Brent live on Prodigy, 16th July 1996

Brent was asked if the Defiant would be destroyed in First Contact. He answered that he usually doesn't look at the parts of the script where he isn't in because he doesn't want to spoil the movie for himself.

  • Being asked about his favourite TNG episode, he answered that he particularly likes those with Data (guess why... ;) )
  • His appearance at Fantasticon is scheduled, but not certain yet, as his mother's birthday is at the same date.
  • His favourite actress to work with would be Emma Thompson.
  • He didn't want to tell anything about what will happen to Data because he didn't want to ruin the movie for the questioner.
  • If there's another TNG movie, he will continue playing Data. He was joking about finding himself going to the supermarket with 80 in full Data make-up. (hopefully only for buying things and not for playing the clown... ;) )
  • His further plans are to audition for new parts (what else... ;) ), hopefully as good as the "Independence Day" role.
  • The opening data - oops, date - of the new Star Trek Movie is Thanksgiving '96. (but this information is publicly available and shouldn't necessarily have been asked at this rare opportunity.)
  • His personal favourite Federation enemy is "Q", because he's also a fan of John de Lancie. (I agree, although Denise Crosby as Sela was certainly also a fascinating character - but who can compete with the almighty Q?)
  • In high school, he was voted the Nerd King, Randy Quaid had to be content with being only the Nerd Prince. (Hands on, steps ahead! :) )
  • When he's not on TV, he's watching TV. (oh, yes, we have heard about this favourite hobby of him before, haven't we?)
  • Being asked if he got a TV for his Bar-Mitzvah (Brent is Jewish, just in case you shouldn't know, and I guess Bar-Mitzvah is some kind of initiation procedure), he answered that no TV's were made then. (oh, c'mon, you're not THAT old! ;) )
  • Concerning his trip to Japan: he hasn't been in a commercial there, but he was promoting "Generations" which came out there with a big delay, compared to the US start. He was very impressed by Tokyo and found it to be a very safe city. (this brings up my question: 'Brent, what's your favourite place for living on earth?')
  • He finally broke even on his album "Old Yellow Eyes", so there's a good chance that he will do another one!
  • The fact that he does to many roles in the Science Fiction genre does not mean that he's attracted to SF in particular, but, according to his words, to military roles. In ID4 he plays an airforce doctor, in Phenomenon an army psychiatrist, and Data's in the navy. (of course you should take this answer, as most of his answers, with a grain of salt, but I'm sure you know that ;) )
  • This has been a busy summer for Brent, but now things are slowing down and he's got the chance to breathe.
  • He has received a copy of the TNG computer game "A Final Unity" where he contributed his voice talents, but couldn't play it as it's the IBM version and he has a Mac. (Yes, this rumour is finally confirmed!)
  • For the 1000st time he stated that it was quite easy for him to play an android, because there was no pattern he had to follow to and he could totally make up his own interpretation of the role. However, he didn't want to specialize in androids, as this would mean a lack of employment.
  • The reason why he got the part in ID4 was because Dean Devlin, who is a fan of ST (and even reachable by e-mail on Compuserve, by the way!!!) wanted him to do this part. After watching Brent's tape only 30 seconds, Roland Emmerich (Brent misspelled his name 'Nemarich', but maybe he wasn't typing himself) hired him.
  • After bearing the emotion chip for now 2 years, Data is in better control of his emotions and will have the opportunity to explore them further in "First Contact". (he didn't mention any love interest, although he once stated in an ET interview that he thinks Data should get a 'babe' - I guess Brent wouldn't mind if Dax would be Data's first love interest... ;) )
  • He has seen all ST (TOS) episodes in college and enjoyed them. Of course he couldn't have been a TNG fan because he joined it from the beginning. (This question was from a person who obviously didn't watch "Encounter at Farpoint")
  • Although it is difficult for an actor to make plans (I guess you have to take what comes along), he would love to work again in New York, no matter if on or off Broadway.
  • He never called James Cromwell, who is also in "First Contact", 'that guy from Babe', but James.
  • Star Trek was an expansion for Brent's career, but he can't make a statement whether it also has been limiting because they are still not finished with it.
  • It is reported that he likes "I love Lucy" (a TV series), and he said that he planned to attend the tonight's "Nick at Nite" (another TV series) marathon.
  • There have been rumours that he and Patrick Stewart didn't want to continue with TNG after "Generations", but Brent said that these were really only rumours, nothing more.
  • Data does the laundry at the Enterprise, but no ironing or windows.
  • Although he is principally interested in directing, he doesn't want to direct Star Trek, as in the meantime nearly everybody on the set directed an episode.
  • He never learned any of the technical information he needed for the role of Data. He just memorized it. (good enough to remember the word "Dilithium", as you will see later.)
  • According to Brent, Jeff Goldblum is a very funny person. Brent obviously was fond of him. (and if I'm not mistaken, Jeff Goldblum was also fond of Brent...)
  • TNG ended because of cost reasons. (Money makes the world go round...)
  • Brent usually does not give autographs at cons, because he doesn't like sitting for hours, but he gives them to people who approach him or write him a note. (The problem is that it's a long long way from the Paramount mailroom to Tipperarey, uhm, Brent.)
  • Asked about his previous roles (oh well, not as if the moderator hadn't mentioned that just before!) he just said that there were about 25 plays in New York and lots of TV episodes and TV movies. (You will find more detailed information on the numerous Brent links I have on my Brent homepage)
  • As far as "First Contact" is concerned, Q will not be in the new movie.
  • His all time favourite TV show is "Candid Camera". (not "I love Lucy"!)
  • Here, the moderator was kind enough to inform the audience about the numerous Brent Spiner websites. Here's hoping that Brent was encouraged to theck them out!
  • Answering a really 'original' question whether he hoped to get bigger parts in the future, he parried that his hope was to become smaller and smaller parts and finally ending as an extra.
  • Again, he informed the audience that he doesn't have an office and people can reach him via Paramount. (aka Bermuda triangle, I dare to say...)
  • Asked why they still have transporter pads in Star Trek (why do all these people think that he's as versatile in technical stuff as Data is???) he answered that it's just a matter of tradition. (He doesn't need to know, but IMHO it's because the transporter pads are saving more energy than site-to-site transports. That's why site-to-site transports usually are only carried out in case of emergency. But that kind of question is clearly stuff for Michael Okuda.)
  • If the TNG crew would have to fight against the TOS crew (assuming that they had to fight without weapons to make the chances equal) he thinks that Kirk & Co. would win.
  • In "ID4" there's a scene where an alien uses Dr. Okun's (Brent's character) vocal chords to speak through him, and Brent said that it was basically his voice, but they did something to it in post-production, because it doesn't sound like him.
  • He eventually may write a novel one day, but he didn't want to say anything definite about it. (there are also rumours that he's writing scripts.)
  • Wesley left the series because it was his own wish to do something different. It had nothing to do with the fact that two brainiacs on the screen would be too much.
  • Brent never did any Shakespeare professionally, but in college. His favourite role was Shylock in the "Merchant of Venice". ('If you prick me, do I not leak?' - remember "The Naked Now?)
  • Brent misses Gene Roddenberry and has nothing but fond memories of him.
  • He isn't particularly interested in doing Trek parts apart from "TNG" because he feels so much part of this crew which is something special for him.
  • There are no other actors in Brent's family, but salesmen.
  • He doesn't have pets, but his girlfriend (Loree McBride) has two dogs, and he spends lots of time with them. (With the dogs? Or the girlfriend? Oh well, this question was only about pets... ;) )
  • He now received a compliment about his great performance of "Data" (he once reportedly mentioned at a NYC convention that he didn't understand why anybody should build an android who looks like a middle-aged Jewish man) and said that he was glad to play Data as well.
  • The most fun job he ever had is the job he currently does: being an actor is the greatest fun of all, according to actor Brent Spiner.
  • When people recognize him in public, some of them shout out "Data" at him, and the others call him "Mr. Spinner". (I don't know if Brent is aware that 'Spinner' is the German word for 'twit'... ;) )
  • Asked about whether he used William Shatner's or Leonard Nimoy's records (hey, Nichelle Nichols did a record, too!), he answered that he listened at all those records, and when he needs something to lift him up he listens to "Rocketman".
  • When the Enterprise runs out of fuel, they go to this great Shell station in the sky where they load up dilithium crystals. (I was both impressed by the well parried answer and the fact that Brent indeed HAD learned some of his Data technobabble... ;) )
  • Telling some unexpected news, Brent informed us that he still hopes to run for congress for the state of Texas if time allows. He thinks he has good chances because people know him well. (I considered to ask him if he wants to stand for President one day - it seems as if he wants to follow Ronald Reagan's and Clint Eastwood's footsteps... :) Oh well, and doesn't being a President or generally politician also require a lot of stage presence and even acting abilities?)
  • The appropriate address for autograph requests is still Paramount, L. A.
  • Asked about his favourite actor or actress to work with, he said that it's difficult to answer because he liked almost every collegue he ever worked with. (although you might remember that he earlier mentioned Emma Thompson. Well, that's one question I can cut from my list. At last.)
  • When he hears the words "Make it so", he has to grin because then he is reminded of Patrick Stewart who is, according to Brent, a pleasure to be around. (by the way, Brent is really great in imitating Patrick Stewart. Also it is reported that the pronounciation of Data as 'Daytah' originally came from the British citizen Patrick Stewart.)
  • Brent doesn't make a difference between movies or TV when it comes to preferences. It's just a different frame, but it's all acting, after all.
  • At the end, Brent said a really sweet goodbye, ending with "Wish you were here."
    (Yes, and how'd we wish!!! Well, maybe one day... at a convention... this comes from a person who is still looking forward to shaking the man's hand one day.)

     This paraphrase written by Olivia Adler