The bottom line is that if Robert Beltran had it all to do over again, he wouldn't hesitate to play Chakotay on Star Trek: Voyager. That's the takeaway from part two of our exclusive StarTrek.com interview with the actor. In addition to discussing his feelings about Voyager in more detail, Beltran also converses about his life today, a life that includes a baby girl as well as a number of upcoming film and stage projects. Read on to see what he has to say.
If we rewound to 1994-1995 and you knew for better or for worse how Voyager would play out, would you do it again?
If I was working in a car factory and putting on tires, the only difference would be the size of the tires I was working on from week to week. So I knew what I was getting into, and I was prepared to stick it out for seven years, but it’s the creativity in me, that thing that makes me a creative person, that rebelled at some of the things that were going on. That’s all it was. I didn’t like some of the things that were going towards the last three years, and I risked being fired because I wasn’t happy creatively. But I was happy working and especially with the people I was working with. That was the main thing for me. I still enjoyed the work. If it wasn’t real satisfying to me creatively – except with the occasional scene that I really like doing – then it was a day at the factory and I always did my work, and I always did my best.
One of the good things that came out of your time on Voyager is that you hosted four Galaxy Balls, events that raised money for the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles. How important were those events to you, and how much money did you actually raise?
Who from the show are you still in touch with?
Beltran: The boys get together for a dinner once or twice a year. I don’t see Roxann (Dawson) very much at all because she’s really busy as a director. Kate (Mulgrew) and I exchange messages to each other through other people. I was in New York while she was doing her play, but I wasn’t able to see it. So some friends of mine went to see it and expressed to her that I couldn’t see it and that I wished her the best of luck. I do see Jeri (Ryan) once in a while because she likes to hang out with the guys once in a while, but mostly it’s me and Ethan Phillips and Bob Picardo and Tim Russ, Garrett Wang and Robbie (McNeill).
Fans will have a chance to see you at Creation Entertainment’s mega-convention next month. How much do you still enjoy the opportunity to see the Voyager gang and to interact with fans?
Beltran: I enjoy that. It’s signing a lot of autographs. It’s not all fun. There’s work involved. But I have always enjoyed the fans. I appreciate them and enjoy being with them.
What else are you up to at the moment, personally and professionally?
Beltran: Fatherhood is the big thing. I love it. My daughter’s name is Marlene. Professionally, I’m producing a film that we hope will go sometime in October. It’s a story of a small-town preacher who’s in New Mexico and has to come to Los Angeles and find his wayward daughter, a 15-year-old who ran away from home. I’m also going to play the preacher. It’s set to go. There are a few little hurdles we have to jump, but it looks good. Then, in February, I should be shooting another film. And, right now, I’m working on a play called Solitude. We’ll be going to Miami for an international theater festival with that.
Anything else on the stage front?
Beltran: I did a new play new play, by Jose Rivera, at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He was nominated for an Oscar for The Motorcycle Diaries. This was a wonderful play called Boleros for the Disenchanted. We’ll probably do several more productions of that. That’s the plan for it. The show was hugely successful in San Francisco, so they’re talking about possibly New York or Chicago or both.
All in all, how satisfied have you been with life after Star Trek?
Click HERE to read part one of our interview with Robert Beltran.