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10 Actors, You Didn’t Realise Had Been In Star Trek

Aaron Phillips



The Rock and the Starship Enterprise image

Star Trek. Arguably the greatest sci-fi franchise ever to grace the small and big screen. It has been with us for over fifty years (and counting). Overall those various films and series there have been some rather surprising cameo and guest appearances and many actors you didn’t know had been a part of the franchise. Some have been famous actors who have blended into the background, while some have been loudly and proudly obvious to all that are watching. Let’s countdown the ten actors you didn’t realise had been in Star Trek, starting off with a legendary actor.

10. Ron Pearlman

Famous for many roles in iconic sci-fi movies such as; Hellboy and Blade 2, Ron Pearlman has a sparkling filmography under his belt. You may (or may not) have noticed that he was in the final Picard-era Trek movie, 2002’ Star Trek: Nemesis. Although the main antagonist was played by Tom Hardy before he became an A-lister, Ron Pearlman played a Reman guard in the film. He was under a lot of prosthetics, but you can still just about make him out.

9. James Avery

If you’re a child of the 90s then James Avery will be best known to you as the actor who played Uncle Phil on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with Will Smith. But he also played a Klingon general in the fourth season of Star Trek: Enterprise. James Avery also tried out for the part of Worf, that eventually went to Michael Dorn.

8. Kelsey Grammar

This one is hard to imagine but yes, Frasier himself is one of those famous actors who had a role on Star Trek. It was a pretty good one too as he played Captain Morgan Bateson of the USS Bozeman. Sporting a rather fine beard, he appeared in just one episode of season five of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Perhaps there is an idea there for a future series with captain ‘Frasier’ Bateson at the helm of a new starship?

7. Tom Morello

Now, this is a cool one. Especially if you’re a rock music fan. If you’re not, then Tom Morello is the guitarist in legendary bands Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. Being a huge Trek fan, he asked to be part of Star Trek: Insurrection, but he was largely unnoticed because of makeup. Because of this, he was offered a part as crewman Mitchell in Voyager to make up for it. He was in a scene with captain Janeway too, so it wasn’t all bad.

6. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

This one is more of the legendary cameos from a now A-list actor. Back in the ’90s when he moved from wrestling to acting, this was Dwayne’s first proper acting role. True to form, he actually played a Pendari who beat Seven of Nine in a fight on Star Trek: Voyager. The Rock’s career has gone from strength to strength since his debut on Voyager, so hopefully, he looks back fondly on his Trek beginnings.

5. Kim Cattrall

Yep, Samantha from Sex in the City was one of the actors on Star Trek. Before she was ‘enjoying’ herself in New York City she had a rather cool role on Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. She played a Vulcan helmsman called Valeris in the movie and was part of a tense ‘mind meld’ scene with Leonard Nimoy on the bridge. If you watch the scene back now, it’s clear to see where she got some of the inspiration for her more risqué scenes in the hit show that followed next.

4. Kirstie Alley

Keeping the theme of strong women is our number four offering, Kirstie Alley. Another star of Cheers! like Kelsey Grammar earlier in our list, Kirstie actually appeared in a movie as opposed to Next Generation like Kelsey. She starred as Lt Saavik in Wrath of Khan. One of her highlights was being given the special honour of guiding the Enterprise out of spacedock, much to the dismay of Admiral Kirk at the time. The look on Dr McCoy’s face is worth another watch alone.

3. Seth Macfarlane

This is possibly the ultimate fan-boy casting. It’s no secret that Seth is a huge Trekkie; you only have to look at the Trek references in his shows; not to mention The Orville, which is a huge Star Trek send-up. It’s no surprise then, that he was given a part as a Starfleet engineer in two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. It’s odd watching him play a straight role as you expect him to burst out with a Peter Griffin voice at any moment, but to give him credit, he pulls it off very well.

2. Iggy Pop

Yep, the ever-youthful godfather of punk and singer of The Stooges was actually in Star Trek. He played a villainous Vorta called Yelgrun in a Deep Space Nine episode entitled “The Magnificent Ferengi”. Although he was under quite a bit of makeup, you can quite clearly see it’s Iggy; especially when he speaks with that unmistakable drawl. His performance is superb, and he even manages to add some humour to the role. You also feel that at any moment he may remove his shirt and start gyrating around the ship.

1. Christopher Lloyd

Our number one choice for the greatest ever Star Trek ‘cameo’ goes to…Christopher Lloyd. It would be a further three years before he plays the iconic Doc Brown on Back to the Future. Before those dizzy heights he was one of many actors on Star Trek. He played the fantastic rebel Klingon commander Kruge on Star Trek iii: The Search for Spock. Having portrayed largely comedy roles previous to appearing in the movie, Kruge was a departure for him to play. He nailed the role perfectly; displaying the evil and powerful nature of the character, but with an endearing cheekiness to go with it. Christopher Lloyd has mentioned in recent interviews that he had a lot of fun playing such an evil character, and it showed. With plenty of Star Trek shows coming now and in the future, there could be plenty of possibilities for him to return as another character. We live in hope.

That’s our list of ten actors, you didn’t realise had been in Star Trek. Did we miss any? Which was your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi articles HERE.

Read about IMDB information on Star Trek HERE.

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Movie News

The 9 Greatest Spoof Movies Ever

Aaron Phillips



This is Spinal Tap image
Embassy Pictures

There have been so many great spoof movies over the past four decades. So, sit back and buckle up as we countdown the nine greatest spoof movies of all time. And “don’t call me Shirley”.

9. Team America: World Police

Ok, so it’s all-puppet action as opposed to real-life actors, but it’s still up there. Written by the guys behind South Park, it parodies an American counter-terrorism force as they take on global terrorists. As you would expect, there are some cracking scenes throughout the movie. Kim Jong-il singing about being “so roney, so roney” is a highlight that isn’t easily forgotten. You also have to feel sorry for poor old Matt Damon. Although he’s had a glittering film career it’s still hard not to say “Matt Damon” in that monotone way every time you see him on screen. According to writers Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Damon’s puppet looked so vacant that they decided to make his character only able to say his name. Poor Matt. Add in some fantastic one-liners, over-the-top violence and sex scenes with puppets, you have a great film that will make you laugh, and cringe.

8. Blazing Saddles

Mel Brooks is the king of spoof and parody. He’s directed and written many a great spoof over the years, but Blazing Saddles was only his third movie in the director’s chair. This 1974 offering takes the proverbial from all the great western movies from the 40s and 50s. The film throws joke after joke at you, along with anachronisms aplenty. Lead actors Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little also deliver comedic gold performances that help make this film great. Brooks also does a clever job of dealing with racism throughout the movie; something that hadn’t really been done before. One of those moments is where Wilder and Little confront two Klan characters, before stealing their white gowns. Clever, and poignant. It’s also interesting to note that execs wanted to pull the plug before release, but soon realised they got it wrong. It was a financial success and has firmly sealed its place in history as an iconic piece of filmmaking. Not only that, but it’s also still rated very highly on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb today. Just goes to show that a classic stands the test of time.

7. Spaceballs

Yep, our old friend Mel Brooks features again in the director’s chair. This time he delves into the world of sci-fi; more specifically, Star Wars. Although it only made a small profit at the time, it’s gone on to become a cult classic and holds a fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The key to its success is it’s genuinely funny. The jokes are good enough to make you belly laugh. And the characters are so close to those on Star Wars, it’s amazing George Lucas gave his blessing for it to be made at all. He even went a step further and sent Mel Brooks a note to say he almost fell apart laughing through it. Praise indeed. Brooks’ other golden touch was casting Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet. I think you’ll struggle to find a funnier bad guy. There are also rumours of a sequel, predicted in the film itself as ‘The search for more Money’, although nothing has been greenlit at the moment. We live in hope.

6. Scary Movie

Ok, so there have been five films in the Scary Movie franchise but the first one from 2000 makes our list of spoof movies. Written by Shawn and Marlon Wayans and directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans, it’s definitely a family affair. Although later films parody a wide range of films, this one heavily relies on Scream, and I Know What You Did Last Summer. This works in the film’s favour as you don’t spend the entire movie wondering what film they’re parodying for each joke. You know that Ghostface from Scream is going to feature a lot. And he does. The scene where he gets stoned with a bunch of guys and prank calls people is still funny today. The later films just feel like a collection of forced jokes as they ran out of horror movies to parody. Although it received mixed reviews, it made a monumental profit at the box office.

5. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad

No spoof movies list would be complete without at least one that features the brilliant Leslie Nielson. The Naked Gun, released in 1988, was based on the short-lived TV series from 1982. Created by the legend of deadpan comedy David Zucker, it follows Lt Frank Drebin on his escapades. The original Police Squad series was a spoof of 60s police dramas; particularly M Squad, and The Naked Gun follows the same theme. Plus, it ends with one of the best death scenes in film history with Nielson waving his arms and calmly addressing the crowd with “nothing to see here”. With superb writing and acting, The Naked Gun was released to critical acclaim. It also made a healthy profit at the box office and is often listed as one the greatest comedy films ever made.

4. Hot Shots!

Released in 1991 and directed by Jim Abrahams, Hot Shots! keeps things simple by purely being a spoof of Top Gun. And a very good one it is too. Not only is the writing funny and sharp, but it also has a fantastic cast. Playing the lead roles are Charlie Sheen and Cary Elwes as the two feuding pilots. Both actors are masters of comedic timing and they deliver their lines with razorlike sharpness. The plot revolves around a mission to Iraq, with the added love triangle involving Sheen and Elwes’ characters and a female therapist. This sub-plot lends itself to some genuinely hilarious scenes between the two actors. Credit also has to go to the fantastic Lloyd Bridges. He plays a commander who seems to have had every part of his body replaced due to it being blown off in various battles. His lines in the movie are comedy gold. A great film that hits all its spoof targets with absolute aplomb.

3. Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Written and performed by legendary British comedy troupe Monty Python, Life of Brian had a controversial start. Being a satire of Jesus’ life was always going to cause some angst among some religious communities. In fact, some countries including Ireland and Norway banned it from being shown on release. In some cases that ban the latest decades. Life of Brian is often quoted as one of the greatest comedy films ever made. The writing is as good as you would expect from the Monty Python crew, and the jokes keep coming all the way through. Who can forget the immortal line, “he’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy”. It made a modest box office profit at release but has gone on to earn iconic status. Rotten Tomatoes have it as a 95% certified fresh rating and it’s still raved about today.

2. This is Spinal Tap

This is the film that kicked off a new genre of filmmaking – the mockumentary. Parodying band biopics from the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, it follows fictional band Spinal Tap on their debut American tour. If you’ve ever played in a band – as I do – so much of what’s in this film is true. I can personally attest to getting lost in venues and playing shows where no one turns up. Director Rob Reiner was sending up the pretensions of rock and roll bands and he nailed it. What’s also interesting is the majority of the dialogue throughout the film is improvised. Credit to the actors for pulling off some truly iconic lines. Whether it’s the Stonehenge scene or the legendary amp up to eleven scene, this film has embedded itself in our culture forever. It was only a modest success when it was first released, but its impact has left a lasting impression.

1. Airplane!

Well, we’ve flown; shot and rode our way to number one on our list of spoof movies. Once again, we arrive at a film directed by the dream team of the Zucker brothers and Jim Abrahams. Loosely based on air disaster movies of the 50s and 60s, it follows a plane whose crew are taken out with a sickness bug. Cue disgraced former pilot Ted Striker to save the day. Released in 1980, this was the film that set Leslie Nielson on the path of spoof comedy. He only has a fairly minor role as the doctor, but he delivers some of the best lines in the movie. ‘I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley’, is iconic. Lloyd Bridges also features as the man on the ground at air traffic control and turns in a chaotic but brilliant performance. Upon release, it made a whopping $168 million dollars at the box office and received critical acclaim. It’s also certified fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, along with ranking as one of the best on IMDb. It’s one of those films that make you cry with laughter thanks to clever writing and some fantastic performances. A timeless classic.

That’s our list of the nine greatest spoof movies. Did we miss any? Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

Read about movie remakes that should never have happened HERE.

Read IMDb information about Airplane! HERE.

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