Martin Rayner played one of the most-colorful characters in all of Star Trek, even if his scenes were in black and white. The actor portrayed the megalomaniacal, mustache-twirling, Janeway-obsessed Doctor Chaotica in three episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, namely "Night," "Bride of Chaotica" and "Shattered." Chaotica was just one role in a long, busy career that's seen Rayner concentrate mostly on stage work, but has also encompassed such films and shows as Victor Victoria, Dallas, Problem Child, Frasier and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The actor's current project is also an old project. Rayner will play a dying Dr. Sigmund Freud in the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble's upcoming production of the Mark St. Germain comedy-drama, Freud’s Last Session. The Show will open on January 13 and the Odyssey Theatre in West L.A. and run through March 4.
Back in 2010, when Rayner was battling prostate cancer while performing the show off-Broadway in Manhattan, he collapsed during a performance. True to the rallying cry, "The show must go on," Rayner ended up in the hospital that night, but returned to the stage the very next day. Rayner's latest turn in Freud's Last Session provided StarTrek.com the opportunity to chat with Rayner, who talked about the show, his health and his memories of bringing Doctor Chaotica to life...
You're about to star in Freud's Last Session, again. Is this your first time back in the role since the Off-Broadway production?
What continues to appeal to you about the show and the role?
You casually mentioned you've had some life experiences between then and now, but they were life-altering events. How have they changed your performance?
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Let's talk about Voyager and Doctor Chaotica. First, what did you know Star Trek in general and Voyager specifically?
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Did you know it’d be a recurring role?
When you were playing the role, did you have Ming in your head, or no?
How did you get on with the Voyager cast?
What do you recall of the costume and the fact that your scenes were shot in color but aired in black and white?
They were shot in color so they could be made into sepia. I have a color photograph of me on the throne in my full outfit. It's really beautiful. But it looks fantastic in the sepia effect. The make-up, I didn't even know what that was going to be until I sat in the chair and they took, I guess, a couple of hours to do it. What I liked about it was that it was still nicely me. I wasn’t completely covered over by makeup. So, that was my ego that I felt, but I thought, “People still know it's me.” They had all this new technology with air brushing, and it was pretty fascinating to watch them do it.
Just as you didn't know Chaotica would recur, can we assume you didn’t know “Shattered” would be your last time in the role?
We’ve been at conventions and seen quite a few Chaoticas, often accompanied by Arachnia. Have you had the pleasure?
The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. For reservations and information about Freud’s Last Session, call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com.