May 20 2024


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Shimerman: Quark’s Potential Almost Fully Tapped

3 min read

Armin Shimerman reflected upon his time on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Still busy years after Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ended, Shimerman still thinks about the show on which he played the Ferengi Quark, and remembers his cast-mates and Deep Space Nine crew with fondness.

Occasionally, Shimerman will catch a glimpse of an episode of Deep Space Nine or The Next Generation on television. “I stop,” he said. “If I stop for more than a minute at a time I would be surprised. But I will stop and go, ‘Huh.’ I will look at what I was doing and ask myself, ‘Why did I make that choice? Why did I make this choice?'”

Shimerman feels that Deep Space Nine did a good job in tapping Quark’s potential, especially in the later seasons. “On a scale of one to ten, I would say a nine,” he said. “That’s in hindsight. If you’d asked me that in the fifth or sixth season of Deep Space Nine, I would have said a four. But in hindsight, especially thanks to the last couple of episodes of the series, I learned a great deal about what the writers had been doing with Quark in terms of his potential. And since that experience of those last two episodes I believe that a great deal of Quark’s potential was tapped. Prior to those two episodes I was always under the misimpression that they weren’t using me or the character to my full potential. I can’t explain how; it’s much too long an explanation, but I came to realize in those last few episodes that they’d used me very well. I’ve always acknowledged that the character flowered more than I ever thought it would at the beginning, but I only thought it had flowered a little bit for a long period of time. In the end I came to realize the full extent of what had happened with the character, that his potential had been tapped.”

His own performance isn’t his only interest in revisiting his Star Trek past. “And, more importantly,” said Shimerman, “I will look at the other actors who aren’t in makeup and say, ‘Wow, Nana (Visitor) looked great then, didn’t she?’ Not that she doesn’t look great now, but I will sort of mark the passage of time by the faces of the other actors who weren’t in makeup.”

Shimerman is a Star Trek convention regular and part of the appeal is catching up with his fellow actors. “Some of the Star Trek people, like Rene (Auberjonois) and Michael Dorn and a number of others, I talk to and see on a regular basis because we all live in L.A.,” said Shimerman. “But a lot of friends and colleagues live around the country, and some are around the world. So I don’t get to see them very often. So, to be able to reconnect with people who were very important in my life, at these conventions, that’s really delightful.”

Some Star Trek fans are part of that group of important people in Shimerman’s life. “…There are a lot of fans now that are a part of that group of well,” he said. “They are people I haven’t seen or don’t see often because they live in Wisconsin or Rhode Island and I’m in Los Angeles. So, to catch up with those people I’ve come to know is joyful. One of the things, as you get older, is that you miss the relationships you had earlier in your life. And these conventions are a great way to reconnect, to keep them in your life.”

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