EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Catching Up with J.G. Hertzler

JG Hertzler attends a photocall at Destination Star Trek London at ExCel on October 19, 2012 in London, England

Martin McNeil/Getty Images JG Hertzler attends a photocall at Destination Star Trek London at ExCel on October 19, 2012 in London, England

Earlier this week, Heavy caught up with “Star Trek” actor J.G. Hertzler in an exclusive interview. “Star Trek” fans probably know Hertzler as General Martok from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”

However, that wasn’t his only role in the Trek-verse. Hertzler also played a Vulcan Captain in “Deep Space Nine,” a Hirogen hunter in “Star Trek: Voyager,” and two different Klingons in “Star Trek: Enterprise.”

Heavy chatted with Hertzler about what he’s been doing during the pandemic, the projects he’s currently working on, and what he hopes to do once the world gets back to normal.


‘Confessions of a Klingon Linebacker’

J.G. Hertzler as General Martok on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"

YouTubeJ.G. Hertzler as General Martok on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”

Hertzler told Heavy that he’s spent the majority of the pandemic working on his memoir, entitled “Confessions of a Klingon Linebacker.” He explained that the title is a reference to the two things he’s shown an aptitude for in his life — being a Klingon and being a linebacker.

Linebacking and Klingoning. That’s who I am… I’m a linebacker mentality. The thing I did best… was running as fast as I could into the backfield of the other team and hitting as many people with my head as I could. And Klingons, it’s just like putting on a uniform, it’s like a football uniform. The Klingon race is  like a whole race of linebackers. That’s sort of who they are. They’re not tricky, they’re not subtle. They just run as fast as they can at you and try to hit you with their head.

Hertzler said that the memoir is a collection of the more esoteric moments in his life, including a brush with the mob that led him to pursue a career in acting. He discusses his time as an environmental activist in the 70s, making it in Hollywood, and, of course, how being a Klingon changed the course of his life.

Hertzler divulged that his daughter inspired him to start telling his life story. He became a father late in life and said that there were decades of his life that his daughter wouldn’t know about unless he put them to paper.

Hertzler showed Heavy the massive stack of pages that comprised the manuscript, which he said totaled about 300 pages. He’s working on editing it now before it heads to the publisher.

Hertzler has also been working on some playwriting and screenwriting. He’s working with an avid “Star Trek” fan he met at a convention on an adaptation of a play by J.M. Barrie, the author of the Peter Pan books. He’s also hard at work on a film script.


Still a Part of the ‘Star Trek’ Universe

Screenshot from Star Trek Online House Reborn Klingon content

YouTube

Hertzler admitted that he hasn’t worked on much other than his memoir during the pandemic. However, he did reveal that he’s done some voice work for Star Trek Online in the past year. A few months ago, the game released a massive expansion to its Klingon storylines.

Hertzler didn’t confirm if his pandemic work for the game was for the new Klingon content. However, he did reveal that he’ll be doing some more work for Star Trek Online in May. He told Heavy that he couldn’t give more details about that work yet.

Currently, Hertzler hasn’t signed on for any more cameos in the “Star Trek” shows on the air right now. However, he said he would jump at the opportunity if it came his way.


Reprising Mark Twain

J.G. Hertzler performing as Mark Twain

J.G. HertzlerJ.G. Hertzler performing as Mark Twain

Hertzler is the spitting image of the writer Samuel Clemens, pen name Mark Twain, which he has used to his advantage. Hertzler began performing as Mark Twain years ago, in venues big and small across the country. He tells epic tales as the writer always adding a bit of his own comedic flair.

In 2018, Hertzler put his Twain persona to use for a different kind of performance. He ran for a New York state congressional seat as Twain himself. Hertzler campaigned in character against a Republican opponent. He dropped out before the primaries, which he explained in our interview was due to an issue getting on the ballot.

Hertzler told Heavy that he’s looking forward to performing as Twain again once the pandemic is over. He wants to do in-person shows again, and he’s hoping to land some television or film work as Twain.

Though he said work has been slow for the past year, Hertzler certainly hasn’t slowed down himself. Between all his writing and his voice work, he’s kept himself quite busy, though he still hopes things will pick up once the world gets back to normal.


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