Quite a few years back I watched Clint Eastwood in the epic “Dirty Harry” and more recently, watched Star Trek Deep Space Nine. The link? The fantastic Andrew Robinson. In Dirty Harry he played the unhinged “Scorpio Killer”, threatening at times to totally upstage Clint Eastwood, and in Deep Space Nine, the enigmatic “Garak”. It was Deep Space Nine and Voyager that got me into the Star Trek franchise due to some of the characters having far more depth to them. Garak was interesting because until later on in the series you never knew which side of the fence he was sitting on, or indeed if he was proudly perched atop it watching in amusement. Despite all of the makeup, his eyes and smile could be infectiously funny and happy one moment, and hint at danger the next.
Andrew very nicely agreed to talk to us at this year’s London Film and Comic Con…
Welcome to London Film and Comic Con.
Hello, and thank you, it’s great isn’t it!
You have played a staggering variety of roles, Dirty Harry, Kojak, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Hellraiser, but loved Garak, and The Scorpio Killer was phenomenal.
Thank you, I enjoyed those roles too! I’ve been very fortunate. There have been a number of roles I’ve loved doing.
Garak was an incredibly interesting character, did you feel that that character was ever fully resolved?
Oh yeah, absolutely. And I resolved it with the book I wrote “Stitch In Time” too. So I finished it with that.
How much fun did you have playing Garak and his secretive nature?
Oh yeah, that was the beauty of the guy, that kind of ambiguity. I’ve used the iceberg analogy before, but what’s going on in view is a very small percentage of what is actually going on, and his refusal to reveal anything about himself unless he absolutely has to.
I felt the franchise missed a trick by not making films based on the DS9 series, what’s your view?
You know, I was disappointed too with the fact they didn’t do a DS9 film. It would have been a lot of fun. It would have been very good because we had an exceptionally strong cast who worked very well as a team. And the atmosphere of DS9 would have made for a very interesting storyline. I honestly feel that it would have been more interesting then the others, especially with the characters. And of course there was a lot more ambiguity in DS9 which would have made things less predictable perhaps? There’s a lot of shading to the characters, it wasn’t just good guys versus evil aliens.
There seems to be a lack of good Sci-fi on TV at the moment, wondered if you agree with that and if you had any theories as to why that may be the case?
Well you know what, things like Game of Thrones, which I know isn’t Sci-fi, seem to be doing very well, and of course all the Vampire / Werewolf stuff, but you’re right, no Star Trek or it’s kind. Now that I think about it, I have no idea why that is! Well, I think it runs in cycles, so I think, hopefully, it’ll come back. In fact, I’m sure it’ll come back. I mean look around you at this convention. There are a lot of people here attending, who showed up for some series that ended quite a while ago, so the fan base is still there. There’s certainly not a lack of desire to see more.
And given the popularity of the characters you’ve played, how do you deal with the being a “celebrity”?
You know, I have no problems really, because I’m not that much of a household name. No, so it’s not that much of an issue for me. Of course, here at this convention, people do come to see me, absolutely, but for me, I’m an actor, this is a body of work. I count myself as very fortunate to have a career that has encompassed a lot of really good characters.
Thank you very much for your time.
Ah not at all, you are very welcome.
We wish Andrew all the best for the future! Once again, A big thank you to the awesome team of Zoe, Jess, Kate, Delia and Kevin for making this happen 🙂