The “Star Trek” franchise offers a multitude of opportunities for guest roles. Every week, the crews encountered new species, new adversaries, and new allies, all of whom needed to be portrayed by different actors.
As a result, all the “Star Trek” shows featured celebrities before they were famous. Here are a few of the actors who guested on “Star Trek” before they made it big.
Daniel Dae Kim
Daniel Dae Kim started his acting career in the early 90s and frequently landed small roles on major television shows. However, he didn’t really become a household name until he got a major role on the hit television series “Lost.” A few years before he won that role, he appeared in the Trekverse for the first time.
Kim played Astronaut Gotana-Retz in “Star Trek: Voyager.” When Voyager got stuck in the orbit of an unknown planet, Kim’s character piloted the first ship sent into space to make contact with Voyager.
A few years later, right before he made his “Lost” debut, Kim returned to the Trekverse for a recurring role in “Star Trek: Enterprise.” He played Corporal Chang, one of the military officers assigned to the Enterprise for the Xindi mission. Kim appeared in three episodes during that arc.
Neal McDonough also began his acting career in the early 90s with guest roles on television shows. However, he didn’t really break through until he appeared in the critically acclaimed mini-series “Band of Brothers.”
Five years before he landed that role, he had a small but prominent role in “Star Trek: First Contact.” He played the helmsman, Lieutenant Sean Hawk. Hawk piloted the ship through the temporal anomaly to reach Earth, and he worked on the Enterprise’s deflector dish. Hawk was killed by the Borg during that mission.
Before the movie came out, there were rumors that Hawk was going to be the first openly gay character in the franchise. Though this didn’t happen in the movie, the character was the first gay character in the non-canon Trekverse via the novel “Section 31: Rogue.”
Adam Scott, who’s best known for his role as Ben Wyatt in “Parks and Recreation,” also had a minor role in “First Contact.” He played the helmsman on the Defiant during the attack by the Borg. Scott was only onscreen for a moment, but he did have an exchange with Worf during that moment.
“First Contact” was one of Scott’s first movie roles and came more than a decade before his breakout movie role in “Stepbrothers.”
Scott’s “Parks and Recreation” costar Jim O’Heir also had a minor role in the Trekverse long before he became a household name. In the “Voyager” episode “Critical Care,” O’Heir played a jilted husband whose wife had run off with a conman who’d swindled the Voyager crew.
Before O’Heir appeared in the Trekverse, he’d landed roles on a few television shows but hadn’t really made a name for himself yet. That wouldn’t happen until 2009 when he became the butt of every office joke in “Parks and Rec.”
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Long before he was Denny Duquette on “Grey’s Anatomy” or Jason Crouse in “The Good Wife” or Neegan on “The Walking Dead,” Jeffrey Dean Morgan was an alien in the Trekverse.
Morgan played a Xindi Reptilian in the “Star Trek: Enterprise” episode “Carpenter Street.” In a recent interview, Morgan explained that the role almost made him quit acting altogether. To become an alien, Morgan had to wear a full face mask, several prosthetics, and layers of makeup. He discovered that the mask made him severely claustrophobic. Unfortunately, he had to keep the mask on for nearly 12 hours.
When he left the set, Morgan seriously considered quitting. Luckily for fans, he changed his mind.
Just a year after he began his acting career, Tom Hardy landed a lead role in the last “Star Trek: The Next Generation” movie, “Star Trek: Nemesis.” At the time, he was basically unknown. Hardy had done a couple of movies and had a small role in “Band of Brothers,” but he certainly wasn’t the star he is now.
Unfortunately, “Nemesis” didn’t launch Hardy’s career the way he’d hoped it would. It took almost a decade for him to land the role that would propel him to A-list status.
Recently, rumors about Hardy returning to the Trekverse have been circulating. However, none of these rumors have been confirmed.
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