In part one of our two-part interview that ran yesterday, Dominic Keating recounted his days on Star Trek: Enterprise, commenting on his character, Malcolm Reed, and not knocking the controversial series finale. Today, in the second half of our conversation, the actor talks about life after Star Trek. Among the topics: Sons of Anarchy, those Hobbit rumors and his not-far-off wedding plans.
How has life been for you post-Star Trek?
Keating: Pretty good, I’d have to say. No complaints, really. It’s been a while now, hasn’t it? Is it six years? I think we’re into the seventh year of it having ended. Isn’t that amazing? We’ve been off the air several more years than we were on the air. I still miss that job; I’ll tell you that much. I’d love to have done the seven years. But I look back now with just enormous gratitude and I know how fortunate I was to have had that experience. That’s the way I look at it now, and everything else is gravy, quite frankly. I’m not sure I would have such – what’s the word? – affection for living in Los Angeles and for having made the choice, many moons ago, to want to be an actor if I hadn’t have gotten those four years on that Star Trek show. I guess that was the crowning glory of everything I’ve done, and I’m not sure I’d have such fond memories of the choice of wanting to be an actor were it not for Star Trek. I did some good plays in London and there was a sitcom I did. It’s been a journey, but I’m very, very grateful that it did, in some respects, culminate in that prestigious job, without a doubt.
What are some of your projects away from Star Trek, after the show, that you’re proudest of?
Keating: I forget half the things I’ve done. I just did a stint on Sons of Anarchy, which was a lot of fun. I was a Hell’s Angel, which had a lot of testosterone-fueled scenes. All of that was a lot of fun and I had a good two or three weeks on that. I did a CSI:NY about a year ago and had a really good role on that. I played this drug-dealing, pimped-out SOB who killed two of his working girls. And I played him as American. I went in there, fooled them, and got the job. It was a big coup for me to go in there, in front of other guest-star American actors, and take it out from under their feet. I was quite chuffed. I did Heroes, the first six or seven episodes of the second season. Sadly, it was the season that was crap. Trying to think what else... I did a movie that’s just out now at festivals, called Certifiably Jonathan, about Jonathan Winters. I did that a few years ago. It’s been a while. I think I was still shooting Star Trek, mate. I think I was. I think it’s five years ago and change that I shot that. But it was great. What a treat, to do scenes with the godfather of modern comedy. And it was a real treat to see the finished cut. It’s struggling to get a theatrical release, but I think it’s going to make it to DVD. There’s some amazing footage of him from the olden days on American TV. He was just a funny cat, man, seriously funny.
And what do you have going on now? IMDB lists something called The One Warrior, and you’ve been “rumored” to be in the Hobbit films…
Keating: The One Warrior… that was one day! They flew me out for that. It was lovely, actually, a beautiful day in Alabama, right in the thick of it, in the Bible belt. We shot in a beautiful nature reserve, in these fabulous caves. And I played Merlin. That apparently is also going to make it to DVD. It stars a cage fighter, Jason David Frank. So it was a good three-day journey and a nice little pay packet, too. And, yes, I am rumored to be in the Hobbit films. I don’t know how that rumor started, but I know that I did two great auditions for them, for the movies, and there was a little heat there for a little bit of time back in the casting days of it. I don’t know who started the rumors, but it wasn’t me. But I am not in them, sadly. Someone just left (the production), so maybe they’ll call. Wouldn’t that be nice? And what else? I think that’s it. I’m always auditioning. I’ve had some real near misses, mate. I nearly got a series regular on an AMC show called Hell on Wheels. That was about four or five months ago. It’s just filming now and I think they’re waiting to hear if they get picked up. It was a very keen pilot and AMC is doing some very good work now. There was The Hobbit. So there’s been a host of really near-misses for some good stuff.
So I’m still in contention, but it’s tough out there. It’s highly squeezed at the moment. Just even for guest star stuff, you’re seeing really recognizable people. Not to say that I’m not recognizable, but I’m seeing people that I know, film actors, going in there along with me on auditions, and willing to do shows for guest star money. When a recognized name film actor is prepared to work for top-of-show (credit on a TV show), that heralds a new day because, before, if you wanted to get a recognizable film actor to come and guest on your show, you had to pay them their quote. And it wasn’t going to be seven grand a week. Now they’re happy to work for seven grand. They really are. So it’s all getting quite squeezed.
You attend several conventions a year in the U.S. and around the world. How much do you still enjoy those?
Keating: They’re still fun. I have to say, I do maybe five or six and I enjoy it thoroughly, mate. It’s like being Brad Pitt for the weekend, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s after the fact. We’re not still producing the show. And it’s nice to get the recognition, still. I mean, there’s not an actor on the planet that doesn’t like being told that the work they put in really made somebody’s day or helped them through this. That’s exactly what comes out at the conventions, a love for and appreciation of what we did for our four years. And right back at you, quite frankly, for loving it as much as you do.
Last question: when’s the wedding?
Keating: Yes, Tam (Nguyen) and I are getting married. We were down in New Zealand doing a convention. It’s amazing that pretty much a year ago we were leaving Christchurch. Look where they’re at now. But we drove down the west coast of the south island and I proposed at sunrise on the shores of Lake Hawea, which was very beautiful. So hopefully I think this year, sometime toward the end of the year, we’ll get married.
To read part one of our interview with Dominic Keating, click here. And to keep track of Keating and his upcoming projects and convention appearances, visit his official web site at www.dominickeating.com.