How better to toast St. Patrick's Day than to show some love to Miles O’Brien, our favorite Irish Star Trek character. A most unusual character for Star Trek, he was more or less an everyman. A minor character with no name when introduced on The Next Generation, he rose in prominence, rank and screen time, and then became a regular, major character on Deep Space Nine. The man who played him -- Colm Meaney -- followed a very similar path. Born in Ireland, he worked his way up in Hollywood from small parts, including his role on TNG, to supporting and leading man roles. During the run of DS9, he squeezed in numerous film and television appearances and to this day he remains one of the busiest character actors around. Here are some tidbits about both O'Brien and Meaney:
Meaney was born in Dublin, Ireland on May 30, 1953 while O'Brien was born in Killarney, Ireland in September 2328.
A Pet Person
As a child, O'Brien feared spiders. As an adult, he owned a pet tarantula named Christina that he'd found on Titus IV.
As a teen, O'Brien enrolled in Starfleet against the wishes of his father, who wanted him to study at the Aldeberan Music Academy and become a concert cellist. He later played cello with a string quartet aboard the Enterprise.
A Starter & Finisher
Meaney, as O'Brien, played the only Trek character to appear in two series premieres ("Encounter at Farpoint" and "Emissary") and also two series finales ("All Good Things..." and "What You Leave Behind").
Meaney ultimately played O'Brien across 14 seasons of Trek, 7 each of TNG and DS9.
O'Brien wasn't given the first name Miles until the episode "Family," during season four of TNG.
A Descendant of Royalty
Among O'Brien's ancestors were Sean Aloysius O'Brien, a coal miner and union activist on Earth in the 19th century, and Brian Boru, an 11th century Irish king who was the founder of the O'Brien dynasty.
An Evolving Character
Meaney, in a StarTrek.com interview, commented on O'Brien's evolution, stating, "Initially it was just the pilot, and then there’d be some episodes I was in and some I wasn’t. They just kept calling me back. I can’t even remember, honestly, if it was supposed to be a one-off or recurring. I was just happy for the work. The character got a name, eventually, and then we saw a little more of him, and then they asked me to do DS9... I was (then) very satisfied with his evolution (on DS9). I got to do a lot of cool things and, between the scenes with Sid (Alexander Siddig) and Rosalind (Chao), you really got to know him. Add to that the normal day-to-day stuff of being part of the crew on the station, and he was a busy guy."
Meaney's recent and upcoming projects include the just-announced political thriller Against All Enemies, which will star Kristen Stewart, Jack O'Connell, Anthony Mackie, Margaret Qualley and Meaney. He also played Big Daddy last month in the Young Vic production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, with Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell.
Happy St. Patrick's Day from StarTrek.com!