From Star Trek Central`s chat with Wil Author: AntonyF Date: 11/23/00 It`s been nine years since Wil left TNG, and 6 years since he made his last appearance. Wesley is, of course, not the most popular of characters, but Wil is far-removed from his alter-ego whom he left behind many years ago. But what does he think of Wesley, Rick Berman and Star Trek and what is he up to now? In his chat here at Star Trek Central a few months ago he answered fans` questions, and here is that transcript. Apologies for the length of time it took to come online. Never let it be said that I`m not punctual! I`m sure you`ll agree it was worth the wait... AntonyF Welcome to the Star Trek Central chat with Wil Wheaton, and thank you to Wil for coming. WilWheaton *crys pathetically* WilWheaton *crys pathetically* WilWheaton *laughs hysterically* AntonyF Everyone be nice to Wil now... katt1980 What projects are you currently working on? WilWheaton Well, there`s a brown spot in my lawn that just won`t grow... but in a more work-related sense... I`ve been spending the last few years working on my live theatre skills I perform improv and sketch comedy here in Los Angeles and I`ve been spending the last few weeks having meetings and auditioning for the next project if you live in Australia, you can see this silly movie I did called "Python" and if you live anywhere else...well...you`re screwed. but there`s always cable! One thing: that everyone should know: I have a very dry, monty-pythonesque sense of humor, so please, puh-leeese don`t take me too seriously. I`ll let you know when I`m being serious. AntonyF Did you enjoy your recent work on Deep Core? What was it like working with Terry Farrell? WilWheaton Deep Core was a TON of fun. Terry totally rocks. there was this really funny thing that happened that Star Trek fans will appreciate... in the movie, we are in this vehicle that is drilling us to the centre of the earth...(hey, we all have to pay bills, you know) and we hit something in the earth, and the vehicle starts shaking, right? so Terry and I look to each other, and say "This should be...what? about a 4, you think?" refering to the scale of shakes that we learned on Trek and the other actors had no idea what we were talking about, and we had to teach them how to shake Hmm....I`m thinking the humor of this doesn`t really translate into chat....oh well (end). hey! i should say (end of line) like in Tron!! <---geek AntonyF Well I get it... the legendary shaking of Trek actors. WilWheaton thanks Antony WilWheaton By the way, I am a HUGE geek, and damn proud of it. Lifeforms what was it like to work with Gates? WilWheaton Gates was great. She is a super experienced stage actor, and she brought that energy and work ethic to the show. she was always really cool to me katt1980 I heard that you write in one of your interviews, what sort of genre do you prefer? WilWheaton Well, it`s easier to give you my influences. Burroughs, Ginsberg, Rollins, Kerouac. so my stories reflect those influences. I also write essays and LOTS of political things my poison pen is legendary and if you go to http://www.latimes.com, you can read a letter of mine that they published in the sports section last week. it is in TJ Simer`s column but don` WilWheaton dammit. if I hit the return key one more time when I want to type a ` I`m going to scream *screams loudly* AntonyF How do you feel overall about your time with Star Trek? Is it something you regret, that you think has perhaps hindered your work, or something that you value as part of a varied career? WilWheaton I have mixed feelings about TNG. in one way, it was really cool, and I learned a lot about acting from the other cast members. but in another way, it`s been hard for people in the entertainment industry to see me as a seperate person, apart from Wesley, and from Gordie. but, overall, being on something that is iconoclastic never hurts a career and I am proud of my work on TNG. AntonyF Yourself, Denise Crosby and Terry Farrell are the only cast members who have chosen to leave Trek. How do you feel, unique perhaps in standing up to Trek? Also Rick Berman recently said that probably, if you had to be honest, you and Denise would probably say you regretted leaving TNG (or words to that effect.) Do you agree with that at all? WilWheaton I can say, right now, publicly, and I hope you will copy this around the world, that I do not regret leaving Star Trek, in any way at all. AntonyF And by what Denise said, she seems to say the same thing too! WilWheaton The fact is, after Gene died, and Rick took over, the whole show changed, and not necessarily for the better. I had a choice to make at that time: would I remain an ancillary cast member on a TV show, or would I take lead roles in movies? It was a career decision, and I do not regret at all my choice. I read recently on USENet, that some jackass said I blamed Star Trek for ruining my career. That is absolutely not the case. Remember, I had a feature film career before TNG, and I have continued to have one since. I think, more than anything else, Rick would like it very much if Terry and Denise and I regretted leaving, and begged him for our old jobs back. Well, it ain`t going to happen. Lifeforms Why dont you ask the peeps at trek to kill your charactor off? or do you secretly hope that wesley may come back and do a guest spot again? WilWheaton LOL. I miss the cast, very much. They were a HUGE influence on me in a very important time in my life and I have let them know at Paramount that I would be willing to participate in one of the movies, because I miss the cast, and because 9 out of 10 people I meet ask me if I`ll be in the next movie. so, to answer the first part of your question: If they`d killed me off, they`d have to have me back because that`s the way it works in space *laughs hysterically* and I don`t think that`s in their plans joram how do you feel the state of Star Trek is without Gene R. behind the scenes? Is the new generation of Trek writers and directors holding the torch well in your opinion? WilWheaton Well, I sort of already ranted about that... but I`ll say again, the show was VERY different when Gene still had a hand in the shows and I`ll leave it up to you to decide which is better Lifeforms Which Trek series do you prefer, and why? WilWheaton I really want to like DS9 because Michael Dorn and Armin Shimmerman are really good friends of mine, and I really want to like Voyager because Robbie Mc Neil is a friend, too. but the truth? I totally dig Next Generation. mikeymouse Hey Wil,have you ever been on the set of Star Trek Voyager? WilWheaton nope. i`ve wandered around DS9, but never Voyager. joram Given any director having equal chances, who would you like to see direct the next Trek film? WilWheaton Andrew Blake *laughs hysterically*. just kidding. Uhh...I think Bryan Singer would do a kick ass job, but Jonathan has shown that he gets what Trek is about, and I think he does a great job with the movies. shadowcat do you find a lot of people have trouble distinguishing between Wesley Crusher the character, and Wil Wheaton the person? WilWheaton not as much as I used to. Also, it`s been so long since I played Wesley, he is so far removed from me, that it`s easier to make the distinction between he and me. or him and me. or is it he and I? I think *screams loudly* it`s him and me. but you know, there are a few fans who simply can not make the distinction between any of us as people and as actors and I guess that just comes with the territory *shrug*. AntonyF I`m getting various questions about Voyager, and I must admit I`m curious myself. Everyone wants to know what you think of it. In a nutshell it is under intense scrutiny at the moemnt, plus people have left, actors such as Robert Beltran have openly slated it. What do you think of it overall, and do you feel it`s damaging Star Trek? WilWheaton Uhh...here`s the thing: I have friends on Voyager, so I don`t want to slam it. but it`s not my favorite incarnation of trek I also think, that if you look at Voyager, look at DS9, then look at the early seasons of TNG versus the later seasons of TNG, a real pattern emerges. AntonyF The powers that be also compare to TNG. Rick Berman has said they want to bring TNG fans back, it will be more appealing for TNG fans etc. Do you think they do feel TNG is the crown of Star Trek? WilWheaton Yes, yes I do. TNG did something that many people thought wasn`t possible. it was in many cases equal to or better than the original series. it created a whole new generation (ha!) of SF fans and is responsible for, I think, virtually all the other SF shows that are on. I mean, with out TNG paving the way back in the 90s, I don`t think that there would be a sci-fi channel because the audience wouldn`t have been proven to The Man. the powers that be must realize that the fans of TNG are not stupid and that they can`t take something that ISN`T Trek, and put the Trek label on it, and expect the fans to get on board. you know? AntonyF Yes for sure, Also I have to admit (I`m sure othes would too) I was majorly jealous of you/Wesley when I was 9 and started watching TNG ) I`m now a SF fan of course! WilWheaton I keep hearing, over and over again, that one of the contributing factors to people so villifying my characer back in the old days was that they were jealous. Well, they did this really interesting thing with Wesley they made him a ball of light who can do anything then promptly Stalinized him right out of existence. so I guess wesley really regrets leaving Star Fleet. like Tasha and Dax... oh! that was sarcasm! sorry AntonyF What was your favorite moment on TNG? WilWheaton Running around on the planet of naked people. hubba hubba. *grins evilly*. uh, seriously. I remember the first time I saw the pilot in the screening room at paramount and I thought `holy %$#@% this is so %#@^*@ing cool!` yes, I had a potty mouth back then. *grin* Lifeforms Out of all the films and TV shows that you have done, what was your favourite? WilWheaton That`s easy. Stand By Me. No question about it. (anybody get that "Pez. Cherry Flavored Pez" reference?) mikeymouse What scene did you like shooting in Stand By Me? WilWheaton The scene where Denny gives Gordie his Yankees cap. that scene is just so wonderful. I never had a big brother, and I always wanted one and when we shot that scene, I thought that this is what it must feel like to have a totally cool big brother. then I went and picked on my little brother shadowcat So when do we see the launch of wilwheaton.org? WilWheaton not yet. some jackass is squatting wilwheaton.com. but I have wilwheaton.org and wilwheaton.net and I`m hoping to have something up by the end of next month. in the meantime, there are some really cool unofficial sites out there, but I don`t know how often they`re updated. I know that some kids have made a Wil Wheaton club at Yahoo. msaunders Trek aside, what`s your favorite sci-fi series right now? What should fans be watching? WilWheaton Reruns of Battle Star Galactica!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoo!!! Yesh!!!! *screams loudly* I also really like Farscape xfan Wil, have you seen the X-Men movie and if so, what did you think of it (especially Patrick`s performance)? WilWheaton I have not seen it yet, but I am sure that old baldy is great, as always. heimtime What book are you reading right now? What`s are some books you`d recommend? WilWheaton I`m currently reading "A Citizen`s Guide To Muckraking", "The Corruption of American Politics", "The Hobbit". I always reccomend any banned books, just on principle, and the classics. I tell you what, kids, they`re called classics for a reason! msaunders I understand you`re a big Troma fan. Who would win in a fight: Worf or the Toxic Avenger? WilWheaton Oh Toxie, hands down no question about it. remember: Worf was ALWAYS getting his ass kicked on TNG. Lifeforms what do you think of these erotic stories that often inc your (old) character Wesley? WilWheaton Hey, it`s about time that Welsey got some of his, you know?! The only one I`ve seen has Wesley in an "encounter" with Tasha in a turbolift... it made me laugh my ass off. I haven`t seen any of the others. katt1980 Seems like everyone here (besides me, ahem) is in love with Star Trek, are you a fanatic for anything in particular? WilWheaton Yeah! I got a VHS of Japaneese baseball games. somehow word got out that I am a huge baseball geek Lifeforms whats the weirdest thing you`ve been asked in an interview? WilWheaton how about the most often asked, which is also the lamest? "were the leeches real?" and the answer if, of course, yes! I am committed to my craft!! Lifeforms If you could live your life again would you still follow the same path as you did? WilWheaton good question!! I am fiercely devoted to making a positive change in the world. if I were not an actor, I would be doing just that one way or another. Maybe I`d be in politics, or maybe I`d be an activist (which I already am, but on a more full-time level). I also have always wanted to teach. AntonyF Final question then... what words of wisdom will you leave for us, serious, funny or otherwise? WilWheaton "The unexamined life is not worth living" -Socrates AntonyF Well that`s the end of our chat. Thank you all for coming, and many thanks to Wil for taking the time to chat. Be sure to check out the merchandise signed by Wil (you can find more details at the chat page you entered at) and also visit our bulletin board for constant Trek discussion. A transcript of this chat will be up at STC in the near future. WilWheaton Also, I really really reeeeaaalllyyyy want to thank all of you for showing up today. I am really touched that people care about what I have to say and I want to tell you where you can see me in LA. Every saturday night, I perform on the J. Keith van Straaten show, at the ACME comedy theatre. you can get all the info by going to http://www.jkeith.net WilWheaton Thanks alot for hanging out, gang!!! *wave* AntonyF Goodbye everyone, thanx for coming!