Certain actors abhor the thought of being pigeonholed into a specific genre or character type, but that's not the case with Brent Spiner, who spent seven years as the android Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation and then followed it by sticking pretty close to science fiction projects and the fanbase that adores him. He is far out of his comfort zone for his latest project, the Robert Kirkman-created demonic possession horror Outcast, and here's how Spiner feels about making the leap to spooky fare for his enigmatic role.
I also like being a part of it just because there's a history of character actors, people I really respect as character actors, who later in their careers became part of a horror genre. People like Basil Rathbone and Peter Lorre and Vincent Price. Yeah, I feel really good about being in a horror project.
And there you have another difference between the veteran actor Brent Spiner and entertainers who have no grasp of their medium's history. Instead of offering up a generic response about how he likes to be scared, Spiner ascribes his excitement for horror to some of the greatest actors in Hollywood's storied history. Basil Rathbone went from emboldening the poor as Robin Hood to roles in films like Tales of Terror, which also starred Peter Lorre, who balanced roles in films like Casablanca with turns in the unnerving classic M and The Raven. And I could spend all day talking about how impeccable Vincent Price was during his career.
It's definitely an interesting angle to use when considering a role, and I certainly hope that Spiner's time working on Outcast makes him feel as if he's doing such genre icons justice with his own performances. He definitely comes across as extremely interested in the series, and shared an exciting hint with Vanity Fair about his identity and role within the show. Is he a demon?
Well, kind of. It's certainly what I seem to be. I don't want to reveal anything, but it's way more complex than it appears in the first few episodes. It begins to reveal itself, what the show is about, what I'm about, as it gets into the middle of the season, and I think people are going to be in for a surprise now that it's not the show they thought it was.
As the mysterious Sidney, Spiner entered Outcast quietly and, despite not doing or saying all that much, still came across as an absolute menace to anything in his path. Could his evil-exuding performance come from years of playing someone who wasn't human, or perhaps his cameo as himself on The Big Bang Theory. Okay, that second one probably doesn't fit.
Soon to be seen on the big screen once again as Dr. Okun for Independence Day: Resurgence, Brent Spiner was also recently seen and heard on TVs everywhere for shows like The Librarians, Star Wars Rebels and the Starz comedy Blunt Talk, which reconnected him with former Star Trek: The Next Generation co-star Patrick Stewart, who retains some interesting opinions about Spiner's former role. Will he still be around when Outcast returns for Season 2?
We'll have to wait and see when the drama airs Friday nights on Cinemax.