In our second set of celebrity interviews at Starquest Convention, I had the chance to interview the gracious Garrett Wang, Ensign Harry Kim of Star Trek: Voyager! This is the second time we talked at Starquest and he got me into Pokemon Go! You have to wonder what two operations officers from two starships can talk about? Well let’s find out!
Garrett, since you introduced me to Pokemon GO!, are you now into Wizards Unite now?
No, I haven’t played that yet.
Shame on you!
I’m on level 40 on one account of Pokemon GO!, which is the end; level 39 on another. I’ve started playing The Walking Dead: Our World, the zombie killing game, which I got very obsessed with. But then I dropped that a little bit, but I still play Pokemon Go! and The Walking Dead my new obsession is WTG Golf, which sounds incredibly boring, but it’s also fun because you get to play head to head against other players around the world, so…
Absolutely. So, Voyager’s coming up on its 25th anniversary next year. How does it feel that Voyager has not only thrived through twenty-five years and people are still talking about it?
Well, it makes me feel old. Oh, I mean the fact that I have underwear older than most millennials kind of scares me. But, uh…yeah.
It’s really amazing that two and a half decades ago, Voyager began, and next year will be that 25th anniversary. It’s just hard to believe, man. It’s been a long, long amazingly fun journey along the way, for sure.
Absolutely. And this is your second time here at Starquest?
Yeah, I was here two years ago, and they responded and said, “hey, we’re having our fifth anniversary show. We’d like you to be a returning guest for that show.” And here I am. My second time.
What is amazing about coming back to Starquest for the second time?
DR & GW: (laugh)
Well, I’m not even from around Frederick. I’m from Northern Virginia.
DR & GW: (laugh)
Shock value, that’s all it was.
(continues to laugh)
It was totally you!
DR & GW: (laugh)
Vogue! No, I mean I do all different types of conventions. I do very, very large, hundred thousand fan conventions. I also like to do small conventions. This is a smaller convention, right? It’s a little bit more intimate. I think people get more time to talk to actors at smaller conventions as opposed to a larger, factory sort of setting that the larger conventions tend to be pushing people through and you get, maybe ten seconds with each fan, and that’s not a lot of time, right? Some of these—swear to God—some of these cons, when they do photo ops, these fans are paying a lot of money for a photo op and they come in, and it’s like “smile! (makes camera clicking sound) Next!” And they have time to say hello and that’s it. That’s too little. So…
Absolutely. So, you’re sitting next to your fellow Voyager mate, Tim Russ—
Ugh! The Vulcan.
(laughs) Yes. So, do you have any stories with Tim, either on the set or since?
I’m going to share with you the first time I met Tim Russ on Voyager, was filming the pilot episode of Voyager.
Caretaker. And I walked up to him and I’m like, “hey, I’m Garrett Wang, nice to meet you” and he’s like, “Tim Russ.” And I said, “oh, ok. You know, if you change one letter in your character’s name, Tuvok, you could’ve been named Tupac,” is what I said.
He did not laugh, he did not smile. A frown came across his face, and he looks at me and he said, “Rap music. Rap music is the reason for the fall of western civilization.” I was like, “what? You call yourself a human being? Who is this man?” So, that’s when I realized Tim Russ is truly Vulcan in real life. He’s not human. He’s from another planet.
No, he’s from Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.! (laughs)
He’s from my hometown! (laughs)
Is he? No, he’s not.
Yes, he was born in Washington, D.C. which is where I was born. I was born in Washington, D.C.
Tim, were you born in D.C.?
Ohh! He IS! Well, he’s an alien from D.C. (laughs)
So, have you had a chance to visit Frederick, MD and the surrounding areas while you’re here?
Mmm, I’ve done a little bit of visiting around here, but not usually during con times. I’ve been here other times.
Yeah, because I’m in Annandale.
Alright, so close.
Awesome. So, I heard you have, I believe it’s a podcast?
I did. It’s on hiatus now.
Yeah, I don’t know. Technical difficulties, that’s the best way I can put it. We’ll see. I have a Twitch stream also. I do that too.
Oh, can you tell everyone where they can find your Twitch stream?
I think it’s just twitch.tv/garrettwang
This summertime, we are in the middle of our summer season. What are some of your favorite summer activities?
Not being outside in humid weather. That’s some of my favorite—
Ok, I can agree with that. Yes, yes! (hi fives one another)
I thought growing up in Memphis—fifth grade through senior year in high school—I thought the deep south was the humid part in America. Not until I went to Maryland, visiting my aunt in Potomac or just coming to D.C. in general in the summer, it is as humid or WORSE than the south. I think it’s actually oppressive. It feels oppressive when you’re walking out in this heat, am I right? It’s just not fair. It’s too much humidity. It really is.
A lot of the Next Generation and Tim has appeared on The Orville, and now they’re moving to Hulu. Would you love to appear on The Orville?
I would love to appear on The Orville. I will play a phaser. I won’t even play a human being. I will be Shuttle #4 is what I’ll play. I’d love to be on it.
We’re making the camera lady laugh. (laughs)
We’re definitely making her laugh, because she was here two years ago. So, what would you like to say to your fans who followed your career, especially the last twenty-five years from All-American Girl to Voyager to Of Gods to Men. What do you want to say to them?
I just want to say thank you for continuing to follow all the things that I’ve done. I very much appreciate it, and I hope to continue to do work that people will be excited to watch, and I hope to entertain people for as long as I breathe.
Absolutely. And if Starquest asks you to come for a third time, would you?
I would be here in a second.
Awesome. Since there are a lot of reboots and a number of shows like Magnum, P.I., Hawaii Five-0, would you like to participate or see a Voyager reboot?
Sure! It’d be a little weird, but yeah. To have a reboot so quickly.
(camera person Mandy stated) In five years!
If I still played myself. (laughs) There’s only one actor from the original show!
And you’re still Ensign in twenty-five years!
DR & GW: (laugh)
You know my Pokemon Go! screen name is Forever Ensign. That’s what it is. That’s my screen name for every video game I play.
Nice. Well, you’re not a forever Ensign but especially since we share the same colors. I was operations when I first started, so…
Garrett, nice to see you again, Thanks Starquest Convention for an excellent con. See you in 2020!