WIL WHEATON: FROM STAR TREK TO SERIAL KILLER

What can you tell us about your new film Jane White Is Sick & Twisted?
Jane White is a very offbeat comedy. I play this guy called “Dick,” (Dick and Jane! Ha! Get it?!) who is described in the script as the “Love Interest / Serial Killer.” It was a great role for me, because it’s very broad, very funny, and very different from anything I’ve ever done before. I was really excited to take the comedy skills I’ve developed on stage at the ACME Comedy Theatre and use them in a film. I think Jane is destined to be one of those movies that you have friends over to watch on DVD, because it’s just far enough out of the mainstream to be cool, like “One Crazy Summer,” or “Ghost Dad.”

I understand the film’s costars include Dustin “Screech” Diamond and Maureen “Marcia Brady” McCormick. Did you get to do any scenes with either of these sitcom titans?
Sadly, I did not get to work with either of them. However, I did pester Maureen McCormick just short of the stalker-line when she was working on “A Very Brady Something Something” at Paramount around 1989 or 1990. I was there for “TNG,” and their stages were right behind ours. You know, there are all these Trekkies who would push their mother in front of a kid on a Razor Scooter to be on the Bridge of the Enterprise . . . and I was just like that, if you replace “Bridge” with “Living Room” and “Enterprise” with “Brady House.” It would also help if you replaced “Kid on a Razor Scooter” with something more dramatic, like “That guy in the metal mask from ‘Road Warrior’ when he was driving that car with the bodies stuck to the front.”

How do you like doing indie flicks like Jane White as opposed to bigger budget projects?
The best part about indie films is the freedom we get when we work in them. Because they’re independent, we don’t have those non-creative jackholes from the major studios breathing down our necks the whole time. Of course, because we don’t have any of their money, either, working on indies can be much harder than working on a bigger-budgeted film. I’m happy to accept the trade off, though. The difference between and indie picture and a big studio picture is the fundamental difference between art and commerce.

You also have a book coming out called Just A Geek. What’s that about?
Just A Geek started out as a collection of entries in my weblog at wilwheaton.net. When I was writing some narrative pieces to tie the entries together, a story began to emerge: it was all about my journey from struggling actor to less-struggling writer. I wrote most of the first draft in about 2 weeks, and I’ve spent all the time since then rewriting, polishing, and editing the manuscript. I had to cut some material from Just A Geek, because it just didn’t fit in. But I liked those stories so much, I collected them together, and put them in their own book, Dancing Barefoot, which I just published through my publishing company, Monolith Press. Dancing Barefoot is getting rave reviews, and sold almost 700 copies in two weeks — without any advertising or mainstream media attention. I’m totally humbled, awed, and excited by its success. Because I’m putting so much time and effort into Dancing Barefoot right now, Just A Geek probably won’t be out until the end of summer.

Do you get any Trekkies showing up at your house? What do you think of those hardcore fans?
Nobody has ever breached the privacy line with me, I’m very happy to say. I think there’s a fundamental difference between someone who is “hardcore” and just loves the show, and someone who is “hardcore” and is just a fucking asshole who doesn’t respect the private lives of public people. The people who are hardcore, who just love the show? They rule. I’m very much like them in many ways: I’m a big time geek, too. I love sci-fi, I love RPGs, I quote Monty Python and Hitchhiker’s Guide all the time. You know, we who are involved in genre shows like Star Trek wouldn’t have those jobs without the hardcores, so I appreciate them. As for those other ones? The ones who think it’s cool to track someone down, and call them during dinner? They can fuck all the way off 12 different ways.

Were there any moments on Star Trek where you felt a little silly standing there doing a scene with someone who was in weird make-up playing an alien?
Well, I don’t know if you’d call it silly . . . but when I was a teenager, I was always afraid I’d get a boner in my spacesuit while I was talking to one of the super hotties on the show. You know that episode “Justice” where we went to the planet of mostly naked people who like to fuck? I was like 15 when we shot that. Let’s just say I spent a lot of time sitting in my chair, replaying Kirk Gibson’s 1988 9th inning homer against Oakland.

Why do you think people still love that show?
Let’s face it: most of what’s on TV doesn’t just suck . . . it totally fucking blows. I think we’re in the worst pit of television garbage in history. It seems like all these awful reality shows are just designed to shock people, and most of the dramas are falling into the same trap. How many

“shocking” and “very special” episodes can they keep coming up with? And the sitcoms? Please. I long for something like “Seinfeld” to return. The crap that’s on right now is so stupid and sophomoric; it insults my 11 year-old stepson’s intelligence. I think “Star Trek,” “Buffy,” “X-Files,” and similar shows fill a need for programming that respects the intelligence of its audience, and tells interesting stories with — and this is the most important part — a focus on character interaction. I also hear from people all the time that Star Trek, especially “TNG,” is very nostalgic for them. It really messes with my head to be part of something that creates nostalgia . . . it’s like hearing “Jesse’s Girl” on the classic rock station.

Get the rest of the interview in part three of WIL WHEATON: FROM STAR TREK TO SERIAL KILLER>>>




Posted on October 17, 2003 in Interviews by

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