Date of publishing: 20th
Garrett Richard Wang was born on December 15, 1968
in Riverside, California to Chinese immigrant parents.
He and his sister Laura spent their childhood on the
move. He lived in Indiana, then moved to Bermuda and
finally to Tennessee. Later, he graduated from Harding
Academy High School, Memphis, and moved to Los Angeles
to attend UCLA where he majored in Asian studies.
UCLA theater professor Jenny Roudtree inspired him
to pursue an acting career. His first acting performance
outside College was the portrayal of "John Lee"
in the lead role of Chay Yew's "Porcelain"
at the burbage theater. Later, he continued to perform
onstage such as "Model Minority", "Woman
Warrior" and "A Language Of Our Own".
He made his TV debut in 1994 as a guest star on the
pilot episode of comedy All-American Girl. One year
later, he got the part of "Ensign Harry Kim"
on Star Trek: Voyager where he appeared on television
regularly for 7 years. Later, in 1997, Wang was named
one of People Magazine's 50 most beautiful people
in the world. Also E! Entertainment Television has
named Garrett as one of the "20 Coolest Bachelors"
in the country. His television experience also includes
roles in a variety of movies including Flesh Suitcase,
Angry Cafe, Ivory Tower, Hundred Percent, Demon Island,
(Biography written by: Mia)
back on the seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager what
would you attribute to its long run?
Garrett Wang: I don’t think
that there is really anything to attribute it to except
for that they had always planned for it to be seven
years so Next Generation was seven years, Deep Space
Nine was seven years and Voyager seven years, it was
only Enterprise that was unfortunate enough to only
get four years. So I think that was just standard,
I don’t think there was anything to attribute
Gilles Nuytens: Were
there any concerns on the part of the executive producers
with regards to ratings when Stargate: Sg-1 started
it’s run in 1997?
Garrett Wang: No, not at all, I don’t think so. There’s
enough room for everybody, I think.
Gilles Nuytens: Did
the story lines from Voyager, as Season 1 progressed,
meet your expectations?
Garrett Wang: Not my expectations
because I really expected to be used more, to be utilised
more on Voyager Season 1 and I actually talked to
them the second season I said "Listen I want
to have a stunt double, I want to do some stunts,
I want to run, I want to kick; I want to have a love
life". So I had to convince them to give
me more things to do. I didn’t think it was
adequate at all [laughs]
Gilles Nuytens: Six
years after the end of Star Trek: Voyager what would
you say about your whole experience in the Star Trek
Garrett Wang: I think like with any experience there’s
good and there’s bad. The bad part of the experience
was having to deal with the politics. The politics
behind the producers, the politics behind the actors
dealing with each other. The good part is being part
of something that is very exclusive, being part of
a franchise that has been around for over 30 years,
these are the good things about it.
we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the franchise,
did you do something for this occasion?
Garrett Wang: Hmmm I had a party
[laughs]. No, nothing special.
Gilles Nuytens: What
was the craziest experience you have had with a fan?
Garrett Wang: This one woman she
came up to the table , the autograph table, and she
had her baby with her and she asked me if I could
sign, autograph her babies head and I said no. That
was pretty crazy I thought, it was like What? It’s
probably toxic you know, it’s like you’re
not going to put a Sharpie, a black pen on the babies
head I said no thank you. That was crazy.
No, that isn’t the craziest one! The craziest
one was in England. This woman came up in a wheel
chair, she only had one leg OK. She was drunk and
she climbed on the table and she grabbed me and she
was talking very sexy you know like she wanted me
to be with her and I was "Whoa, whoa". And
when I didn’t talk to her, she slapped me across
the face. That was the craziest, I’ve never
experienced anything like that. I was laughing because
is was crazy, so crazy, so kookoo that I was laughing.
Gilles Nuytens: What
aspect of your personality do you share with Harry
Garrett Wang: Well probably there is a very serious side
to me at times and Harry Kim can be quite serious
about things. So I think that’s probably the
Gilles Nuytens: Did
you have a lot of creative freedom with your character?
Garrett Wang: No, not really. I tried, I mean I always
told the writers Listen you need more comedy, it has
to be funnier. Make Ensign Kim funnier and I suggested
that all the time but in their minds they felt that
the only characters that could be funny were holodeck
characters like the doctor or Nelix, an alien. They
thought that those are the characters that are allowed
to be funny and I said that’s wrong you should
let the human characters be funny, they didn’t
do that. So creative control, very little of it.
participated in Star Trek Of Gods And Men, what can
you say about your experience in that?
Garrett Wang: It was a very difficult
shoot because we were filming in upstate New York,
we didn’t really have a soundstage. It was a
garage, it was an old car dealership garage so it
was hot, there was no air conditioning, very, very
hot, very humid and it was difficult. It was a tough
shoot but it was fun because I got to play a character
who’s kind of bad, Ensign Kim is always so good,
good, good; this character is kind of bad so I like
Gilles Nuytens: We
haven’t seen a lot of you since the end of Star
Trek: Voyager what have you done since then and what
are you going to do?
Garrett Wang: Well the first few
years I just travelled, I went to all the places that
I wanted to go to that I did not have the time to
go to while I was working on Star Trek, so I did a
lot of travel. Then after that I did try to do some
auditioning but I think with all the reality programs
that are out there, there’s a lot of reality
shows, it’s taken away a lot of the jobs. A
lot of the opportunities are not there and being on
a show for seven years kind of keeps you a little
stagnant, your creativity is a little squashed so
I wasn’t really as creative or open as I could
be. In the last two years I have actually stopped
auditioning, I haven’t even auditioned for anything
except for things that my friends call me about. With
Of Gods And Men, Tim Russ called me so I said Sure
I’ll do that. I did another independent film
where again a friend called me to say come on in.
The future for me is probably getting back into acting
again full swing, that will happen at some point but
Gilles Nuytens: Has
Star Trek mostly opened doors for you or closed doors
Garrett Wang: Some of both I think. I think Hollywood doesn’t
really take science fiction seriously, they think
it’s a kid’s show, they think oh yeah,
whatever, they don’t think that it is a real
show and it’s very weird. They know how much
money it makes for them but they don’t think
of it as a real show, it’s very bizarre. I think
in a way it has hurt me a little bit, it would be
easier if I was an alien then they wouldn’t
know what I look like underneath and then I could
go off and do something different. But the good part
is that people know that I was on a show for seven
years so there are some plusses too.
Nuytens: Is there
a project, movie or series that you would really like
to be a part of?
Garrett Wang: Yeah, there’s
always stuff out there that I want to be a part of.
There’s a very popular show in the United States
called Grey’s Anatomy, it’s a medical
program in a hospital, and I think that that would
be something good because there’s so many doctor’s
that are Asian and they're not there. So that would
be something that I would enjoy.
Gilles Nuytens: Are
you interested in directing or writing for a TV show?
Garrett Wang: Yes, both
Gilles Nuytens: Are
you going to?
Garrett Wang: We’ll see. That is the next logical
step though, to actually write the show and be a showrunner
and create my own television show. Maybe I’ll
create my own television show about being on Star
Trek: Voyager. Why not? I have all the experiences
and all the material that is already there, it’s
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