Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was a bold, progressive series that took on social issues and complex relationships between its characters, and many of the actors who portrayed those beloved characters pride themselves on their roles to this day. However, not every Deep Space Nine actor was enamored with their part on the show. In fact, several actors had significant issues with how their time on Deep Space Nine worked out.
A few actors got to play landmark roles that defied expectations of race and gender or originated the first of a new alien race introduced into canon. Some actors got their breakthrough roles in Deep Space Nine, or they got to play a more complicated and authoritative character than most of their other roles allowed. However, for others, Deep Space Nine betrayed their expectations, put them through discomfort and exhaustion, or forever tied them with a role from which they would rather distance themselves.
While almost every actor on Deep Space Nine discusses the good time they had creating the show, a few actors had significant grievances that made them glad they could leave the show behind them and move on to other work.
Here are 6 Actors Who Regretted Being On Deep Space Nine (And 14 Who Adored It).
20 Adored: Nana Visitor (Major Kira)
Nana Visitor was excited to be cast as Major Kira, a strong, authoritative female lead character. Visitor said, "When I read the script, I thought, ‘That’s a man’s role. That’s not for me.’ Yet it was all I wanted to do. I hated every part that I had to play where I was chastising a husband or getting upset about the carpet. And I did a lot of those. Any time I could get my teeth into something, that was my flow state. That’s why I was an actor. Major Kira was like Disneyland for an actor."
She added, "It would be a joy to play her again and... it’d be a joy to see her as a mature commander, as a colonel on the station. I’m not counting on it, but I would love it."
19 Regretted: Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax)
Terry Farrell exited her role as Jadzia Dax after her contract expired and was not renegotiated. She later stated that she did not regret leaving the show, explaining, "I was tired of waking up at four in the morning. I was tired of all the minutiae... You want to feel like you have your life again, and I’d definitely put my life on hold... It was really hard for me."
However, she does wish Jadzia had not been written off permanently. Farrell stated, "I would have been so happy if they just would have let me be a recurring [character in] the final season. I’m sure at that point, too, for Rick Berman and those people, it was all or nothing. They were angry because I wasn’t doing what they wanted me to do or expected me to do."
18 Adored: Michael Dorn (Worf)
Michael Dorn had already played Worf for years on Star Trek: The Next Generation when he was asked to join the cast of Deep Space Nine. He found it was an easy decision to return to the role, but he did have reservations at first. They scaled back his makeup at his request, and they also took his feelings about Worf into account.
He explained, "I told them... that I’m very protective of Worf, he is who he is and he became very popular being this guy and I’d want him to open up but I didn’t want him being taken out of who he is so you don’t recognize him after a couple of years, like he’s laughing and joking and having a good time. And they didn’t. They did a very good job with that, too. "
17 Adored: Rene Auberjonois (Odo)
When Rene Auberjonois started in the role of Odo, he was first drawn to the unsolved mystery of Odo's origins, but he later realized that he loved finding out more about his character as Odo's story unfolded.
Auberjonois said, "I loved the fact that when we got a script – one that focused on Odo and his world – I’d learn something new that I didn’t know about the character. I would have to ingest it and incorporate it into this character that was being built over seven years... I would venture to say that a lot of the things that happened to Odo, they would not have been able to tell you at the beginning of the journey that that’s where the journey was going to go. That is one of the delights of getting to play a character for seven years..."
16 Adored: Aron Eisenberg (Nog)
Aron Eisenberg stepped into the role of the much younger Nog, not knowing he was going to be a recurring character. He remembered, "They told me nothing! And I had no idea how many episodes I would do at any given time. So, I thought every episode I was doing might be my last episode."
As the series went on, he was pleasantly surprised to find out how central Nog was to many later episodes. He went on, "They never stopped amazing me. I was constantly honored by the episodes and scripts they were sending my way... They gave me such great stuff that I never really felt I wasn’t challenged, nor did I ever feel that they were dropping the ball on the character."
15 Regretted: Colm Meaney (Miles O'Brien)
Colm Meaney got his start on The Next Generation before he was asked to continue the role of Miles O'Brien on Deep Space Nine, but it wasn't an easy choice for Meaney. He said, "I took a bit of persuading... My concern was that I wouldn’t be able to do the movies I wanted to do."
When asked whether he wanted to do a DS9 movie, he explained, "I did the TV show, but it’s funny, a lot of people who watch Star Trek know I do that, but they don’t know I do movies too, and similarly people who go to the movies don’t know I did Star Trek... I think if you start stepping into the feature world in Star Trek you become known to a wider audience as that and it becomes limiting."
14 Adored: Max Grodenchik (Rom)
Max Grodenchik ended up playing Quark's kind-hearted brother, Rom, but he originally auditioned for the role of Quark himself. When he was not cast for Quark, he thought the opportunity had passed until he got a call asking him to guest star. He was pleasantly surprised when the producers continued to ask him the come back.
He remembered, "I thought it was a one-time thing. Never ever did I think I’d be back – for almost every episode the first three seasons or so, I thought, 'Well, nice, they gave me another one. Each episode’s a nice little gift and thank you for that. You’ve done more than enough for me, so it’s quite OK that you’re done with me. I totally understand.' ... It took me a long while to realize that I was a part of the show."
13 Adored: James Darren (Vic Fontaine)
James Darren passed on the role of holographic singer Vic Fontaine more than once, but he found that the role was much more than he first expected.
He explained, "They said I was going to be playing a singer and I said, 'No, that’s too much on the nose. I want to pass.' ... I passed three times. Finally, my agent said, 'Why don’t you at least read the script? If you read the script you may love it.' Of course, I did read the script and, of course, I did love it. It was just a great role. Vic Fontaine was like – what can I say? – it was a dream come true for me. It was one of the most enjoyable roles for me to have played."
12 Adored: Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun/Brunt)
Jeffrey Combs has played five different characters on Star Trek, including Enterprise's Ambassador Shran. However, on Deep Space Nine, he was best known for the roles of Weyoun and Brunt, two roles he enjoyed for different reasons. On his experience as Brunt, he commented, "Man, did I have the best time playing Brunt. To be able to make Quark squirm."
However, his role as Weyoun made more of an impact. He explained, "I loved being so evil and yet being so good-natured and pleasant about it. That was a decision that I made, honestly, the first day that I shot Weyoun... I decided right away that he was a very pleasant fellow, very placid. Sometimes you’ve got to run with your initial instinct, and in that case, it was a good one."
11 Regretted: Robert O'Reilly (Chancellor Gowron)
Robert O'Reilly began his role of Chancellor Gowron on The Next Generation, but he was asked to continue it on Deep Space Nine. However, he felt the Deep Space Nine writers did not know what to do with the character. He stated, "I think what happened on DS9 is they were trying to search for where I belonged on that show. Towards the middle I think they started getting it. When I first came on, there was a lot of comedy... That wasn’t who Gowron was, at all, but it certainly was what the Ferengi were, and they went off and developed the Ferengi extraordinarily well."
O'Reilly did express that Gowron's role in the show improved with time. He added, "Later, for Gowron, I thought there were some really, really good scenes, especially some of the scenes with Avery [Brooks]."
10 Adored: Louise Fletcher (Kai Winn)
Louise Fletcher is a veteran actress famous for playing Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, and she brought her talents to Deep Space Nine as Kai Winn. Though she did not know much about Star Trek going into her role, she found it a rewarding experience.
Fletcher remarked, "DS9 was one of the best memories of my working life, of my day-to-day working life. They were the most professional cast and crew imaginable. It was like playing a symphony for the 99th time. They all knew their jobs. They were supremely professional. Being in the makeup trailer was something out of… science fiction, really. It was just amazing. Things took hours, but they were all so deliberate and they knew their jobs and they made you feel secure. It was marvelous."
9 Adored: Nicole de Boer (Ezri Dax)
Nicole de Boer came into the series late as Ezri Dax to replace Terry Farrell's Jadzia Dax. While the fans had mixed reactions about her character, de Boer had a great time joining the cast. She related, "It was great because they had little introduction scenes for me with everybody because they’re re-meeting me again. For me as an actor, that was great... It all happened so fast... I didn’t really have too much time to think about it, which is good because I probably would have been more freaked out and realized the magnitude of the fandom."
The cast was also welcoming to their new castmate. De Boer added, "They totally embraced it. They’re all such pros, so it was a thrill to work with such great character actors, veteran actors, you know?"
8 Regretted: Armin Shimerman (Quark)
Armin Shimerman's portrayal of Quark provided most of the light-heartedness and comedy in Deep Space Nine, but Shimerman is glad he cannot always be attached to the character. He commented, "I have the great advantage of not looking like Quark and therefore, I have pretty much my anonymity."
The anonymity of makeup had its price, however. "I had done it before and I was aware of the difficulties of the makeup. I was a little reluctant. I spent a day seriously considering whether I wanted to get involved with this, because there probably will be some damage to my skin because of it." Shimerman credits Jonathan Frakes with convincing him to take the role. "He pointed out the advantages to doing this show -- mostly a steady paycheck."
7 Adored: Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko)
Cirroc Lofton started playing Jake Sisko when he was fourteen years old. He grew up on Deep Space Nine, and he still looks back fondly on his experience as a child actor on Star Trek.
He remarked, "It feels like a dream now. It was an amazing experience. I took so much from that. I loved the time that I spent with those people and my time with Avery [Brooks], and that still resonates to this day. Avery and I still have a strong connection. We’ve stayed in touch throughout the years and his son and I are really good friends. But I was around really talented people who were the best at what they do."
6 Adored: Majel Barrett (Lwaxana Troi)
Majel Barrett has weaved in and out of Star Trek history as the voice of the computer, Nurse Chapel, Number One, Lwaxana Troi, and Gene Roddenberry's real-life wife. Though she worked her way through a variety of characters, she had a fondness for Lwaxana Troi, whom she portrayed on both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.
After she played Lwaxana on TNG, she commented, "Lwaxana is sort of the Auntie Mame of the galaxy. She’s a much more fun character, and I can play her forever, because I’m at an age where that’s totally believable. I would like to continue to do that." She encouraged fans to express their interest in the character so Roddenberry would let her return, and she got the chance to reprise the role on Deep Space Nine.
5 Regretted: Chase Masterson (Leeta)
Chase Masterson took on the character of Dabo girl Leeta, a background character who slowly grew in importance as she enmeshed herself in life at Quark's bar. While there was much more to Leeta than there first appeared, Masterson did find the character lacking in depth and does not want to play someone like Leeta again.
She explained, "If playing Leeta did anything that impacts my current career, it’s that I’m attracted to playing characters who are much darker, earthier, deeper than she was allowed to show. I’m not the kind of actress who likes to be typecast or pigeonholed. I liked Leeta in many ways, but if I were offered a new role in Trek, I’d be happiest if it were entirely opposite of who she was."
4 Adored: Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat)
Marc Alaimo played the charismatic Gul Dukat, an antagonist who fans loved and Alaimo appreciated for his depth of character. Alaimo said, "As an actor, of course, I’ve played a lot of [criminals] and gangsters who did terrible things, but at this point in my life, I don’t enjoy doing something that mean and despicable. I’ll do it as an actor, but the thought of anybody thinking of me that way is bothersome. I used to play a lot of heavies on TV in the ’70s and ’80s, and I had a certain image..."
He added, "Dukat is not evil, and he is not a villain... The thing I love about Dukat is that you never know what he’s going to do next. He never does anything that’s truly unredeemable or completely black."
3 Adored: Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko)
Avery Brooks took command of Deep Space Nine as Captain Sisko, a landmark role he still expressed his pride in. He commented, "When I read the pilot script, it was the presentation of a man dealing with loss and raising a son, and how he handled those situations, that really got my attention."
He continued: "Certainly the fact you have a black man in a command position is very important. That is something that goes far beyond just having black people working on a show, which itself is also very important... The show never took the easy way out when it came to situations, be they personal or political, and that provided us with a lot of great things to do as actors."
2 Regretted: Alexander Siddig (Julian Bashir)
Alexander Siddig had a rough time playing Julian Bashir, especially when the writers made Dr. Bashir genetically enhanced.
He remembered, "The studio tried to fire me every year for the first three years. Rick Berman had to say, 'Over my [deceased] body,' because he had a plan... So when that thing came along about enhancing me, I felt they were really trying — cynically — to make me more like Data... and I felt betrayed. It wasn’t part of our plan. So I just ignored it. And whenever the lines came up, I just screwed them up... So I’d say the line, because that’s my job and I’m paid to do that, but I said it in a way that hopefully it drifted off and no one really noticed it."
1 Adored: Andrew Robinson (Elim Garak)
Andrew Robinson initially had difficulties playing fan favorite Garak under heavy makeup, but the character quickly grew on him. He explained, "It was kind of wonderful for an actor to have a character that looks like that. It’s a gift. I think more challenging was that the character... whatever the character said is not what he meant. We have an expression: subtext. That much of the truth of Garak was like a glacier: you saw only the tip of the glacier, but then, underneath the tip, was the very complicated truth of his life."
He continued: "So, playing that subtext, living with that subtext, presenting that subtext behind a mask of affability, of friendliness, of congeniality, I think that was both the challenge and the pleasure of the character."
Are there any other Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actors who adored or regretted their roles? Let us know in the comment section!