Kim Cattrall Star Trek VI

Stars Who Trekked

10 Stars You Didn’t Know Played Aliens in Star Trek Movies

Catch an all-day Star Trek movie marathon Wednesday, December 30th starting at 7:15AM on IFC.

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Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

By Raven Snook 

William Shatner, George Takei and the late Leonard Nimoy may forever be associated with Gene Roddenberry’s groundbreaking sci-fi franchise. However, lots of actors more famous for their work in Cheers, Back to the Future, Sex and the City, and other projects logged time as extraterrestrials in the original ten Star Trek films. Can you recognize these stars under all that latex? Know your celebrity aliens before tuning in to IFC’s Star Trek movie marathon on Wednesday, December 30th starting at 7:15AM.

1. Kirstie Alley as Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Years before she played a jock tease on Cheers or came out of Veronica’s Closet, this sitcom star played Lieutenant JG Saavik, a Vulcan Starfleet officer who bombs the no-win Kobayashi Maru training exercise in the first few minutes of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. She spends the rest of the film trying to prove she’s smart and humorless (ironic, given Alley’s future career). Although Saavik returned in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Alley did not because she demanded too much money (she was replaced by Robin Curtis). Hey, as a Scientologist she gets to hang out with real aliens, right?

2. John Larroquette as Maltz in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

The same year he debuted in the role that would win him four consecutive Emmys–womanizing ADA Dan Fielding on Night Court– Larroquette also played Maltz, a cutthroat Klingon officer serving under Commander Kruge (portrayed by another sitcom star, see below). Although Larroquette’s trademark sarcasm is as buried as his features under makeup, he does have one wry exchange with Kirk, who promises to give him an honorable death in exchange for Maltz’s help, only to later renege. (“You said you would kill me!,” Maltz pleads, to which Kirk replies,  “I lied!”)

3. Christopher Lloyd as Kruge in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Great Scott! That really is Doc Brown from Back to the Future playing Klingon Commander Kruge, only he’s driving a Bird-of-Prey warship instead of a homemade DeLorean time machine. Kruge and Kirk play cat-and-mouse throughout the film and, at the end, engage in a knock-down-drag-out fistfight on the dying Genesis planet as molten lava shoots up around them…possibly inspiring a future lava-filled, sci-fi space battle?

4. Kim Cattrall as Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

As the gleefully promiscuous Samantha on Sex and the City, Cattrall got herself into some (pun ahead!) sticky situations. But she never broke a man’s heart in quite the same way she does Mr. Spock’s in Star Trek VI. She plays Lieutenant Valeris, Spock’s Vulcan Starfleet protégé who has ulterior motives, but a forced mind meld reveals her guilt. Just listen to that anguished scream — it sounds just like Samantha’s orgasm!

5. Malcolm McDowell as Soran in Star Trek: Generations

Sure he may look human, but Doctor Tolian Soran is actually an El-Aurian scientist who’s so obsessed with entering the extra-dimensional, desire-manifesting realm the Nexus, he’s willing to off anyone who gets in his way, even Captain Kirk. Despite his franchise-changing role, the Clockwork Orange star isn’t a big fan, claiming he actually did Trekkers “a favor” by helping to kill off Kirk, and griping that “Patrick Stewart spouting off for another forty minutes…if you find that exciting, hey go watch paint dry!”

6. Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan in Star Trek: Generations

Decades before the comedian and commentator started spouting her opinions on The View, she played an El-Aurian “listener,” Guinan, a.k.a. the USS Enterprise-D’s trusty bartender/unofficial therapist. As a little girl, Goldberg became a Star Trek fan when she spotted Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura and exclaimed, “There’s a black lady on TV and she ain’t no maid!” Once famous, she lobbied for a part and ultimately appeared as Guinan in 28 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation plus two movies, always acting super-Zen. The lack of Elisabeth Hasselbeck surely helped.

7. Tom Hardy as Shinzon in Star Trek: Nemesis

A decade before he terrorized one-percenters at the New York Stock Exchange as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy was out for Picard’s blood — literally. As Shinzon, a clone of the Enterprise Captain made by the Romulans in secret, he needed a transfusion from Picard to avoid certain death. Talk about daddy issues! He had no love for his Romulan creators, either, and led an army of Remans against both of the races that he felt did him wrong.

8. Ron Perlman as Reman Viceroy in Star Trek: Nemesis

Nope, that’s not Nosferatu. It’s the Reman Viceroy, Shinzon’s right-hand man in his war against, well, seemingly everyone. Previously, Perlman played romantic lion-man Victor in Beauty and the Beast and, later, the titular character in Hellboy, so he’s used to transformative makeup. However, it’s safe to say the Viceroy is his most nauseating role, both outside (for obvious reasons) and in (for participating in the telepathic rape of Deanna Troi. Ew).

9. Tom Morello as a Son’a officer in Star Trek: Insurrection



Blink and you’ll miss the Rage Against the Machine guitarist’s cameo as an uncredited Son’a officer in Insurrection. A devoted Trekker, Morello begged Trek producer Rick Berman for a bit part, but even though he didn’t have any lines, he still spent five hours in the makeup chair. He had such blast, he subsequently guest-starred on Star Trek: Voyager, although this time he opted to play a human — a lot less latex!

10. Adam Scott as a conn officer in Star Trek: First Contact

OK, so we’re cheating a bit with this last one. Yes, the Parks and Recreation star and Comedy Bang! Bang! guest really was in a Star Trek movie, First Contact to be exact. However, he played a plain old human, and a nameless one at that: USS Defiant’s conn officer. But hey, he drives the ship! When asked about his Star Trek role, he gave an honest response: “For me it was rent at the time but it was fun. Jonathan Frakes was directing, he was a really nice guy, but I was never much of a Trekkie.” That’s Trekker, dude!

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on and the IFC app.

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Byrning Down the House

Everything You Need to Know About the Film That Inspired “Final Transmission”

Documentary Now! pays tribute to "Stop Making Sense" this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Cinecom/courtesy Everett Collection

This week Documentary Now! is with the band. For everyone who’s ever wanted to be a roadie without leaving the couch, “Final Transmission” pulls back the curtain on experimental rock group Test Pattern’s final concert. Before you tune in Wednesday at 10P on IFC, plug your amp into this guide for Stop Making Sense, the acclaimed 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Hailed as one of the best concert films ever created, director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) captured the energy and eccentricities of a band known for pushing the limits of music and performance.

Make an Entrance

Lead singer David Byrne treats the concert like a story: He enters an empty stage with a boom box and sings the first song on the setlist solo, then welcomes the other members of the group to the stage one song at a time.

Steal the Spotlight

David Byrne Dancing
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Always a physical performer, Byrne infuses the stage and the film with contagious joy — jogging in place, dancing with lamps, and generally carrying the show’s high energy on his shoulders.

Suit Yourself

Byrne makes a splash in his “big suit,” a boxy business suit that grows with each song until he looks like a boy who raided his father’s closet. Don’t overthink it; on the DVD, the singer explains, “Music is very physical, and often the body understands it before the head.”

View from the Front Row

Stop Making Sense Band On Stage
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Demme (who also helmed 1987’s Swimming to Cambodia, the inspiration for this season’s Documentary Now! episode “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”) films the show by putting viewers in the audience’s shoes. The camera rarely shows the crowd and never cuts to interviews or talking heads — except the ones onstage.

Let’s Get Digital

Tina Weymouth Keyboard
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Stop Making Sense isn’t just a good time — it’s also the first rock movie to be recorded entirely using digital audio techniques. The sound holds up more than 30 years later.

Out of Pocket

Talk about investing in your art: Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz told Rolling Stone that the members of the band “basically put [their] life savings” into the movie, and they didn’t regret it.

Catch Documentary Now!’s tribute to Stop Making Sense when “Final Transmission” premieres Wednesday, October 12 at 10P on IFC.

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