Why Star Trek: Generations' Malcolm McDowell 'didn’t want anything to do with' Trek

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Apr 17, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT

Actor Malcolm McDowell, known forever as that crazy bad dude who killed Capt. Kirk in Star Trek: Generations, has revealed that he originally "didn’t want to have anything to do with" Star Trek.

At a recent Q&A led by Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Mr. Worf himself, actor Michael Dorn, McDowell explained how he almost passed over playing the mad El-Aurian scientist Doctor Tolian Soran in 1994’s first Next Gen flick, Star Trek: Generations, saying:

“To be honest with you, I didn’t want anything to do with this. When my agent said, you heard of Star Trek? I said [groans] yes. I thought cardboard sets, Bill Shatner and Mr. Ears (Spock). I never really watched it. I wasn’t really into science fiction, but I didn’t get into it until I got into it. Then I enjoyed it. There is something to be said about Star Trek for its longevity and its legs in the pantheon of American culture. We’re all fascinated with things we do not know – space… my agent said inquiring about the thing [Star Trek] and I said, ‘I’m not doing 5 hours of makeup every damn day!’… I read the script and thought it was a wonderful part. And to work with old baldy again [Patrick Stewart].”

So why did he ultimately take on the role even if he had been reluctant at first? Quite simply, it was the money:

“They came up with the money. We’re not a charity, are we? Just because it’s Star Trek … you know they use that to gouge poor actors and expect them to work for the brilliance of the franchise, like they’re not making gazillion off of it. So I turned it down four times, but eventually they paid the price.”

McDowell also revealed that when he was asked by The Shat (who was writing a book): “What was it like to kill an American TV icon?” McDowell told the assembled audience “I was thinking to myself, you got to be kidding me, but I said, half of the people out there are going to hate me and the other half are going to LOVE me.”

So, were you guys in the camp of "we hate this guy's guts," or were you in the one that loved him for killing off James Tiberius Kirk?

(via Nerd Reactor)