Brent Spiner says Star Trek: Next Gen role was a gift. (But ... )

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012

True fact: Brent Spiner was brilliant as Star Trek: The Next Generation's child-like wide-eyed android Data. He's also pretty awesome in real life, too. But unfortunately, the actor suffered a bit from what most Trek actors before and after him also suffered from: that pesky Star Trek curse.

You guys know what we're talking about here, when Trek actors became "pigeonholed" into the type of Trek character they played and almost nothing else?

Make no mistake, guys. Brent Spiner is grateful to the show and the opportunity it gave him as an actor. He got to star is such movies as Independence Day, The Aviator, the too-short-lived sci-fi TV series Threshold (which also starred Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage), Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and even played Data's own "great-great-granddad" Arik Soong on Enterprise, among a load of other stuff.

He's also starring in his own insanely funny webseries Fresh Hell, where he pokes fun at himself mercilessly.

But if there's one tiny thing the actor regrets from all his years on Star Trek: TNG, it's how the role somewhat limited him as an actor, Spiner revealed in an interview with Vice.

Talking about the role of Data, the actor said:

Sometimes I think it limited me in ways I wished it hadn't, but I realize I don't have any control over that. The part and the show was a gift and I am eternally grateful. I'm delighted that other people have opinions and affection for the character. The only thing that bothers me—and it happens all the time—is when people see me and shout, "DATA! DATA"! I'm fine with people recognizing me. I just wish they shouted, "Guy who played Data"!

We totally get what the actor's saying here, since there are (unfortunately) plenty of people who can't seem to make out the difference between a character and the actor playing him.

Spiner also spoke about how the role of Lore—Data's evil brother—was closer to him in personality (and no, we're NOT saying that Brent Spiner is an evil android):

Well, I just played myself when I did that. It was playing Data that was the stretch. I have all the foibles that humans have, like ego, anger, and selfishness. It was easy to play Lore because he is closer to who I am in real life. Closer to who you are too, I bet! I hope I get to play my evil twin brother on Fresh Hell.

Heck, yeah! We'd love to see that. What do you guys think?

(via Trek Web)

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