Charles Dennis is an award-winning actor, playwright, novelist and songwriter from Toronto, Canada who appeared in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation as Sundad the Zalkonian commander and Star Trek: Enterprise as the Torothan Chancellor Trelit. We are pleased to present our interview with Mr. Dennis as part of our TREKAPALOOZA!
BLANKMANinc: You wear so many hats in the entertainment world (actor, playwright, voice work, journalist, author, director, songwriter, and screenwriter), which of these would you consider to be the most rewarding to you?
Charles Dennis: Rewarding? I take great joy in all my various arts I pursue. Yesterday I finished the first act of a new play and they’re going to do that in the Actor’s Studio here in Los Angeles. I’m just finishing editing a new that I shot called Chicanery and I have a television series that the producers of Downton Abbey are hoping to do over here called Hollywood Large so I’m busy all the time.
CD: Knowing as much as you can about the subject and ideally finding some little nugget about them that either has never appeared somewhere else or just knowing that extra-special something about them that makes them open up to you. It also didn’t hurt that I started as a child actor when I was seven so that when I interview anybody I don’t do it as an outsider but an insider.
BMi: Was there any one particular interview that you had at that age that was particularly exciting for you?
CD: One that sticks out in my mind I was interviewing Jason Robards backstage in New York. He was doing The Devils on Broadway and he set fire to his sofa and didn’t seem to notice it was happening. The interview with Jerry Lewis was great because it led to him flying me to California; it was my first trip to Los Angeles and it was a wonderful experience.
BMi: You had roles on both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Enterprise, as Sundad the Zalkonian commander and as the Torothan Chancellor Trelit. What led you to these roles? Had you been a fan of the franchise?
CD: When I was a kid with the original Shatner series, I loved that and years later the opportunity presented itself and I was Sunad. It’s amazing, it’s also the gift that keeps giving. It’s over 20 years ago and I still get paid.
BMi: Any interest in returning to the world of Star Trek?
CD: Well actually I am back in the world of Star Trek. I’ve just done the video game of Star Trek and I play Spock’s mentor in that and it was a lot of fun. I’m glad to be back in that world, that planet.