Armin Shimerman Would “Absolutely” Play Quark Again For New Star Trek… With Some Conditions

It’s huge news in the world of Star Trek that members of the Next Generation cast and more legacy Trek actors will be appearing in the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard. This has other actors from past Star Trek shows talking about maybe returning to their live-action roles, including Kate Mulgrew. The latest to discuss the subject is Armin Shimerman, who also had more to say about his time on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine playing the Ferengi bartender Quark.

Ready for more Quark, but wants the same deal as Michael Dorn

Earlier this month, Armin Shimerman appeared at the Fanboy Expo in Knoxville, TN. During his panel, a fan mentioned Picard season 3 and Mulgrew’s latest statements, asking the actor if he was interested in returning to Star Trek. Shimerman has talked about this in the past, citing wearing the heavy prosthetic makeup as a major factor in any decision. In Knoxville (via video from Fandom Spotlite), he told the convention crowd he would “absolutely” do it, but he had a few caveats:

The answer is yes. I would happily do it. I would not do a series regular again. I would not undergo that makeup for another seven years. I can’t live that long. But for a guest star or to do what they’re going to do on Picard with some of the characters coming back… Yeah, I would do that. But! They’d have to pay me like they paid Michael Dorn.

Before offering his caveat on returning to the role, Shimerman talked about the last time he wore the Quark makeup and how it took him back two decades:

At a convention right before COVID, someone paid me a ton of money to get dressed up as Quark one more time. And I would only do it if it was with my makeup artist [Karen Weserfield] who was with me the whole seven years… and they paid for Karen to come out to England… And when I put it on, Ira [Steven Behr], the executive producer, was there and we were all amazed because it was a good 20 years after I finished the show, and when I got into the makeup it was like a time machine. It looked like Quark 20 years ago.

Armin Shimerman in Quark makeup at Destination Star Trek Birmingham 2018 (startrek.com)

Shimerman thinks fans may be surprised by Worf’s new look

Speaking of Michael Dorn, Shimerman was asked what it was like working with him after Worf was brought into Deep Space Nine in season 4. Shimerman had high praise and said the two remain close to this day, but he did reveal one quibble with his old friend:

All of them are friends, but Michael is one of my closest friends. I see Michael on a regular basis. What Michael has done with Worf is truly phenomenal. And it’s a great credit to him and to others that wrote Worf for what they’ve done. I love Michael, however, Michael, God bless him, has a problem memorizing lines. So what usually happens in TV is they’re moving as quickly as they can, which is slow but for TV, it’s fast. And usually you’ll do little setups of different camera angles, whether it’s a three-shot or two-shot or close-up. Those all take a different setup, different lighting, everything has to be done differently for each of those framing jobs. So usually, you do it first time. And then if they don’t like it, they ask you to do a second time. And then when they say just to be to cover themselves for insurance, they may do it a third time and then they move on. But that means that you have to get the lines right. Michael didn’t always get the lines right. [laughs] So sometimes by the time we got to the 25th take, Michael had the lines right but I was done with that scene.

Shimerman also talked about how fans may be surprised at how Dorn looks when the see him in Picard:

But I love Michael. Michael is truly one of my closest friends. He is the kindest, most sympathetic, funny man that I know. Really a charmer. You would be surprised. If you haven’t seen him lately, he doesn’t look like Worf anymore. I suppose you will see him on Picard, but Michael’s lost a lot of weight, but he said to me one of his friends said to him, “Michael, I think I can take you now.” He is still a wonderful man, and a wonderful actor, and a dear, dear friend.

Picard season 3 Worf character poster

Begged writers to decide if Quark is smart or not

During the panel, Shimerman also spoke glowingly about his time on Deep Space Nine, offering praise to his fellow actors, as well as the writers and producers. However, he did note a certain frustration he had with his character, explaining:

We could not change lines. We could make suggestions, which were rarely followed. I know that three times a year I would take the writers out to lunch and make some suggestions. I remember begging them many times, “Just tell me what his IQ is. Just tell me because sometimes he’s smart and sometimes he’s not. Just tell me what his IQ is.”

Of course, Shimerman’s history with the Ferengi goes back before DS9, as he portrayed one of the first Ferengi when the race was introduced in the first season of The Next Generation. Producers had hoped that episode (“The Last Outpost“) would establish the Ferengi as a new main adversary; however, the episode wasn’t well received. At the Knoxville convention, Shimerman talked about how important it was for him to make the Ferengi into a more realized Star Trek race on Deep Space Nine:

The change from the TNG Ferengi that I created, because I’m the actor for the main Ferengi in that first episode, to Quark and all the Ferengi that followed me—I so hated my performance in Next Generation. [mocks hunched walk] That’s what I did. This is how I played Letek, which is Richard III. But it was wrong. It was horrible. I’ve said this for years now, my whole agenda as Quark was to try to wipe out that performance from the Next Generation. I was so one-dimensional. It was a horrible performance. The only thing good about it was the check didn’t bounce. But for Quark my agenda was to try to make that one dimensional creature into a three dimensional person. You may not agree with me… but the Ferengi were the most human of creatures on Star Trek. You might not like the Ferengi, but a lot of the characteristics that the Ferengi had are very much human characters. And so I was very was happy to do that.

Armin Shimerman as Quark in DS9 finale “What You Leave Behind”


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The “please give me a job” plea from Shimmerman

It’s not a plea when someone asks if he would return and he answers them.

Gee, it only took a moment or two to see that he hasn’t been lacking for work,

I doubt Armin needs a job. Minus some notable exceptions, most Trek actors have been performing/doing conventions together for years and are pretty close and would jump at the chance to reprise their roles and reunite with their peers given the right material. It’s gratifying as an actor to be associated with a character that has this type of longevity and popularity. Yes, it’s hard work and long hours, but it’s also loads of fun.

I am ambivalent about it. You’re not wrong, as actors are usually decidedly more coy. But in this case now that there is SO MUCH Star Trek in production and there is a high likelihood that someone will ask him to return, playing it coy seems like a bad idea. “Yes but I want to be extremely well compensated and don’t want to work the kind of hours I had to work thirty years ago” seems pretty savvy.

Did we read different articles???

I´d love for Quark to come back somehow. But if he doesn´t show up in Picard season 3, which is unlikely, the only alternative is one of the animated series. Until more series begin production that is.

I think it’s very likely we will see Quark in Lower Decks when they visit DS9 but with filming on Picard season 3 already completed it might not be too long before we hear what the next 25th Century show will be.

Yeah it would be nuts NOT to see Quark on the DS9 episode in a show like Lower Decks. That character almost feel made to be on that show. I been rewatching Lower Decks since season 3 will be out soon and in the middle of season 2. I forgot how often Quark is referenced in that season and is done 3 straight episodes.

He’d be an easy fit in to Star Trek Prodigy as well given that Dal was raised by a Ferengi. I had planned on rewatching LDS again too but I might have left it too late to get it done before season 3 starts lol.

He will definitely be on Lower Decks, it practically is a given. However, I hope if they bring Quark back they will bring Morn back, I just don’t know if they can get the same actor to play him on the animated series, his voice was so distinct and unique if they bring in another actor I am sure it won’t sound the same.

Well, they could do what they did for that Kobayashi Maru episode and reuse old clips of the actor if they can’t get him to reprise the role ;-)

True. I was thinking about the live actions shows since he was talking about going through all the makeup.

It’s too easy. There’s no reason for him not to return. Quark is a big franchise owner now. The part that gives me a little bit of heartburn is that when he does return it will not be with Odo. :(

I guess that rules out one potential cameo for Picard Season 3. Quark is still one of my all-time favorite Star Trek characters, and he rises higher on my list every year.

As for Michael Dorn, I think his weight loss might be the thing that will be the most jarring for fans who haven’t seen Worf in awhile. The entire cast of TNG actually looks quite thin and fit, it use to be the opposite.

In regard to your comment about Shimmerman, don’t be so sure. Wil Wheaton was publicly commenting on how he would like to return to the role of Wesley and be in the final season but it didn’t work out. He was saying all this after filming his scene in Season 2 of Picard. So I think these actors have been told not only to not comment, but to lie.

And as for Worf, I agree it will be a shock regarding his weight loss, but I think Gates McFadden’s face will be most jarring to be honest. She has had a lot of work done.

Also, I think if Worf is not a Captain, he is probably some sort of warrior monk and that would explain his weight loss possibly.

I didn’t know Shimmerman got into costume again as Quark! I love that picture. Such a great actor (I recall seeing him on Boston Legal and the Mentalist after DS9). His Quark, along with Rom and Nog, were just hilarious characters! They did punch in a lot of humanity into ST, and by humanity i mean us as we are now, not the humans as portrayed on TNG. The adversarial game that Odo and Quark played was just so much fun, and that’s what ST should be imo: fun and inspiring.

If you want to see an alien character from a Star Trek Series own another great role recently, I suggest you watch Better Call Saul, Ethan Phillips plays a judge and knocks it out of the park.

“the Ferengi were the most human of creatures on Star Trek. You might not like the Ferengi, but a lot of the characteristics that the Ferengi had are very much human characters”

Ironically, Quark would take MUCH offense to that…

I love how much he’s talking about getting paid here. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but Quark would certainly approve.

This is funny since he often talks about how much he’s paid to play Quark. In-fact, one of his first interviews was on the Regis and Kathy Lee show where he brought it up twice! Look it up on YouTube, he was in full makeup and costume.

Just what Star Trek needs, a grating, old school antisemitic caricature from the least popular, least watched Star Trek in seven decades.

You’re nuts. DS9 is the best Trek there ever was

“Least popular?” LOL. You’re a bit out of touch with fandom, my friend. That would be Discovery and Picard. DS9 is a show that is critically acclaimed and much beloved by fans. For a LOT of fans, it’s the best of the shows.

No idea where you’re getting this, but DS9 is one of the most popular Star Trek shows today.

On IMDB, it has a 8.1 rating. The only Trek shows higher than that are TNG and TOS.

On RT,it has an audience rating of 88%. The only shows higher than that are once again TNG and TOS. And both of those just 1% higher. So you’re very wrong in this case.

Antisemitic? Sexist maybe but I don’t see the antisemitism. It’s clear your opinion is tainted by emotion, as most of what you write is false and exaggerated.

The Ferengi are a bunch of short, money grubbing, big nosed guys, who are often played by Jewish actors. I love Quark and the Ferengi, but it isn’t entirely unfair to call them antisemetic.

The fact that the actors are Jewish is irrelevant. So are a great number of actors and people in the industry. So what? And those who are saying that the Ferengi are a negative caricatural representation of Jews, are actually saying that Jews are “a bunch of short, money grubbing, big nosed guys” ? Who’s being racist here?

Gene Roddenberry specifically patterned Ferengi after ’80s Americans, not Jews.

You’re in a distinct minority here, buddy….

You shouldn’t go fishing today. You won’t catch anything!

With him talking so much about getting paid, it’s as if he’s BECOME Quark! I’d be happy to see him again.

Negotiate a good profit Quark.

I wish Paramount would put Star Trek The Animated Series on iTunes. It’s the only series not available there and next year is the 50th anniversary of the show.

Ok, this is the third time you post the exact same thing in three different threads that have nothing to do with this. Why don’t you write Paramount about this instead?

Can you give me viable contact information? I’ve been posting here in the hopes that someone from the studio will see it.

Mr. Harcourt Fenton Mudd
Star Trek iTunes Fan Information Center of Excellence
Vulcan, Alberta Province, Canada 1B-2B-3

More than three. I’ve seen this same post spamming nearly every article here.

Got Mimeograph?

Hey, I think there should be a stand alone ferengi game show, something like The Price is right or Lets make a deal. Could be pretty funny, Morn could take the Vanna White type role, he could use some teeth added tho, so he could smile;)

This would be hilarious, for the first 5 minutes.

This is brilliant. Win Quark’s Latinum…or something.

Come to Quarks, Quark’s is fun….

I have a strong feeling we will see Quark on Lower Decks soon (fingers crossed), but I understand he means being back in full costume and make up. Once again, it shows why animation is a great alternative. You can convince actors to reprise roles when they don’t have to put on a uniform or apply 5 hours of make up on their face; especially if you’re doing just a scene or a cameo.

I would totally watch a show based on quark. The DS9 episodes I enjoy the most are quarks stories.

I liked Quark plenty, but not on his own or with other Ferengi…. the Ferengi eps were the ones I cringed most during. Awkward slapstick, cheap jokes, and that terrible, terrible sex change episode…. I don’t want to call you out, David… just felt I needed to register an opposing viewpoint.

My trade ship in Elite Dangerous is The Rules od Acquisition. Wouldn’t be the person I was today without Quark teaching me what a grey area was :)

Love Quark to death but every Trek character doesn’t have to come back. At that point it’s Star Trek: Nostalgia. There are other mediums where they can come back but spread them out. Some of these guys had long season runs, and I don’t want the galaxy to start feeling small. It’s the same thing Star Wars will do that sounds great on paper but…yeah…

The entire TNG cast is back next season in Picard and Kirk will be a recurring character in SNW and will probably introduce the rest of the the TOS characters by season 3. About 50 legacy characters will have been brought back by next year that we personally know about in just the last 5 years. I been saying I expect to see every main character from Star Trek to show up at some point and that seems to be proven more right by the season.

Ah but they haven’t brought back Shatner. They recast Kirk. It isn’t the same.

The poster specifically cited Star Trek characters, not actors. And Shatner can no longer portray a 30-something year old Kirk, so that doesn’t matter. And eventually the actors will be replaced as the years goes on but the characters will probably be around for decades.

current ST is all about the nostalgia for the good old days of the franchise

No one else could do Quark but you
Love ya

I would absolutely love to see Quark on Lower Decks! Fingers crossed for the DS9 episode.

Ok so tonight I discovered that quark is actually a cheese, and quite a good one. It was served with blueberries crushed into it. And…. It was delicious.

I educated our waitperson about “our Quark.” She told me she’d tell her boyfriend, who made the cheese.

Yes!!! The Quark you’re talking about is as common in the German-speaking countries as milk, cream, and yogurt are. If you can, you should try Fruchtquark (fruit quark) or Quarkspeise (quark with vanilla and your choice of fruit pieces sprinkled in)! Mmmmh! 🖖😋🥛🍑🍇🍓🍒🫐

(Which… of course you did! 😅🫐 It was meant more as a call for everybody on here to hit up a German deli and discover this kind of quark as well!)

I always wanted Quark to serve some quark at the bar! 😉

I’m definitely going to look for it; that first dose was sooo yummy.

Worf remains my all time favorite Star Trek character

It’s nice to hear an Actor be honest about doing a job for money but still have some artistic integrity … rare thing these days.

I think the could easily set up CGI rendering of Quark with him wearing the make-up a couple more times, then move to motion capture of him for most of the live action work, with his CGI face added later digitally. So a hybrid approach that would not require him to be in costume that often.