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Feature: Star Trek: Enterprise
Having just begun his third year of exploring Deep Space, Connor Trinneer drops out of warp to talk about his duties as chief engineer on the Enterprise...
In todayís world, most of us work to live. However, there are some people who live to work. Actor Connor Trinneer is one such person. ďMy favourite thing in the world is getting up in the morning and going to the set,Ē he says. ďI really enjoy the process of acting. Whether youíre performing onstage or in front of a camera, all actors want to practise their craft. Almost every day Iím given the chance to do just that. Iím one heck of a lucky guy.Ē
Evil magician, EMT and lawyer are just a few of the characters that the classically trained actor has played on TV. Three years ago, Trinneer took on a role that would change his life forever, that of Commander Charles ĎTripí Tucker III on Star Trek: Enterprise. As chief engineer itís Tripís job to keep the starshipís engines running at peak efficiency. Heís the latest in a long line of Trek Mr Fix-its and like them his life outside the engineering room is far more interesting. The commander has, among other things, become pregnant by an alien woman, been imprisoned in an alien cocoon, and ended up stranded on a planet with a beautiful but obstinate female. His responses in these situations have not been unlike those you or I might have. Tripís Everyman quality is, in part, due to Trinneer bringing more of himself to his role. ďWhen people ask about a character description of Trip thereís the stock one, and that is heís a good old Southern boy who has a talent for engineering and a friendship with Captain Archer [Scott Bakula],Ē notes Trinneer. ďHowever, whatís made him more fun for me to play and, I hope, viewers to watch are some of the qualities that the writers and I have imbued him with. I know that sounds sort of artsy-fartsy and I donít want it to be. Basically, the changes in Trip are a result of him feeling more at ease in his job. In the beginning he was slightly in awe of meeting new aliens and all that kind of stuff. Thatís become more like second nature to him now and heís better prepared to face the unexpected.
ďOf course, Tripís feeling more at ease coincides with my feeling more comfortable in the role. Iím fortunate in that the writers hear his voice when they write for my character and thatís a good thing because it just happens to be my voice, too. So together weíve managed to, I guess, make him a real person. As far as what I specifically bring to Trip, thatís not easy for me to say. Iím too close to the character to be objective. Iím easy-going and, Jeez, I donít know, perhaps charming,Ē he chuckles. ďIíd like to think I bring a bit of both to my performance. Bottom line, thereís a lot of me in Trip. Itís been great to play a character like this for an extended period of time. Actors donít often get the opportunity for such an exploration and I want to take full advantage of it.Ē
by Steven Eramo
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