Today, in the second half of our Fan Q&A with Anthony Montgomery, the former Star Trek: Enterprise star answers more of your questions. Among the topics: fan reaction to Enterprise, the possibility of the Enterprise cast turning up in the next Star Trek feature, Montgomery’s favorite pizza topping, and the imminent release of a new song he’s recorded for his series, Single Ladies.
A number of people asked two different, but related questions: “What was it like to be on the best Star Trek show?” And then there was “What was it like to be on the worst Star Trek show?” How strange is it that Enterprise truly divides the fan base like that, that it elicits such divergent responses?
Montgomery: It really does. As the actors, we take the scripts and we bring them to life to the absolute best of our abilities, and we leave it there. I have always worked to do the absolute best that I can because someone very wise told me a long time ago a very simple statement as far as people’s opinion of me. And that is, “In truth, your opinion of me is not my concern because, regardless of what we do from an acting standpoint, you’re going to have your opinion. You’re going to love it or you’re going to hate it, and you will have very strong reasoning to back whatever your opinion is. So, for me, just do the best job you can and leave it there.” That’s where I stayed. I get people, even now, who come up to me and say, “Your show was the absolute best of all of the series,” and then there are other people. I had someone at a convention say to me, “How could you be on a show with Scott Bakula? He was the worst captain in the Star Trek franchise.” Of course, that’s my captain, so I’m going to argue with you and debate you on that until the cows come home. So, for me, we did the best work we possibly could, and hopefully we did more good than harm, and (hopefully) the fans will love us more than they hate us in the long run.
If they’d done a time travel episode that allowed you to play Mayweather on any other Star Trek show, which would you have liked to have been on and why?
Montgomery: Oh, God. Well, I think I would have to say I would have liked to have been on The Original Series. It would have been great to find a way to tie things in so that Travis was directly related to Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols). Maybe Lt. Uhura was somehow my great-grandmother. Nichelle is an icon and, for me, she is the epitome of elegance, which is why I would have wanted to have interacted with her. And then, because I’m such a Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) fan and because I’ve met Patrick and think he’s a wonderful person and ridiculously talented, I’d have loved to have been able to work with him on The Next Generation. Also, because I was a fan of Avery Brooks for so many years on Spencer for Hire, it would have been amazing to have been on Spencer for Hire. I know that he’s Commander Sisko for Star Trek fans, but I never really watched Deep Space Nine, and I was a fan of his long before that. So, for different reasons, for reasons really having nothing to do with Star Trek, I’d have loved to have done some of those different shows.
Fans used to organize save-their-show campaigns to try to either get on-the-bubble shows renewed for another season or canceled shows returned to the airwaves. Do you think fans can still bring a show back, and what are the chances that a fan campaign will result in more Enterprise?
Montgomery: I think that fans have shown that they have a very powerful voice and that if they want to make something happen, the fans can do it. But with Enterprise, I don’t know. There’s been a regime change at the studio. There’s been a regime change within Star Trek. Everyone’s doing their own thing now. I don’t know that the show could come back, honestly. I know that the fans showed their devotion. They raised about $3 million to produce a new season of Enterprise or a new episode, or something. It was amazing, the fact that you could get that many fans to send in that much money. I don’t know if it was three million fans sending in $1 or one million fans sending in $3, but they got this money, went to Paramount and said, “We love this show so much. Please don’t take it off the air. Here’s the money to pay for the show.” That kind of loyalty, you can’t buy it. If anybody could get Enterprise back on the air, it’d be the die-hard Star Trek fans. But I don’t know that it’s possible anymore honestly.
A lot of people would like to see Enterprise somehow included in the next Star Trek feature, and those people cite the fact that Enterprise is closest in the timeline to Star Trek (2009). If J.J. Abrams called you tomorrow and said, “Would you like to come in and help us bridge the gap between Enterprise and Star Trek (2009)?” would you be open to that?
Montgomery: Of course I would! And I would because I’m a J.J. Abrams fan. The guy is phenomenal, where his vision goes, and I think he did a great job with Star Trek (2009). I think it would be a lot of fun. I think if you brought in a group like us (the Enterprise cast) and mixed it with the inner mechanisms of the Star Trek (2009) world, I think it would be a complete hit with the fans – and the fans from every generation. Truly, I think for every fan that’s a fan of all of the series and all of the movies, those guys would actually love it. The fans had started to buy into us more by the fourth season of Enterprise, and I think they wanted to see more of us. It was like cutting their legs out from under them when we were canceled so abruptly as we were. And including us (in the next Star Trek feature) would give a lot of people closure.
Scott Bakula recently said that Enterprise was supposed to make the leap from series to films and become the next Star Trek film franchise. You mentioned Enterprise films. What’s your memory: were you told that that was the plan?
Montgomery: I do remember them saying that they were not going to do movies for Voyager and that as long as the numbers kept getting better, then they did plan on doing movies with our series.
Who from the old days are you still in touch with?
Montgomery: This goes back to actually being on the show, but I’m closest to Dominic (Keating) and I always have been. But I see Scott maybe once a year. My wife and I usually go to his annual Christmas party, and I get to catch up with whomever else I haven’t seen. Dominic and John Billingsley are the two that I speak with most often. Scott and I talk a few times a year, but we just don’t get together as much as we used to. And I see a lot of the people at the conventions, too.
OK, the fans threw some snarky questions out there, too. You up for answering a few?
Boxers or briefs?
Montgomery: Boxer briefs.
You’re stuck on an island and you can only bring three songs. What three would you be OK listening to for an eternity?
Montgomery: Oh, I don’t know. One of them would be “Catch 22” by Goapele, because that’s a song I was listening to when I fell in love with my wife. It’s a very powerful song. Let’s see, two more. That’s a really good one. I can only take three. I don’t know if I can do that. I think I’d need to bring a jukebox with me with a very nice random selection of songs. I’d lose my mind after a while if I could only listen to three songs.
What’s your favorite pizza topping?
Montgomery: Pepperoni, of course.
Back to a more serious question to bring things to a conclusion. What’s happening with your music?
Montgomery: Music is a very cutthroat industry and I did not realize how cutthroat it is until I’d put my album out. But it’s ironic that someone asked that question, because I have a song that will be featured on Single Ladies. I recorded a single and the music supervisor for Single Ladies loved it, and they’re putting my song on the show. It’s called “Stimulation.” It’s a sexy club song. It’s not gratuitous or anything like that. I don’t curse people out and I’m not selling drugs, but it’s a sexy song. I don’t know what episode it’ll be in, but because I know it’ll definitely be on the show, I’ve recorded a video for it. It’ll probably be a couple of more weeks, and then the fans should be on the lookout for it. The song will also be on iTunes, and we’ll do all of that – the video, iTunes – in conjunction with the song being on the show. It’ll be an all-out blast.