Joseph Will is an American actor who has been featured in many television and movie roles, including Star Trek: Voyager, Enterprise, and Star Trek: The Experience. Today we are delighted to bring you our one on one with the great Joseph Will.
BLANKMANinc: Before your first appearance in Star Trek: Voyager, you were featured in an episode of the sitcom Frasier. What did it take as an actor to break into television?
Joseph Will: Luck and timing. I had been pursuing theater work in New York City and decided to pursue TV and film work in Los Angeles, which is what I always wanted to do. The show Frasier released a breakdown for an actor that looked Greek and could juggle. My wife convinced me to downplay my less than impressive juggling skills, which consisted of barely being able to juggle three balls, and to fake my way through. Apparently I did enough in the callback to convince them that I could do what they wanted and offered me the job on the spot, which has never happened since! So, overnight I went from having no TV credits to being cast in a prominent guest star role on NBC’s top sitcom and my SAG card. Not a bad day.
BLANKMANinc: How were you first introduced with the opportunity to appear on season six of Star Trek: Voyager?
JW: I had auditioned for the casting director, Ron Surma, a few times near the end of the series run of Deep Space Nine. He was very supportive and brought me in several times for Voyager, as well. I don’t really recall the callback but I do remember it was with Joe Menosky and Brannon Braga. A week later I found myself on the set of Voyager opposite Roxann Dawson and a quite substantial part in terms of guest star work.
I recall that rewrites where happening up until the moment we were to shoot the scenes, which I had never experienced before. Coming from theater you usually have substantial rehearsals and times to digest dialogue and explore the material. This is why Star Trek had a reputation for hiring actors with strong classical theater backgrounds, because of their ability to handle the language and the universal themes not found in most TV shows.
Roxann was so supportive and professional that it set my mind at ease as we worked several consecutive 14 –16 hour days! She continued to support me by casting me in several television shows that she has directed and by introducing me to her husband, who is a very prominent casting director who has also given me many opportunities.
BLANKMANinc: Your costume from the episode “Muse” was sold in the “It’s a Wrap” auction on eBay, which lasted between 2006-2009. Do you own any Star Trek memorabilia yourself?
JW: Soon after doing Voyager’s “Muse”, people kept asking me if I had kept any of my forehead prosthetics. Regretfully, I never thought of it. However, the seller of the Kelis costume notified me to verify its authenticity and then I scored a “Muse” trading card from him!
BLANKMANinc: After Voyager you were featured in many roles, including some for CSI, Will & Grace, NYPD Blue, and the movie Dragonfly. What was your most memorable experience working on these sets?
JW: All of those shows hold special memories for me; however, one of my favorite jobs happened to be on 24. I was chauffeuring the corrupt former President to his destination when Jack Bauer, in a bulletproof suit and helmet, attacks the limousine and gasses us by shooting a hole in the windshield before shoving a tear gas canister through the hole.
Before shooting this particular scene I was called to the set to sit in the limousine, and the A.D. neglected to tell me what the shot was. They called action and all of a sudden I heard explosions and gunfire as Keifer Sutherland makes his way down the tunnel shooting at us. That was a very cool moment.
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