Hi! So, I just saw the ask about your favorite Star Trek series, and I was actually kind of amused. You said that the original had a profound influence on your life because it's what you grew up with. I realized that I'm the same way with TNG, in no small part because I grew up with it, but also because of the many characters that portrayed curiosity and exploration in a positive way. Out of said curiosity, what is it like to have helped inspire a new generation of nerds/geeks/explorers?
I struggle every day with this reality: I was very successful as an actor when I was a kid and young adult, and the entertainment industry seems to have completely shut me out as an adult. For the last decade or so, I have, on average, gotten four auditions a year, and booked zero jobs. When I do work, it’s because someone gives me a chance and just offers me the job.
Because of that reality, it’s easy to become resentful of the success I had, and spend a lot of time replaying every decision I’ve ever made in my life to see where I could have done something differently (or if I even could have). It’s a complicated situation, and I know that to a lot of people this will read as pointless complaining or wallowing. I get that. I’m lucky that I get to work as much as I do, I’m lucky that I’ve created shows that are incredibly successful in their own way. I’m lucky that I can continue to make a living being a writer and occasionally as an on-camera performer.
I know all of that, but it doesn’t make me feel like any less of a failure as an actor.
So this is all a long road to walk down to get to answering your question: in spite of all that, and in spite of how shitty I feel about myself all of the time, it is genuinely wonderful to know that this thing I did thirty years ago had and continues to have such a positive and profound impact on an entire generation. When I was a kid, I remember being next to Jimmy Doohan when people told him that Scotty inspired them to become engineers, and now people are saying that same thing to me, about Wesley. That matters, and it’s awesome. When I’m feeling really sad and frustrated and occasionally angry about the bad stuff, I make an effort to remember the good stuff, and to be grateful for it.