Two more Star Trek celebrities are headed to the TNT series Leverage, this time it’s Wil Wheaton and Jeri Ryan. And we have more Trek celeb news including a new interview with Jonathan Frakes, Linda Park headed for a ‘Crash’, a new movie for Kate Mulgrew, and more.
Ryan and Wheaton have ‘Leverage’
Two Star Trek regulars are set to appear on the TNT heist-drama series Leverage this fall. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jeri Ryan (VOY’s Seven of Nine) has landed a recurring role on the show as “a smart-ass, street-wise con woman” named Tara. Levarage will mark Jeri’s second television work since returning from maternity leave following a guest appearance on Law & Order: SVU earlier this year. Also appearing on Leverage will be Wil Wheaton (TNG’s Wesley Crusher), who shot his episode in Portland on June 16th and 17th, 19th, and 23rd. Wheaton wrote about his experiences on the set on his blog (starting with his costume fitting and first set visit described here) and on his Twitter account. He has also posted snapshots of himself on the set at twitpic here, here, and here. The new season of Leverage premieres July 15th; Wheaton’s episode should air seven weeks later (according to Wil).
Wheaton with Leverage star Aldis Hodge
(Photo by Wil Wheaton)
Frakes talks Trek
Ryan and Wheaton are not the only Trek players to become associated with Leverage. Jonathan Frakes (William T. Riker) is one of several directors on the show, and one of his episodes guest-starred TNG co-star Brent Spiner (Data) and DS9’s Armin Shimerman (Quark). Although Frakes apparently did not direct Wheaton’s episode, it is not yet clear whether he will have the chance to direct Ryan. In other Frakes news, however, the actor participated in an extensive, Trek-heavy interview with the Australian Sci-Fi Channel website, which you can read here.
Here is just one interesting excerpt:
How is Jonathan Frakes like Commander William T. Riker?
He’s tall. He walks funny. He’s losing his hair. He plays the trombone. He has, at least from the second season onward, a glint in his eye. I was told during the first season by the late, great Gene Roddenberry that he wanted Riker to have a Gary Cooper stance and presence and never to smile. It’s very hard for me not to smile so I spent the first season being very rigid – and you can see it in the show – Riker’s really stiff and rigid, trying desperately not to smile and finally I think Gene, and other people who leapt in, said maybe we should let a little more Frakes seep into Riker.
At that point we had a writer on the show named Maurice Hurley who was executive producing with Rick Berman and he was a big advocate of writing for the actors, so they put the trombone stuff in for Riker (because I play the trombone), an appreciation of jazz and I think it was Maurice’s fantasy that Riker starts to hit on some alien women in the tradition of The Great Captain Kirk. There were interesting encounters with women with rubber glued to their heads.
Park involved in a ‘Crash’
Linda Park (Hoshi Sato) has joined the cast of the Starz Network TV series Crash for the show’s second season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Park will plays a children’s book author named Maggie, “who writes of a joyful life but has trouble living it.” Coincidentally, the series is based on the 2004 film Crash, which featured TNG’s Marina Sirtis, who Park worked with in the final episode of Enterprise and the 2004 sci-fi movie Spectres. Incidentally, TNG/DS9 writer/producer Ira Steven Behr is the new showrunner on Crash, having replaced series creator Glen Mazzara. The second season of Crash is scheduled to premiere this September.
Mulgrew and McDonald among the ‘Best and the Brightest’
Star Trek: Voyager‘s captain, Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) and Star Trek: The Next Generation guest actor Christopher McDonald (Richard Castillo in “Yesterday’s Enterprise”) are playing husband and wife in an upcoming movie called The Best and the Brightest. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is an independent comedy which involves “a couple from Delaware [played by Neil Patrick Harris and Bonnie Somerville] who move to New York’s Upper East Side and enter the world of the city’s private kindergartens.” There is more information, and on-set pictures, on Mulgrew’s official site, which states that Mulgrew and McDonald are politicians serving on a day school board.
Burton tweets tribute to Jackson
The sudden death of pop superstar Michael Jackson last week left the world in shock. Many celebrities posted their reaction to The King of Pop’s death on Twitter, including LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge), who wrote at 3:22PM on June 25th:
Like it or not we are all witnesses to history unfolding. At the least let us offer prayers for all souls leaving as well as those staying!
- Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) served as the patron for an 85-year-old deaf man and his dog who walked 146 miles for charity. (Witney Gazette)
- Scott Bakula attended the Hollywood Bowl last weekend where he witnessed singer Josh Groban (among others) being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Incidentally, Groban claims that he met William Shatner (Jim Kirk Prime) before the show; there is no word on if Bakula has yet to meet the Shat. (Variety)
- Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker) and his wife, Ariana, have sold their Franklin Village Craftsman home for $1.1 million. (LA Times)
- Simon Pegg interviewed for his role as Buck the weasel in the upcoming film Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Telegraph)
Pegg voicing the weasel Buck in Ice Age 3