February 22 2024

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Cromwell: Trek Is A Family Affair

2 min read

Star Trek guest star James Cromwell is not the only member of his family to have appeared on Star Trek.

Cromwell’s ex-wife, Julie Cobb, was seen in the original series episode By Any Other Name, and their daughter Rosemary Morgan appeared in Star Trek: Voyager’s The Chute.

“Rosie had the makings of a very nice actress, and her mother was a wonderful actress, so it’s not surprising to me at all,” said Cromwell. “I enjoyed my experiences, but I have to be honest and tell you they were a long time ago and they’ve kind of blurred together, though I do have some vivid memories of First Contact.

When it came to First Contact, “I had a delightful time,” said Cromwell. “They were very supportive of me. I really enjoyed Jonathan (Frakes). I allowed myself to have as much fun as I possibly could with that character. I loved his cowardice and his way of avoiding everything, and he was a delight to play. The film was very successful, and I am always amazed by the intensity of the loyalty of the people who enjoy Star Trek. It’s amazing.”

Although Cromwell doesn’t remember much about all of his work on Star Trek, he vividly remembers the lengthy makeup process for his role of Jaglom Shrek in The Next Generation: Birthright Parts I and II. “Michael Westmore and his team loved that makeup,” he said. “Creating that look, it was so involved. The life mask was a very odd sensation because it wasn’t quite as quick-drying as it is now. So, it took a lot more time, and I was breathing through a straw in my nose. And then the making of the mask, and then the…how meticulously it has to be glued when it’s put on, so that the face itself can still move. Then, what hair I had, they curled it up and put a pin in there, and it was very tight. After about, oh, I don’t know, five or six hours, man, it’s like somebody is taking your head, and they have it…like squeezing it in a vise. It was very intense. But it was a great look.”

Cromwell’s current project is The Promise, a film that “depicts the Armenian genocide and its deeply personal toll,” in which he plays a real-life figure, Ambassador Henry Morgenthau.

“[This project is] important to me,” he said, “first of all, to do something that has an element of truth in it, that educates and informs, and hopefully inspires instead of just entertains. And I’m really pleased to play such an extraordinary part as the ambassador, because he’s extraordinary.”

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