HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 13:  Brent Spiner attends the premiere of CBS All Access' "Star Trek: Picard" at ArcLight Cinerama Dome on January 13, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
Movies - TV
Brent Spiner Called His Time As Star Trek's Data
a 'Double-Edged Sword'
While Brent Spiner has had a long acting career that includes roles in "Independence Day," "Night Court" and "Gargoyles," he is best known for playing the android Data on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." In an interview with The Washington Post, he describes how playing such a recognizable character on a hit show has been a double-edged sword for his career.
On the negative side, Spiner says that “[...] what I was trained to do was to play as many different things as possible, so [being typecast as Data] has been limiting sort of in that way.” He also mentions that he would like to think that it was because of typecasting he didn’t get certain roles “[...] because the alternative is that I'm just lousy.”
However, Spinner does acknowledge that the role had more positive than negative aspects and that he actually got to show off a great deal of range as Data. He states, “[...] because I also got to play so many different things on the show as him, I got to try on the skin of all kinds of different types of humanity. I got to play his brother, his father, his uncle, his ancestors.”