was not a fan of science-fiction, but saw its appeal after his seven years on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
As reported by Rotten Tomatoes, Meaney is not disappointed in not being asked to work on Star Trek XI. "When we were doing the show [Deep Space Nine] and people asked would I like to do a movie, my position was always, 'If I do a feature, I'd rather not do it a space suit!' I spent seven years in a space suit and that was fine. I did the TV show, but it's funny, a lot of people who watch Star Trek know I do that, but they don't know I do movies too, and similarly people who go to the movies don't know I did Star Trek. It's like I'm these two different actors in two different careers, and that's great, I love that. I think if you start stepping into the feature world in Star Trek you become known to a wider audience as that and it becomes limiting."
Meaney did not regret his time on Deep Space Nine though. "We had a great time doing the show. Don't get me wrong, we had a great crew and a great cast. And the writing on that show was very good. We did twenty-six episodes a year for seven years and there were maybe three or four duds in a year, which wasn't bad. We got on very well. So it was a lot of fun and we all enjoyed it, but after seven years it was a perfect time to quit, walk away and do other things."
Prior to doing Deep Space Nine, Meaney was neither a Star Trek nor a science-fiction fan. "Science fiction would not have been my favorite genre," he said. "I never really developed an interest in it. But doing the series was interesting because I realized that science fiction can be used to really comment on today in a very direct way. We were doing shows about genetic engineering, you know, and there was even a great two-part episode about homelessness, I remember, which was set in about 2040. It was really a social commentary where in the not-too-distant future we could develop a permanent under-class who are segregated from society. In contemporary television you couldn't do that, so I realized the value of science fiction as a genre by doing the show."
Working with Rick Berman was a good experience, as Berman was sensitive to Meaney's needs. "Well I was very lucky to have a great exec producer in Rick Berman," explained Meaney. "In fact, one of my worries when they offered me Deep Space Nine was that I'd be going to a full-time role after having just recurred in The Next Generation. I...was a series regular on DS9. Rick sat me down one day and said, 'I promise you, I'll always let you out to do a feature you really want to do.' And over the course of the seven years he did. There were a couple of things he said no to, but they were things I wasn't particularly desperate to do anyway. The important ones I did get to do. They'd write me out of two or three episodes, or have me shoot the last day of one episode and the first day of the next episode. I could do a couple of days in LA and get back to wherever I was shooting movies."
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