Exclusive Interview: TOS Legend the Horta
StarTrek.com has landed many of the biggest names in franchise history for interviews: Nimoy, Shatner, Stewart, Mulgrew and Pine, not to mention some of our favorite guest stars, including Sally Kellerman, Jason Alexander, Alice Krige and John de Lancie. A few folks, however, have eluded our tractor beam, among them Avery Brooks, the Horta, Joan Collins and Colm Meaney. Well, we can finally cross one name off our bucket list. After years of trying, we tracked down the Horta, who, remarkably, is doing well and still calls Janus VI home. So, we at StarTrek.com are thrilled to at long last run the following super-rare interview with the Horta.
StarTrek.com: Thank you for agreeing to do this. You’ve been hard to pin down.
Horta: I apologize. I’m still always tunneling. People don’t believe I’m even still alive. I was booked for a convention a couple of years ago, but no one thought I’d show up. So there were no pre-sales and the promoters canceled the show. I was looking forward to it.
StarTrek.com: Going back to “The Devil in the Dark,” how did you feel about Kirk and so many other people referring to you as a “monster”? Or when Spock said, and we quote, “Astonishing that anything of that bulk could move so rapidly.” Those comments must have hurt…
Horta: Hurt is the right word. No one realizes that I’m a sensitive creature. I’ve made peace with that jerky mining captain who was so quick to order me killed, and Spock and Kirk came back a few years after “The Devil in the Dark” to see me, and I told Kirk, through Spock, about my feelings. Kirk said, “I… understand… and… I… a…pol…o…gize.”
StarTrek.com: You do a very good Kirk impression.
Horta: Thank you. I’ve been around humans a lot now, so I can do better than “No Kill I.”
StarTrek.com: Be honest, did you think Kirk and the Enterprise crew were flat-out stupid when they mistook your eggs for silicon nodules?
Horta: I should be P.C. about this and say, “No,” that I understand that the eggs were actually silicon, so it was an easy mistake to make. But I thought Spock, because he was so logical, should have figured it out much sooner. I was going to save that for my autobiography, but, there, I said it.
StarTrek.com: So, silicon-based life, especially in an oxygen atmosphere, isn’t physiologically impossible…
StarTrek.com: Spock said that you were in terrible agony. How much pain were you in?
Horta: Imagine if I made you watch Star Trek V nonstop for a week.
StarTrek.com: Oh my. Stop there. But, come on, don’t you think “It’s time to sleep. It is over. Failure. The murderers have won. Death is welcome. Let it end here”… was just a LITTLE melodramatic?
Horta: Next question.
StarTrek.com: Which was more pretentious, when Kirk suggested reaching a Modus Vivendi or when McCoy declared “I’m beginning to think I can cure a rainy day”?
Horta: I didn’t know what a Modus Vivendi is. I still don’t. So I’ll go with McCoy’s comment. Really, he poured cement into the wounds of a rock creature. A red shirt probably would have figured that out eventually. Although, I did have to laugh when McCoy said, “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer.”
StarTrek.com: A lot of the Trek legends we talk to joke about being mistaken for someone else. Patrick Stewart is often asked if he’s Ben Kingsley, for example. Has that happened to you?
Horta: Not often because I’m almost always here on Janus VI, but it’s happened a few times. Do you remember Herta Ware? She played Maman Picard on TNG. People confuse us just because of the name. Herta, Horta. And some people thought I was a Vorta. Really, with my girlish figure, do I look like a Vorta?
StarTrek.com: Well, that’s all we’ve got for you. Thanks for granting us this interview.
Horta: You’re welcome. And please wish all your readers a happy April Fools’ Day.