Star Trek actor hopeful for role

19:56, Oct 19 2012

A Star Trek actor is hoping Sir Peter Jackson beams him up for a role on Doctor Who if the show comes to New Zealand.

Aron Eisenberg, who played the Ferengi Nog on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and is appearing at the Armageddon Expo in Auckland this weekend, told the Waikato Times he'd love to appear alongside 11th Doctor Matt Smith under Sir Peter's direction.

''If they called me I'd be there,'' Eisenberg said. ''I want to to play some fun, interesting, crazy little character. I  would love to get into something really fun and cool. It would be awesome.

''Doctor Who is on my Netflix queue, There's so many things on my Netflix queue, I still haven't been able to see Game of Thrones.''

Eisenberg, 43, is only 1.52 metres tall, having had a kidney transplant when he as 17  after being born with only one partially functioning kidney. His condition stunted his growth, but made him ideal for the diminutive Star Trek part.

''I auditioned for The Lord of the Rings, I auditioned for the part of Sam, and I didn't get very far . . . they wanted people that were taller and alter them in Computer Generated Images, so I never got a call back. I was so excited to audition for The Lord of the Rings, I knew it was going to be huge.

''Maybe, by some small chance, Peter Jackson's a Star Trek Deep Space Nine fan.''

Eisenberg said the science fiction and fantasy scene had flourished since his show had finished in 1999 and The Lord of the Rings had been released from 2001.

''It's such a wonderful, wonderful time for creativity and for science fiction and fantasy right now. It's just so big and it's exploded over the past ten years. When I was doing Deep Space Nine the only other competing shows were Babylon Five and I think Stargate not too long after that. Now you have got The Walking Dead, you've got The Vampire Diaries, You've got Game of Thrones, Supernatural, the Secret Circle, it's such a great time. I would love to work on any of those shows. It's so much fun.'' New Zealand for the first time, said he was really excited to have a chance to mingle with Kiwi fans who love the story Nog followed, from a petty thief from a comical race befriended by Jake Sisko, the son of space station commander Benjamin Sisko, to Starfleet cadet.

Eisenberg cites the episodes The Seige of AR-558, in which Nog loses a leg, and It's Only A Paper Moon, where he starts to come to terms with his injury, as pivotal in his journey.

''That was a climatic turning point for my character, and I had a lot of dramatic episodes actually. I was probably the least comedic of the Ferengi. The episodes that I did were pretty heartfelt, and there's comedy thrown in when I'm asking a girl to chew my food, even in the seriousness I kind of kept it funny in dealing with the Klingons and learning how to step up to them. Even within my seriousness of wanting to suceed it was still watch me stumble trying to make my presence amongst these giants to me. . .

''I don't think they had it planned. I never had a contract for the series, I always had a per episode contract, so I know that it wasn't necessarily planned . . . Nog was written to start off with to give Jake someone to interact with other than his father and luckily I didn't screw up and they kept writing more and more for me and the character had a life of his own.

''They wrote fantastic stuff for me. They just kept giving it to me. And I remember seeing supervising producer  Ira Steven Behr one time and he said, 'we just knew you could do it,' that's why we kept giving it to you. It became a very symbiotic relationship. The writers were very fortunate because they were very close to the set and they could come down to the set and meet the actors, see them, interact with them a little bit, and see what their personalities were like and I'm pretty sure that's how that show was written because of that ability. That's why it had a lot more heart than people gave it credit for at the time.''

Eisenberg had fond memories of working with Armin Shimerman who played the space station's barkeeper and shady businessman Quark, Nog's uncle.

''Armin was fabulous, he still is a mentor to me although I don't see him nearly as frequently as when I was working on the show. Armin was a true professional and always wanted to rehearse whenever we did scenes and Max Grodenchik (Rom) and I did scenes . . . I will never forget, I don't know if it was intentional, the mentorship that I believe that I felt Armin gave to me on the show, I'll never forget that, it was one of the best experiences I have ever had the good fortune to be a part of.

''A lot of people liked that Nog was so earnest in what he wanted and trying so hard to succeed and yet comical in the fact of not always succeeding and how he handled it. It was endearingly funny watching Nog. I thought that Nog was one of the most human characters on that show, with the things that he went through.''

Asked whether he thought it was time Deep Space Nine jumped to the big screen Eisenberg said: ''Yes, of course I would love to revisit Nog. I miss him. He is still tucked away in my head. But I don't think that will ever happen because when they make a movie they have got to hit mainstream, they can't just hit the fanbase.''

Eisenberg thought director JJ Abrams had got it just right when he rebooted the franchise, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016, with the Star Trek prequel three years ago.

''I thought what they did with the last one was brilliant, I think that's exactly what they needed to do. They needed to set themselves apart from the history of Star Trek and give themselves a clean slate. I think they needed to do that and that's exactly what they did, but Nog is still out there somewhere so you never know. I'm not holding my breath.

''With the new movie from 2009, and they are currently making another one, there really isn't room for a DS9 movie. You never know if they'll incorporate some of the characters but I haven't got a call from JJ Abrams so I don't think I'll be working any time soon on any of the new movies.''