John Carrigan - The Star Trek Interview
John Carrigan is known for his work on Star Trek: New Voyages as Kargh and in Star Trek: Renegades as Admiral D'Agosto / Klingon Captain
-Thank you John for your spontaneous commitment. Can you introduce yourself please?
My name is John Carrigan, I have been an actor for 35 years and I hold a Mastership in the martial arts, which I have been training in and teaching for 47 years.
-How did you get your role in Star Trek New Voyages as Kargh?
One of my many friends from the many Star Trek productions is the amazing Doug Drexler and it was Doug who first contacted me about Star Trek New Voyages. He sent me pictures of the incredible sets that had been constructed by James Cawley and said they were thinking about continuing the classic Star Trek series. not many people know this but the character of Kargh was created by Doug Drexler and Jim Vanover, both of who were working on Star Trek Enterprise at that time. Doug knew me well and they created the role of Kargh with me in mind.
-John ,did you watch the show prior to your casting to Star Trek?
I watched the original Star Trek when it first aired in the UK and I was hooked right away. I began collecting anything I could to do with the show and I created what I called my Star Trek room, I still have a Star Trek collection to this day which now includes quite a few original props and uniforms.
-2015 you get your Role in Star Trek Renegades as Klingon Captain and Admiral D´Ágosto. What can you say about Renegades?
Star Trek Renegades was amazing to work on for many reasons. Walter Koenig is a close friend of mine and filming with Walter was incredible, but being in Hollywood with so many huge stars on one production was an acting ambition fulfilled. I was the only actor to play two roles, so that was quite a daunting task but wonderful at the same time. I was glad that people got to see my real face on screen as Admiral D'Agosta as well as me in heavy make up as the Klingon. Actually when you think about it, I had three roles really, because I played Ragnar the shape shifter playing a Klingon, then I played the real Klingon, so quite a complicated set up.
-How much has the series influenced your life?
Star Trek had an incredible impact on my life (really). My father suffered from mental illness and life at home was very difficult. I used to escape into Star Trek to shut out some terrible times with my father. Years later I was invited to visit the Star Trek sets at Paramount studio's in LA and to meet Gene Roddenberry, It was actually Gene himself who inspired me to become an actor and gave me a walk on part in Star Trek The Next Generation, I never dreamed that years later I would have co starring roles on Star Trek. During many dark times when I was young I had two pictures on my wall, one was Captain Kirk sitting in his chair on the Bridge and the other was Bruce Lee, I used to say to everyone that one day I would push the button on Kirk's chair and become an instructor in Bruce Lee's martial art....After years of hard work, I did both.
-What was the best thing or the funniest moment about working on Set?Is there something special you can share with us?
Yes, there was a very special moment on my first Star Trek New Voyages episode. In the early days of New Voyages Rod Roddenberry (Son of Gene) was an executive producer and he was on the set. I was on the transporter pad and about to beam down when I looked across and saw Rod, he put his thumb up to me and smiled, suddenly all the memories of my childhood escaping into Star Trek and the times I spent with Rod's father all came flooding back and I realised I was on Star Trek, beaming down with a Roddenberry in front of me, I almost could not complete the scene. Another funny moment was when I filmed Star Trek Of Gods And Men. I played a ridge headed Klingon who questions Chekov, Uhura, Tuvok and Harry Kym before getting shot by Chekov. Tim Russ was the Director and this was the first time I had worked with so many Star Trek actors. I had quite a few lines and I wanted to do a good job and get my lines right, so I was really nervous. Walter being my good friend knew how I felt and was always joking around on set. The scene started and in my best nasty Klingon I began to question the crew, I got through my lines and thought, thank God I think I did a good job, all that was left was for Walter to say "ENOUGH" then shoot me with his Phaser, I got to my last line and Walter shouted "ENOUGH", then for a joke he put his Phaser between my legs and fired, everyone fell about laughing, I had to do the scene all over again.
-Are you currently working on anything interesting Movie or Series that you can reveal? Humber City: The Rising Tide maybe?
Yes we are nearly finished filming the pilot episode of a futuristic police series called "Humber City", I have one of the leading roles in this and I can't wait to see how it all turns out. The series pilot has quite a few guest stars from other Science Fiction shows in it, so fingers crossed it gets picked up as a series and I have just been asked to Star in a short episode to finish off the cliffhanger from "Stargate Universe". The series was cancelled and left without an ending so a production company has been given permission to film an ending to make the fans happy, I will be filming that later this summer.
-Will be Star Trek Discovery a next Step when they call?
That would be great, but I don't think that will happen. Even though my friend Rod Roddenberry is an Executive Producer on the show he has no power on casting decisions, I don't think I will be getting a call. The series seems to be going in a different direction than anything before and as far as I know, no one from any other Trek shows are involved.
-Is there anything else you would like to let Star Trek Fans and your fans know?
Yes. Anyone who wants to know about my journey with Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, other films or TV I have done, my martial arts career and all the struggles my family and I suffered over my fathers mental illness can find it all in my book called, "The Other Side Of Harry", it can be found on Amazon and all the proceeds from the book go to a mental health charity.
-Thank you very much for your time and all the best for the future and maybe see you
someday in Germany.
Thank you Bernd, that would be great. Live long And prosper.