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7 February 2011
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Interviews | Jonathan Frakes
Gene Roddenberry�s influence

The Star Trek creator�s influence on the show - and Jonathan

Picture Roddenberry created our show. Roddenberry was a real champion certainly of mine. He took me into his lair. I auditioned for the show seven times over about six weeks before I finally was hired as Riker. I think other producers had other actors in mind. Roddenberry was very loyal. He saw something, he claims, in me. What he claimed was the Machiavellian glint in my eye that he somehow either related to or wanted Riker to have.

So, I used to go to Roddenberry�s office on the Paramount lot before I had to go up to the studio - to the Vice President or the President, whoever I needed to audition for on a given day - and Roddenberry would regale me with what life was going to be like in the twenty-fourth century. He did it with such passion and he spoke so emotionally about what he believed the future would be. - Not �could be�, but what he believed it would be. That, I certainly got caught up in and bought into. I think it influenced the way I played Riker for Gene. So I was really helped by Gene in a lot of ways.

He said in the 24th century there�ll be no hunger, there will be no greed, and all the children will know how to read. He really was an exceptional visionary - a wonderful, ironic, talented, charming fun-loving man.

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