Actor/director/musician Tim Russ has portrayed characters in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, the film Star Trek: Generation and the games Star Trek: Elite force 1 and 2. He also directed the Voyager episode “Living Witness”, the fan film Star Trek: Of Gods and Men and its as-yet-to-be-released sequel Star Trek: Renegade. We were lucky enough to have a quick chat with Tim as part of our TREKAPALOOZA at BLANKMANinc.com!
Although Tim has portrayed several different characters on various Star Trek television series and movies, he is best known for his portrayal of Vulcan Lieutenant Commander Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager. Tuvok has become a huge fan favorite making him one of the most popular Vulcan characters second only to Leonard Nimoy’s Spock. Tim tells us that his greatest joy while performing as Tuvok was playing opposite of the human characters. “Tuvok is so “alien” in his lack of showing emotions; it’s really fun sometimes commenting on the volatile human experience.”
Not only did Tim physically mold Tuvok into the character he would become with his performance but he was also worked hand and hand with Voyager’s writing staff to solidify the character’s persona even more “I mostly gave them my opinions about the character as the stories came out from week to week, especially if they were heavy storylines for Tuvok, and if there was something they had Tuvok doing that I didn’t think he would do.” Tim reflected with us particularly on his writing input on the episode “Blood Fever” that revolved around the Vulcan mating ritual Pon Farr: “We had to create cultural norms and concepts that had never been written about before, based on what little that had already been established.”
Even though few actors have appeared in so many varied Star Trek related productions as Tim and he has confirmed that he was a Trek fan before his roles, Tim tells us that nothing particularly special caused him to work on Star Trek: “I didn’t pursue them. I was offered the chance to work on a project, and they just happened to be Trek related…every one of them.” On whether or not Tim will pursue any future Star Trek related roles it’s anybody’s guess as he tells us: “Tomorrow, it could be Zombie stuff, you never know.”