As you know, Tim Russ plays Tuvok—a Vulcan with sometimes-inscrutable logic. Russ, however, speaks clearly about his role on Star Trek: Voyager, his interests and even who he would like to mind-meld with. Read on…
Question: Would you rather have Voyager go for an eighth season, or do you think seven is enough?
Tim Russ: It's hard to say, There is an up side to working the show for a number of years and there's a down side. I would like a chance to work in other areas of the business freely, but I would probably take the final year if it was offered to me, if only because of the financial benefit.
Q: How many takes does it usually take for you to do a scene?
George J., Australia
TR: It can take as many as 19 or 20, but we usually do it in one to three takes.
Q: Why do you think Tuvok was the character selected to be fully assimilated in the premier of Season 7?
TR: Just the choice of the writers—perhaps my powers of telepathy made me vulnerable.
Q: What do you find your strongest Vulcan quality?
TR: Control over emotion. I wish I could do the same—especially in traffic.
Q: Do you have a favorite out of all the Voyager episodes, and why?
Emma C., England
TR: “Future's End.” It was the most fun to shoot for that two weeks because we were on location.
Q: Are they ever going to add seat belts and air bags to the bridge of Starfleet ships? (My seven-year old son asks.)
TR: We use "inertial dampers" (mechanical systems) to keep us from flying all over the place.
Q: What was it like doing the voice for Tuvok in the new game "Star Trek: Voyager-Elite Force"?
TR: It was two rather long days in the recording studio, otherwise it was fairly routine. The vocal quality will vary to suit the needs of the game from time to time.
Q: Do you find yourself critiquing your performances as the episode airs? If so, are they generally favorable, or are you your own worst critic?
TR: We as actors are always our own worst critics. I will watch shows I'm heavy in.
Q: G'day Mr. Russ. I just wanna ask you, do you have any plans to attend any conventions down under in New Zealand in the future?
TR: None right now. But if I'm invited to go there I will.
Q: Knowing this has been the last season, has the cast and crew relaxed a little and are you having a bit of fun?
TR: We always try to have fun when shooting—sometimes too much fun.
Q: If you were forced, for some reason, to give up acting or music, which would it be?
TR: If I had no choice at all, I might give up acting because I can always make a living playing music.
Q: Do you like astronomy? If you do, what are your favorite stars?
TR: I do love astronomy. My favorite individual stars are Mizar (double star) and the Seven Sisters.
Q: In the season opener, how long did you have to be in the make-up chair for the Borg outfit, and for how many days?
TR: Borg make up took three hours the first time, then one and a half-hours after that.
Q: Will we ever see an episode concerning Tuvok and Pon farr? Please say yes!
TR: There is a Pon farr episode coming....!
Q: When will you be taking on Howard Stern and the Losers again?
TR: Don't know if that will happen at all.
Q: How old is Tuvok?
TR: Roughly 100 years old (Vulcan years).
Q: Is there a chance we'll get to see another episode directed by you? (I consider "Living Witness" one of the best Voyager episodes.)
TR: Hopefully, near the second half of the season.
Q: If you could mind-meld with anyone from anywhere (or anytime), who would you meld with?
TR: I would like to have had the opportunity to meld with Jesus Christ. His philosophy and that of the Vulcan's are similar. I wonder....
Q: What was your first day like?
TR: It was with Genevieve Bujold as the Captain. It was a short day of work, as she did not complete the days’ shooting. It was an uneasy mood because it did not go smoothly.
Q: Are you funny in real life?
TR: No more than the average person.
Q: Does playing a Vulcan ever get boring?
TR: After so many years yes it does, from an acting standpoint.
Q: Do you believe that aliens exist?
TR: Yes I do. The Drake Equation [an equation by astronomer Frank Drake that estimates the number of star systems with planets that may be able to support life] is a fairly solid one.
Q: Aside from what you compose, what other music do you listen to?
TR: Many styles of music—adult contemporary, rock, and R & B.
Q: Are you a football fan and if so, what team?
TR: I used to be a [Minnesota] Vikings fan, but I don't watch it that much anymore.
Q: Do you have any pets?
TR: At this time, no pets.
STARTREK.COM: Thanks for your participation Tim, and good luck with the rest of your final season.