Though J.G. Hertzler’s biggest role in the “Star Trek” universe was on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” he’s one of the many actors who has appeared in multiple “Star Trek” series. None of his other roles were as major as General Martok, but he made one-off appearances in both “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.”
While on the set of “Enterprise,” regular cast member John Billingsley, who played Dr. Phlox, introduced Hertzler to a weekly tradition followed by the cast and crew. Unfortunately, Hertzler’s participation in this tradition ruined it for everyone else.
He told Heavy the story during an exclusive interview this week.
Foul Mouth Fridays
In 2003, Hertzler was on the “Enterprise” set to film for the episode “Judgement.” His character for the episode was a Klingon lawyer who was defending Captain Jonathan Archer against charges of conspiring against the Klingon Empire.
During some downtime, Billingsley and Hertzler were chatting, and Billingsley told Hertzler about “Foul Mouth Fridays.” Hertzler said that on Foul Mouth Friday, anyone on set “could say anything to anybody in the foulest way imaginable and not be held responsible.”
Hertzler thought that Foul Mouth Friday sounded “like fun,” and decided he was going to take full advantage of the tradition.
“I let loose in an unbridled tirade, on not just one occasion, to the major producers on the show.”
Hertzler declined to give details about exactly what he said. When asked if he cursed out the showrunners themselves — Rick Berman and Brannon Braga — he clarified that he’d gone off on the line producers, the producers who were onset during filming.
Hertzler said that Berman and Braga were rarely on the set. He went on to say that he wasn’t sure how involved Berman was in the day-to-day production of the show at the time.
He Went Too Far
Hertzler continued, saying that when he saw Billingsley again, Billingsley informed him that “Enterprise’s” Foul Mouth Friday tradition had been discontinued. Billingsley explained that they’d never had another one after Hertzler participated.
Hertzler apologized to Billingsley for ruining things for the rest of the cast. However, according to Hertzler, Billingsley admitted that it was probably for the best.
Hertzler joked that he “set a high bar” for the tradition with which no one else could compete.
Though Hertzler’s “tirade” put an end to Foul Mouth Fridays, it apparently didn’t harm his reputation onset or his relationship with the producers. He was asked back for another role on the show the next year. He played the captain of a Klingon ship in the episode “Borderline.”
The Foulest Mouth on the ‘Enterprise’ Set
Though the cast never participated in Foul Mouth Fridays again, the foul mouths on the set didn’t cease to exist. In an interview with TrekMovie.com, Billingsley revealed that one cast member was known for his profanity-laced rants.
According to Billingsley, “No one can swear like Dominic [Keating].”
He told the publication that the sound crew once captured Keating, who played Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, on a particularly vulgar tear and saved the audio. Billingsley joked that he used to make guest stars listen to the recording so they knew what they were getting into working with Keating.
He admitted that it was “mean,” but he was never serious. He and Keating were close and Keating understood that he was just joking.
So, it sounds like Hertzler wasn’t the foulest mouth on the “Enterprise” set, even though he did kill Foul Mouth Fridays.