An Afternoon With….
J G Hertzler & Robert O'Reilly
General Martok and Chancellor Gowron
Star Trek Deep Space Nine
Plus Special Guest Star 'Lolita Fatjo' - Script Co-ordinator on Star Trek The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine & Voyager!
Sunday 14th July 2002 ~ Lounge ~ Norwich ~ England
(Organised by www.kultureshock.co.uk)
I turned up early to this event, and secured first rate seats, in the front row!
The event kicked off with tow members of the audience trying (pathetically) to sing 'YMCA', which certainly boosted the audiences' relief at not being forced to go on stage (you were picked at random), and put everyone in a good mood.
Then J G Hertzler & Robert O'Reilly turned up to thunderous applause, in rather silly looking cowboy hats (they joked that they were Americans after all!), and tried to sing a karaoke song too - but they didn't know the words either!
Luckily, the music stopped, and they started to talk. Originally, the event organiser had set up an elaborate array of microphones and loudspeakers, but the stars decided to ditch them in favour of their own voices.
JG was by far the most talkative, and poor Robert could hardly get a word in edge ways at times!
It started by JG complaining that all the cardboard standees were of Gowron, and that there weren't any of Martok about - so he had built his own, out of a shoe box!
Robert pointed out that his standee was much bigger than him, and that it was the smaller than Picard's standee - and Robert is taller than Patrick Stewart!
JG also complained that there wasn't an action figure of Martok either! And that he had to go out himself to buy some merchandise that had him on it, as they (at Paramount) didn't post him anything!
Heck, he added, that he even had to go out and buy the videos on VHS!
They performed a joke that went something like:
An old rooster (JG) was going to be replaced by a younger rooster (Robert) who would impregnate more hens, and hence the farmers egg collection would increase. So, JG went along, and gestured 1 hen, 2 hen, 3 hen, 4 hen, 5 hen, 6 hen etc - Robert did the same but only quicker. JG went back again - so did Robert - only quicker - JG went back again - so did Robert - only MUCH quicker - until JG had went half way along - before grounding to a stop, wheezing and out of breath! Then Robert went along, impregnating more hens, and, as JG was in the way, impregnated him in the behind!, before realising what he had done! To put it mildly, this joke brought the house down!
JG said that he had been to the UK, and England in particular before, by saying that he once visited Stonehenge, but, as a kid, was far more interested in seeing a plane drop a tank from the back of it! He was impressed to see 3 parachutes opening up, only for one of them to crumple, and the tank drop like a large brick. What was left - wasn't a tank! When his parents asked him what was the best thing about his holiday, he said 'the tank'! All that history!
JG also wanted to go and see Stonehenge again, and was keen to see some 'crop circles', which he seemed to think were rampant in the English countryside!
Sitting in the front had it's advantages, as I was chosen to ask the first question!
Robert, you were in TJ Hooker, with William Shatner (TOS - Kirk), and Marc Alimo (DS9 - Dukat). Does Shatner wear a wig - and is he really such a pain in the arse to work with as some other actors have indicated?
(Laughs) Yes, it's a wig! Shatner was a VERY famous actor, and all famous actors have their little quirks. When I worked with him, I thought he was very helpful. As he was such a big actor, he didn't rehearse his lines with the guests - he'd rehearse with his coach, who'd in turn rehearse with us. That was fine. On the set, before filming - was where we'd practice our lines.
One thing that did happen was that Marc Alimo, who played Dukat in Deep Space Nine was up for what was my role, but he said to the producers, and he really gambled on this 'the role is not for me, I think I'd be better at this role....', so he got the other role that I was up for, and I got his role.
Another thing that was quite good, was that I worked a lot with James Darren, who of course, played Vic Fontane in 'Deep Space Nine'.
I grew up watching Star Trek, but my favourites were Doohan and Kelly - if I ever worked with them, my jaw would have hit the ground!
What was wearing that Klingon makeup like?
(Robert) It made you sweat so much! The worst thing that happened, was, and you knew they were gonna do it, before every take, the make-up guy would come along, and squish your ridges, and all the built up sweat that had collected in there, came squirting out all over your face. It was disgusting!
(JG) Originally, they wanted to patch up my right eye, but I pointed out that I had a 'lazy left eye', and couldn't see at all if my proper working eye was blocked up, so they patched up my left eye. However, this meant that instead of the usual wide angle of vision, once when I was having a Batleth duel with Worf in the holosuite, I swung around, and the camera man had moved into my 'blind spot', and I hit him hard. After that point, I was always put on the side of a large group of people, but when the camera panned away, I was off-screen, which isn't the best thing to happen to an actor!
Do you think you'll come back as yourselves again?
(From Robert) - I don't care, I'm dead!
(From JG) - Anything is possible - timetravel, playing my grandfather....
(From the back of the room; Lolita) - Rick Berman hates time travel episodes - but we always did them! It was in all the shows' bibles that we should not do time travel episodes. I think that it's great that the actors can go and do Enterprise but as other characters - for example, Rene Auberjonis and Armin Shimmerman.
(From JG) So it IS possible - but unlikely. We could be asked to do a comeback as a different character though.
What's your favourite Trek memory?
(Robert) Working with Patrick Stewart. At this point, Robert pulled down his tunic performing the 'Picard Manoeuvre'. When we walked down the corridors on the Enterprise, in the days before 'Steady Cam', the camera was on tracks. When I wore the boots, they were size 13, as they were designed for Michael Dorn's (TNG Worf) feet. I am much, much smaller than that! So, I had great difficulty walking, in these huge shows. So, when the camera was on Patrick, it was great, and I walked like a duck, and waddled around. This irritated any new directors who came on set, who didn't realise my feet were too small for the shoes!
Another funny thing was that I noticed Patrick would do facial warm up exercises, before filming, backstage. So, as I had huge false teeth, I decided to do the same thing. The production guys probably thought that we were mad!
Anyway, one day, during filming, I was having great difficulty saying the word 'Analysis', because of the teeth. This was one of these walking shots, with the camera on tracks, so, I was hoping not to mess up the take, when I felt me teeth starting to slip. I felt relief as we neared the end of the take, but as I started to say 'Analysis', my false teeth came out, and nearly hit Patrick on the head!
Is that on the blooper reel?
Rick Berman hates blooper reels, and most of the unused footage is actually destroyed.
What are you doing now?
(JG) I am doing some documentaries for the 4th Star Trek film, DVD. I'm in charge of all the DVD extras. We're actually hoping to put in some of the 'dallies', i.e. rough cuts into the DVD.
Does the Guinevere Bujold footage exist? Why haven't we seen even a photographic still?
Garret Wang said, at an event we attended last year, that they filmed her as Janeway for 1.5 days before Guinevere realised that the stress of 14 hour TV days was too much for her. She had never worked on TV before, and found it too overwhelming. I'd LOVE to see that footage too!
What's your favourite episode?
(JG) 'Nor the Battle nor the Strong'. I loved working with John Collicos, who was always one of my favourite stage actors. The whole story was what every actor wants - meaty! Here I was, confronted with the man who stopped me becoming an officer because of my low caste - and my father dying disappointed that I hadn't succeeded - only to meet the man who had refused my promotion! Great stuff.
At this point, David, the event organiser, and manager of Kultureshock, who ran the event, introduced us to Lolita Fatjo, who was the script co-ordinator for all three of the new "Star Trek"'s, before leaving Voyager after season 6, to become a Star Trek actor agent, who organises actor work commitments.
David, the event organiser was in typical form (looking at the cocktail glass), and proved great at trying to get Lolita to dish the dirt on:
Who was bitch - Kate Mulgrew or Jeri Ryan?
Neither - they were both lovely
Jeri Ryans' breasts - are they real?
Out of the outfit - they looked different - but that was because she wore a lot of corsets.......
David then asked the audience for 'rounds of applause for your favourite series' to see what sort of actors they should get in the club for the next time.
For the original series, I was the only one who clapped (loudly I might add) for the best Star Trek, which is the original series. The only one! The Next Generation and the newer series got more applause. Enterprise, the newest show got no applause!
Same with 'Who is the best Captain' - I was the only one who clapped for Kirk! Nobody clapped for Archer.
Lolita started off by saying how she landed the job as script co-ordinator.
I wanted to be an actress, but I saw the job for a script co-ordinator on The Next Generation, and went for it. The only problem was that you had to know Microsoft Word. So, I went to my friends house that night, and he showed me how to work it. I got the job, and on the day I started, I was confronted by the likes of Gene Roddenberry, and all the Producers standing outside their offices applauding. Gene said "Thank god you've come. We've been after a Microsoft Word expert for ages!".
Any chance of a Deep Space Nine movie?
None. The reason why? Far too expensive to make. The cost of Deep Space Nine was huge - it was the most expensive TV show of the time. To rebuild the extensive sets alone would lake millions of dollars. Plus all the actors would demand a lot more money to reprise their roles, as the "film clause" that is in the Enterprise actors, and The Next Generations actors contract is now expired.
David pushed the audience again - what actors do you want then? I say we get Marina Siritis!
How about Densise Crosby - she should be cheap enough!
She was over here last month for "Autograophica", but since they paid thousands of pounds for her to come, they write in the contact that they only come for THEIR event, and cannot attend anybody else's event, so you have to pay your travel money to get there, and to buy the autograph from them, not wait until they come closer to where you live, where they'll not get your money. It's fair enough, that if they spend all that money on flights etc, they don't want you to go to anyone else's events, except yours.
Next, we crossed the street for autographs:
After the autographs, I hung round until the end, so I could speak to the actors more, in person.
After about 10 mins of engrossing chat - they said "we're off to the bar - do you want to come?" To a Star Trek fan, that has to be the stupidest question ever asked (well, as I'll explain later, the 2nd stupidest). The rhetorical question was met with my jaw hitting the floor with a "yes please!"
At the bar, I was chatting to David, who organised the event. He had been pestering Lolita for Marina Sirtis's phone number before, and dialled someone up. He then said to me - do you want to speak to Chase? I looked at him incredulously. The beer that I had been drinking stuck in my throat. Chase Masterson, I mumbled? Yes, came the reply.
I took the phone, and said hello - to be greeted with Chase Masterson on the other end of the phone! I trembled in disbelief, as I spoke to one of the sexiest Star Trek actresses ever! (That was the stupidest question I had ever heard!) I apologised for speaking so quickly - the beer, and my Scottish accent probably didn't help - she said that David often puts her into the phone with strangers - and didn't mind. I said that I was looking forward to meeting her, as she was about to attend a convention in Las Vegas, which I was also going to - and said that I'd see her there!
Put it this way - I was the happiest person in the whole world as I was driven back home!
© Copyright 4-07-2002 An Iain Baillie Production of an Original News Report. Contactiainbaillie@hotmail.com for publishing rights.