Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Wil Wheaton has been facing critiques of his character Wesley for decades, even facing it recently in a Big Bang Theory guest spot. But in a new interview, the actor says that when he was younger the critiques were ‘hurtful’. More from Wheaton, plus info on a live video chat promoting this weekend’s guest spot on Leverage below.
Wheaton talks Wesley, deleted Nemesis, 2009 Star Trek & more
Wheaton on criticism of Wesley Crusher character:
What I was hearing back in the old days were older people who were just sort of predisposed to not like a young character on a show. I think the writers could have navigated around that and made him more relatable, instead of like an idea, but they had a hard time overcoming a lot of that stuff. And when I was a kid it was very hard. It was hard not to take that personally. Kids are awkward. Kids are insecure. I spent 50 hours a week doing Star Trek when I was a kid. That was really my life. To go to conventions back then and have people criticizing me and attacking me personally instead of maybe talking about the writing, it was hurtful.
Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation
Wheaton on his cut Star Trek Nemesis cameo
That experience for me was less about whatever made it onto the screen and more about having two days to go back to Star Trek and finally be the adult with the adults, which is an experience I’d always wanted to have as a kid. I never got to experience that when I was little, and it was incredibly wonderful.
Wheaton on the 2009 Star Trek movie (in which he had a voice cameo)
I loved the movie. I really liked the way that J.J. made the Star Trek universe relevant to my kids’ generation. And I’m real excited to see where it goes next.
Wheaton in deleted scene of ‘Star Trek Nemesis’
Wheaton returns to Leverage this weekend + live chat Sunday
Wil Wheaton reprises his role as the hacker "Chaos" on the heist show Leverage in the episode "The Ho Ho Ho Job", airing Sunday, December 12th on TNT at 9PM. In order restore Santa’s reputation, the Leverage team infiltrates a mall on Christmas Eve and uncovers a nefarious scheme perpetrated by an old nemesis (Wheaton’s Chaos).
Wheaton will join other cast members of Leverage for a live video chat with fans on Sunday at 10PM (Eastern), immediately following the show. Fans can submit questions live on either the LEVERAGE Facebook page or TNT.tv and interact directly through webchat with the cast as they answer questions.
Wheaton with Leverage star Aldis Hodge
(Photo by Wil Wheaton)