After months, the Watch is back, baby! We can’t let the new movie celebs take up all the space, when so many ‘classic’ Trek celebs are out there making a difference. Below is some Trek celeb news from the past few weeks, including tons of stuff on George Takei, LeVar Burton, and Patrick Stewart. Plus: a guide to Trek actors who have appeared on TV in the last three months, and those who will be appearing soon.
Classic Trek stars at GLAAD and TrekFest
Original series stars Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) and George Takei (Sulu) shared the stage together at the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on April 18th, which promote the accurate representation of gay and lesbian persons. See The Toronto Sun for more details on the event. Nichols and Takei will also be attending TrekFest XXV in Riverside, Iowa, on June 26-27, along with TOS co-star Walter Koenig, according to KCCI Des Moines.
Takei and Nichols speak at the GLAAD Awards
Takei does a parade, a concert, a sketch, and a short film… oh, my!
Speaking of George Takei, the man who was Sulu has been fairly busy this past month. According to The Republican via Masslive.com, Takei was the guest narrator for the Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s concert “Flights of Fantasy” on April 4th. During the first half of the concert, the orchestra played the main themes from Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (see program info here), and in between the music, Takei engaged in a question and answer session with conductor Kevin Rhodes. On April 18th, according to Examiner.com, Takei was the Grand Marshall at the 42nd Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival’s Grand Parade. Takei also took part in a comedy sketch called A Gaythering Storm, a parody of the Gathering Storm ad made by the National Organization preaching against same-sex marriage. You can check that out at Just Jared. Lastly, Takei took part in an animated short film for NASA called “Robot Astronomy Talk Show: Gravity and the Great Attractor”, in which Takei is interviewed by a robot voiced by Babylon 5‘s Ed Wasser. You can find the film at NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope website, Cool Cosmos.
Patrick Stewart is God… with an Olivier Award
Boldly going where George Burns, Morgan Freeman, Alanis Morisette, and the like have gone before, Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) is set to play God in a mystery play in Barnsley, England, this summer. According to The Examiner, Stewart voice the Almighty in The English Mystery Plays at the Monk Bretton Priory, which will be transformed into an outdoor venue. Performances will take place from June 29th through July 11th. [UPDATE] As pointed out by somethingwicked13 in the comments below, Stewart won the Laurence Olivier Award for his performance as Claudius in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet. See the report at The Telegraph for more information.
Stewart gets mad
Right now, however, Stewart is touring with his X-Men co-star Ian McKellen in a London production of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, and it appears the even the usually calm, professional thespian can sometimes lose his cool. According to the Daily Record and various other sources, Stewart engaged in a small tirade following a production of Godot at the Edinburgh Kings Theatre on April 15th. Apparently, an audience member took a picture of Stewart and McKellen during the show, an act generally considered to be rude. Stewart caught the little bugger outside the theater while signing autographs, and, according to one witness, the actor proclaimed the following:
Are you the a***hole who was sitting at the front tonight? You know, what I really want to know is how you can sleep at night? I really hope you’re pleased with yourself.
This sounds more like a soft scolding than a tirade to us, so we’re guessing this is another example of a minor incident being sensationalized by the press. Stewart has thus far made no comment regarding his remarks.
Burton catering death + winning awards
LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) is currently starring in a play called The Caterer, about a man who sells people their “appropriate deaths.” Incidentally, the play is written and directed by another Next Generation alum, Brian Alan Lane, who wrote the TNG episode “Elementary, Dear Data.” The Caterer opened on April 10th at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks, California, and will run until May 10th. But you don’t have to take my word for it; visit the official site to learn more about The Caterer. By the way, fans who follow Burton on Twitter can apparently receive VIP treatment when they buy tickets to the play. So, there you go. In other Burton news, the independent film Reach For Me – which was directed by Burton – took home the top two awards at the Lake Arrowhead International Film Festival: the Best Feature Film Award and the Best of the Festival Award. See AjaxWorld for more info.
Burton, Morrison, and Grunberg join Marvel Super Hero Squad
Wait, there’s even more LeVar Burton news! As Burton himself announced, he provided the voice for Jim “Rhodey” Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine, in the upcoming cartoon series Marvel Super Hero Squad. This series is based on the popular line of action figures featuring various characters from the pages of Marvel Comics. Marvel recently announced that 26 episodes of the show are slated to air on Cartoon Network this fall. In addition to Burton, Star Trek (2009) actors Jennifer Morrison (Winona Kirk) and Greg Grunberg (“Stepdad”) also supply voices on the series, though their characters have not yet been revealed.
Trinneer talks the fine art of acting… and football
In an interview with Jonja.net, Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker) discussed how he was trying to become a professional football player before he settled on acting. Here is an excerpt (transcription courtesy of TrekToday):
I wasn’t going to go pro. I needed to find something that frankly I wanted to do with myself. I didn’t have a major or anything. I was kind of treading water at that time. I do think there is a correlation between [acting and football] in the sense that athletes spend a lot of time doing their sport, sort of taking it to a next level. You’re still in an arena in front of people. You have to be comfortable enough to be able to do your stuff without really thinking about the size of it and I think that making a transition from that to acting or theater is probably a little easier than one might initially think but then you gotta throw in the always elusive element of ‘Are you any good?’
Trinneer also touched upon the premature cancelation Star Trek: Enterprise and his role on Stargate: Atlantis. You can check out the entire interview at Jonja.net. Oh, by the way, if you’re interested, Trinneer placed his 2,066-square-foot Craftsman-style house in Los Angeles’ Bronson Canyon area on the market for $1,089,000, according to Luxist.
Ryan back to work
Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) recently returned to acting following her maternity leave, appearing as “ball-busting” attorney Parice Larue in the episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit which aired April 7th. She will reprise the role in two more episodes airing in the fall. Ryan talked with People Magazine about ending her maternity leave, which she called “rough” since it meant being away from baby Gisele for the first time since she was born on March 2nd, 2008. For the full interview, in which Ryan also discusses little Giselle and getting back into shape after her pregnancy, click here.
Bakula back on ‘Old Christine’ + Joins ‘Guys and Dolls’ + Talks ‘Quantum Leap’ and ‘Trek’ ’09
As you are no doubt aware by now, Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) has been playing Chuck Bartowski’s dad, Steve (codename “Orion”… hmmm…) on Chuck; he has appeared in two episodes so far, and will also be seen in the season finale, airing April 27th. If that’s not enough Bakula for you, he will be returning to The New Adventures of Old Christine for the show’s season finale on May 13th, as reported by The Futon Critic. He will reprise his role as Old Christine’s old flame, Papa Jeff, who appeared in two episodes way back in 2006. If you want to see Bakula live, then you can go see him in the Hollywood Bowl’s upcoming summer presentation of Guys and Dolls, which, as reported by Playbill, will run from July 31st through August 2nd. Ruth Williamson, who worked with Bakula as the primary sphere builder in several episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, is also part of the cast. In older news, Sci Fi Wire has an interview with Bakula in which he discusses the (slim) chances of a Quantum Leap movie and his thoughts on the new Trek; you can check that out here.
Bakula returns as Papa Jeff in The New Adventures of Old Christine this May
Trek Celeb Summer Movie Spoiler
One of our favorite Trek celebrities as a surprise role in one of the (non Star Trek) summer movies. To find out what (and you might not want to do this), highlight the following INVOSTEXT: Patrick Stewart will appear as Professor Xavier in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." According to Ain’t It Cool News’ review of the movie, available at here, Stewart’s Professor X has a cameo in the film, although the CGI used to make him look younger did not work as well as it did in "X-Men: The Last Stand." [END INVISOTEXT].
Note please do not discuss this spoiler in your comments below.
Trek regulars back on the tube
Besides Ryan and Bakula, several other regular Star Trek cast members have appeared on other television series since the last CelebWatch. In case you want to check them out on Hulu or something or keep an eye out for repeats, here is a guide to those actors who have guest-starred on network shows, as well as the shows and specific episodes in which they appeared.
- Robert Beltran (Chakotay) – Jerry Flute on Big Love, multiple episodes (January 18th-March 22nd)
- John Billingsley (Phlox) – Hugh Rollins on Criminal Minds, episode “A Shade of Gray” (aired April 22nd)
- Colm Meaney (Miles O’Brien) – voice of Tom O’Flanagan on The Simpsons, in episode “In the Name of the Grandfather” (aired March 17th)
- Anthony Montgomery (Travis Mayweather) – RGM Lawyer on Trust Me, in episode “Thanks, I Needed That” (aired March 31st)
- Linda Park (Hoshi Sato) – Assistant Coroner Debbie Quo on Life, episode “5 Quarts” (aired March 25th)
- Robert Picardo (The Doctor) – Perseus on Chuck, episode “Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon” (aired March 9th)
- Tim Russ (Tuvok) – Gordon Benedict on Trust Me, episodes “Before and After” (aired January 26th) and “Way Beyond the Call” (aired February 23rd)
- Armin Shimerman (Quark) and Brent Spiner – Doctor and Quint, respectively, on Leverage, episode “The Juror #6 Job” (aired February 10th), directed by Jonathan Frakes (Riker)
- George Takei (Sulu) – voice of Yoketron on Transformers: Animated, episode “Five Servos of Doom” (aired April 4th)
- Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker) – Sheriff Alvan McKinley on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, episode “The Good Wound” (aired February 13th); port authority guard Carl Gadsen on 24, episode “Day 7: 10:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.” (aired March 23rd)
- Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) – voice of Darkstar on Ben 10: Alien Force, episode “War of the Worlds: Part One” and “Part Two” (aired March 27th)
And, of course, as already reported, the entire cast of TNG appeared on the Family Guy episode which aired March 29th, and Leonard Nimoy (Spock) was heared in the Fringe episode which aired April 21st. A number of Trek regulars will be appearing on TV in the coming weeks:
- Michael Dorn (Worf) will return as the US president in the third season finale of Heroes, airing Monday, April 27th, at 9pm, as reported by Spoiler TV. And apparently, he will have to deal with Sylar, the villain played by the new Spock, Zachary Quinto. Dorn previously appeared on the show at the end of the first half of the season back on December 15th.
- Robert Picardo has at least two upcoming TV appearances. He will be seen in the penultimate episode of Pushing Daisies, the acclaimed but still cancelled series created by Star Trek: Voyager writer/producer Bryan Fuller. The episode aired in the UK on Friday, April 24th, and will air in the US on June 6th, according to this page. Picardo will also appear on ABC’s Castle in the episode airing May 11th, in which he will play a character named Clark Murray, according to a brief blurb at his official site.
- Armin Shimerman can be heard as the villainous “Calculator” (oooooh, scary) on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, in the episode airing Friday, May 1st, on Cartoon Network, as reported by Newsrama.
- Lastly, according to his official site, Alexander Siddig (Julian Bashir) will be guest-starring in the final two episodes of the new season of the BBC series Waking the Dead, airing in the UK later this year.
- Leonard Nimoy (original Spock), Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway), Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker), John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox), Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun, Brunt, Shran, etc.), J.G. Hertzler (Martok), Suzie Plakson (K’Ehleyr, Female Q, Tarah), and Marc Alaimo (Dukat) are the guests at this year’s official east coast Star Trek convention in New Jersey. (Creation Entertainment)
- Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) will be a special guest at this year’s Super-Con in San Jose, California, on May 16-17.
- Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) will perform at LA Weekly’s LA Weekend tonight (fittingly at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre), and tomorrow, he was be on a panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, followed by book signing. (WWdN: In Exile)
- Colm Meaney (Chief O’Brien) won the Best Supporting Actor award at the 11th Method Fest Independent Film Festival awards for his work in A Deal Is A Deal. (Variety)
- Avery Brooks (Ben Sisko) performed a scene from Othello at a celebration of the Washington arts community on April 21st (Washingtonian.com) and will play Friar Tuck on stage in Robin Hood 2: The Revenge of Little John from May 9th through June 1st (appealdemocrat.com
- Rene Auberjonois (Odo) will be reading Taste by Roald Dahl at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on Monday, May 4th. (Broadway World)
- Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys) has some new headshots on her official site; you can check them out here.
Nana Visitor looking gives herself a hug in a new photo
- Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) will be a guest speaker at the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter 2009 Remembering Our Stars Gala on Saturday, April 25th. (Alzheimer’s Association)
- Robert Beltran (Chakotay) will be performing in the American Conservatory Theater’s production of Jose Rivera’s Boleros for the Disenchanted, running May 7th through May 31st. (TheaterMania)
- Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris) talks about producing Chuck in an interview on the actor’s official site.
- Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) will participate in a meet & greet in New York City on May 9th, along with Robin Curtis (Saavik), Casey Biggs (Damar), J.G. Hertzler (Martok), and Vaughn Armstrong (Adm. Forrest, etc.), to be followed by a screening of the new Star Trek movie. Keating will then take part in a Cruise Trek Adventure, “Back to Bermuda”, which sails on May 10th and lasts through May 17th. (DominicKeating.com)
- John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox) is currently playing Philip in the play Mauritius at the Pasadena Playhouse; it runs through Sunday, April 26th. Hmm… I guess we should have gotten that news to you sooner…