3rd at 10pm EST on TNT.
Quark, Riker, and Data — together at last!
Burton sings ‘Rainbow’
LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) made a surprise visit to the Los Angeles DiggNation taping on January 14th, where he sang a few lines from the theme song to Reading Rainbow. But you don’t have to take my word for it; check it out for yourself here. Burton also sang Rainbow and gave love advice on Loveline, along with Family Guy creator, Trekkie, and Enterprise cameo-maker Seth MacFarlane; you can hear the fun unfold here. Note that it’s not entirely safe for the work environment. Again, you don’t have to take my word for it; click and find out for yourself.
Beltran, Montgomery return to the tube
Star Trek: Voyager‘s Robert Beltran (Chakotay) and Star Trek: Enterprise‘s Anthony Montgomery (Travis Mayweather) each made appearances on TV this week. Beltran played a Native American businessman and casino-owner (with white hair!) on the HBO series Big Love. Montgomery made a house call (pun intended) on this week’s House, playing a social worker who inspects the home of adoptive mother Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). Montgomery’s role was a one-off, but Beltran will be a recurring character on Big Love, look for on this weekend’s episode of Big Love, airing Sunday on HBO.
Beltran is back
Aussie actor Eric Bana, who plays villain Nero in this year’s Star Trek, was among the honorees at this year’s G’Day USA Australia Week Black Tie Gala, as reported by the official Australia Week site. The event, which “honours [sic] high profile individuals for significant contributions in their industries and for excellence in promoting Australia within the United States,” took place January 18th at the Renaissance Hotel on Hollywood & Highland. Congrats to Mr. Bana.
Bana presenting and on the red carpet at Aussie Event in LA
- Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) participated in a PSA for the Royal Shakespeare Company advocating early exposure to Shakespeare, which you can check out by heading to RSC.org.
- Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) will participate in the Drama League’s annual all-star gala, A Musical Celebration of Broadway at New York’s Rainbow Room on February 2nd. Playbill)
- Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) is among the actors who signed a statement advocating SAG Executive Director Doug Allen. (LA Times)
- A new interview with actor Malcolm McDowell (Dr. Tolian Soran) is available at MalcolmMcDowell.us.
- Star Trek (2009) director and producer J.J. Abrams and best pal Greg Grunberg (of Heroes fame) were spotted taking in a Lakers game on Monday ; check out the photo below, from WireImage.
Greg and JJ BFFs with great seats at Laker game
TrekMovie.com wishes a happy birthday to those Trek luminaries turning an extra digit this week, including:
- Lou Antonio (75), Lokai in TOS’ “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”
- Cyia Batten (34), the first Tora Ziyal on DS9 among other characters
- Lanei Chapman (36), Ens. Sariel Rager in various TNG episodes
- Susan Howard (65), Mara in TOS’ “Day of the Dove”
- Tracy Middendorf (39), the second Tora Ziyal on DS9
- Gregory Sierra (68), Entek in DS9’s “Second Skin”
- Leigh Taylor-Young (64), Yanas Tigan in DS9’s “Prodigal Daughter”
- Susanna Thompson (51), the Borg Queen on VOY among other characters
- Ruth Williamson (55), primary Sphere Builder on Enterprise
- James Cromwell (69), Zefram Cochrane among other characters
Cromwell at pre-inaugural party last week – looking good for 69