Gates McFadden Files
May 12, 2021  /  News & Articles  /  Leave a Reply

Before she was Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gates McFadden worked with Muppets. She trained as a movement instructor under French pioneer Jacques Lecoq, choreographed Shakespeare at the Brooklyn Academy, and taught acting techniques at Harvard, Brandeis and several other top universities. She would have no doubt led a full and exciting life without boldly going where no man—or woman—had gone before. But there’s also no denying that accepting the role of the Enterprise’s chief medical officer completely changed the trajectory of that life. Six seasons. Four movies. Countless conventions. And now a podcast, in which she interviews all the dear friends she made along the way, InvestiGates: Who Do You Think You Are?.

And it almost didn’t happen. She initially turned the role down. Her agent was a big fan of the original Star Trek series, but she hadn’t seen an episode. Television still had a stigma for stage and film actors. Still she went into Paramount to audition, where a secretary handed her three parts.

“She said, ‘These are the women parts,’” McFadden tells me over Zoom in front of a wall of books and theater mementos. “And I said, ‘Well, which one?’ She said, ‘Well, I don’t know, pick whatever one you want.’ No one else was there. … So I went in and I picked the funniest scene because I love comedy. And that was Dr. Crusher’s only comedy scene in about seven years. I had like two or three comic scenes in the entire time—she was such a serious character. And I thought she was going to be the comic character. Right. So I picked that scene. It’s a silly episode, but it was a very fun part to do where [Captain Jean-Picard] and I both have this virus that kind of makes you free and we’re coming on to each other, you know? And I unzipped my space suit. I got into so much trouble for that when we finally shot it. But that’s how it happened. So it was just this fluke, you know?”

Read the full interview/article in our press library.






Comment Form