Connor Trinneer, who played Charles “Trip” Tucker III on Star Trek: Enterprise, sat down with John Champion of the Mission Log Podcast recently at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention. Topics that were discussed, include Trinneer’s first convention experience after being cast in Enterprise, his thoughts on Star Trek fans, the “Trip” character, and how 9/11 affected him as an actor and its ramifications on the show.
On the topic of his first Star Trek experience, Trinneer said:
“My first convention was in our first year. I went to — I wanted to keep it close to home — I’m from close to Portland, Oregon. I wanted to have my family around, because I had no idea what to expect of course.”
“I remember being terrified,” he recalled.
“I remember being escorted onto the stage by two guys dressed up as Klingons. I was thinking ‘What in the hell have I gotten myself into?’ I don’t remember much from the Q and A, because I think I was just terrified and you know — over the years, you learn what’s a good story and what the fans respond to. It’s kind of like honing a comedy bit.”
Now, more than ten years after the series’ premier, Trinneer feels very comfortable on the convention circuit, as he demonstrated last week in Las Vegas.
“By this point, I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to be asked. There’s probably about twenty standard questions that I’ve worked up — hopefully humorous — anecdotes to.”
“The fans want — if they’re fans of yours, they want to know something about you. They want a bit of you. They’ve got the show, they’ve got the movies, or whatever you’ve done. But, they want a bit of you. So a lot of time those questions are directed in that way. They want to do what you do in your life. So you share as much as you’re willing to share.”
He went on to discuss being part of the Star Trek franchise and how he didn’t quite understand its magnitude initially.
“In my situation, there was a healthy dose of ignorance is bliss. I didn’t really watch it after The Original Series as a kid after school. It just didn’t really capture me like say it did my brother — or Next Gen — my wife watched it all the time. It wasn’t until I was about a year into the job until I got to understand any of that.”
“All of that chronology came later for me.” he explained.
Trinneer played “Trip” for four seasons on Enterprise, he discussed the character and what he believes successful acting is to him.
“Pretty quickly that character needs to be you. Trip was definitely close to who I was. I think that’s why I was cast in the role and so I think it’s the struggle of every actor to find, to pull away the layers, to expose the truth — that’s your job.Some people are really effective at that and some people are less effective. But, that is really what you need to do. You need to strip away everything to find where the truth lies and tell the story from there. Thats what I consider ‘nailing it.’”
The Xindi storyline on Enterprise took up the entire third season of the show — it also served as a parallel for 9/11. Trinneer discussed this saying:
“Right or wrong, I think it was a thinly veiled response to 9/11. I felt like I was given an opportunity to — because we were all incredible affected by that — and for a long time.”
“While I didn’t have anyone pass away there, I had friends who did. My sister was directly affected by it. I was affected by it as an American, as a person and I got to work through all of that in a story — the Xindi arc and Tripps’ sister. In some way — lucky is the wrong way to put that — I was fortunate to work through my own issues and demons and whatever was coming out of me from that experience.”