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Alan Ruck (Captain John Harriman) Interview

Posted: 21:49:48 on June 29
By: Anonymous Coward
Dept: Star Trek

In a rare interview published in the issue 23 of Starburst Special magazine, actor Alan Ruck talks about his role of Captain John Harriman, commander of the USS Enterprise 1701-B in the 1994 movie, 'Star Trek Generations'. Here are some excerpts of the interview.

"It was never mentioned in the movie how this young and very inexperienced guy got to be the commander of this vessel' Ruck told Starburst journalist David Bassom 'I just figured that my family was very wealthly and influential and that I was being groomed for a political career, so having a major assignment in Starfleet would be a stepping stone. Basically, the job was purchased for me."

"On the first day of rehearsal I stepped on that [bridge] set and I felt like I was in a spaceship" Ruck said "It's fantastic, it's beautiful and there's this big chair and I thought 'Oh My God, I have to fill that up' and then who should walk in front of the screen but Bill Shatner ! I was completely intimidated for the first couple of days because he's sort of a living legend and this was his domain and I felt like I was trespassing. Then things went along in rehearsal and I did something one day that made him laugh - I think I muffed my lines - and after that the ice was broken, and it was easy and really fun and enjoyable".

Of Harriman's fate, Ruck laughs "Well, I don't think that he had much of a future in Starfleet, do you ? I doubt that he was allowed to command any more vessels. But in Harriman's defence, they send him out under-staffed and ill-equipped. The whole thing was just supposed to be a publicity stunt - we're supposed to go out around Pluto on one big cocktail party - and then, when the proverbial shit hits the fan, he didn't quite rise to the occasion and thank God old Kirk was there otherwise everyone would be dead".

"It's very strange to work with sort of an icon" Ruck concludes "Occasionally, I will see an actor or an actress that I'm a huge fan and I'll be a bit starstruck, but with Shatner, he is Captain Kirk and I think that the way I felt actually helped me play the role. I know it's sound really stupid but it's true, I was sort of amazed to be in the presence of Captain Kirk and that's exactly how Harriman felt. He's all confident and everything and then he sees this legend come on his ship and he sundelly feels he is trespassing, which is absolutely true as we find out. I wonder if Harriman might performed better if Kirk hadn't been on board, if he hadn't been so flustered by the presence of this nearly mithological person".

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