Michael Dorn is an American actor and voice artist who is best known for his role as the Klingon Worf in the Star Trek franchise. From his first appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation pilot episode, "Encounter at Farpoint", to his latest in Star Trek Nemesis, Dorn has appeared more times as a regular cast member than any other actor of the Star Trek franchise, spanning five movies and 272 television episodes. He also appeared as Worf's namesake, Colonel Worf in the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Following the end of his Star Trek career, Dorn had supporting roles in a number of independent feature films, including Shadow Hours, Lessons for an Assassin, and the Santa Clause trilogy where he appeared in a cameo role as 'The Sandman'. Dorn is also an accomplished pilot and owns and operates an Air Force T-33 trainer jet, one of the first jet aircraft in the US inventory; Dorn jokingly refers to it as his 'starship'.
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Michael Dorn here. I'm working on a campaign to bring back Star Trek, and my ulterior reason is to fully flesh out the Worf character (finally).
To do this, I'm helping support this campaign, and you can too: here's the mini-muffin ordering page, the t-shirt page, and the Full Playlist of Exclusive Videos in case you want to check them out.
And finally a link for our Sweepstakes page, where you can enter by sending in muffins or buying the shirt.
Victoria's helping me out this evening, as I am traveling. AMA!
Edit: Thank you for your support. With the fans in my corner, I'm sure we will have another Star Trek series on television. And it will be called Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Worf Chronicles.
And in the meantime - go to CinemaSource and look at those videos! You'll find out as much as you'd like to know about the new series.
Hello, Mr. Dorn. Can you tell us what steps need to be done to get the Star Trek back
on our TVs?
CBS / Paramount needs to know they can make a pile of money with the series.
And that is part of the reason for the mini-muffins, and the online and social media platforms that are abuzz with the show, is to let them see there is a groundswell of activity, specifically designed to bring Worf back to television.
So please get involved with our campaign. Every little bit helps. The hashtag is #wewantworf
Part of making a pile of money is putting out a quality product.
Depending on whom you ask, the quality of ST spin-offs has been uneven since TNG/DS9. With so many groundbreaking, must-see shows on broadcast and cable in the past decade, how do we ensure this Worf series will receive the treatment it deserves?
One of the reasons that I wanted to come back and do this was to have a fair amount of control.
And being a fan of the original, being a fan of Gene Roddenberry, being a fan of science fiction, I have a grasp on what fans want to see, what the public wants to see, and also I wanted to go back to what made the show what it is - not just our show, but the show in general. And that is the stories. Going back to really great stories about the human condition, about what's going on in our lives right now that everybody can identify with, and bringing it back to more stories, great special effects, and (especially with Worf) action.
Klingon inspired mini muffins. Trying to wrap my head around that. Do they have nails in them?
Yes, they do.
Enough with the Federation. That angle is played out.
Lets see a Klingon soap opera. Lets see the most interesting non human race do what they do best, have ego's, faults and tear shit up.
Hi Michael. I'm a big fan of Star Trek and the Worf character. I have a few questions I'm hoping you'll answer:
Can you tell us your favorite episode in TNG?
Who was the actor/actress you performed best with on TNG or DS9?
Is there any future for Worf's character? We'd love a new series.
Can you describe what would be the best day in Worf's life?
I have two favorite ones. One is "The Drumhead," and the other is "The Offspring."
Well, on TNG, it was Marina Sirtis, who played Counsellor Troi, and on Deep Space Nine, it was Terry Farrell.
I'd say yes, there is. If there's going to be any new Star Trek on television, I think that Worf has the best chance.
The best day in Worf's life?
When he got married to Jadzia.
Did they polish Patrick Stewart's head between takes?
That's not nice.
How is the Worf TV show progressing?
When would it take place in Worf's timeline and would any other Trek veterans return?
I hope the TV show works out! I loved Worf on TNG (and I'm watching DS9 now) so I'd love to see a show focusing on him. I'd like for there to be some classic Trek in 2016 personally, not just a reboot movie.
1.) Slowly but surely.
2.) In the timeline, it would be after Deep Space Nine. We don't want to put a particular date or time on it, but it would take place after Deep Space Nine. And there's always going to be room for the Star Trek veterans to make an appearance. Plus if I don't bring them into the show, they will kill me.
1: What was working on The Next Generation like compared to Deep Space Nine?
2: Do you like Deep Space Nine or The Next Generation more?
3: What are your thoughts on the Star Trek fanbase in general?
Thanks for doing the AMA, trekkies like me appreciate it a lot!
1.) Next Generation was like going to high school every day. There was a lot of good work, but we had a HUGE amount of fun. Deep Space was a quiet, serious set to work on. Until I got there.
2.) That's not a good question? It's a good question, but I don't think of it as liking one more than the other. They're two different shows. And Next Generation was the first show, the first spin-off. We were sort of the trailblazers, so we were a tight group because we had to be. Deep Space Nine was a different group altogether. But I enjoyed it because the character was explored even more than on Next Generation.
3.) I've always loved them. I've thought of them as loyal, and they're loyal to this day. 2012 was our 25th anniversary from when we started The Next Generation, and it was like it's never been gone. The crowds were huge. And even up until last year, when we were doing the reunion shows, the crowds were humongous. So I think they're probably the loyalest fans ever.
Hi Michael! In what phase are your plans for the new Star Trek series? And what ideas you have in mind for it?
The script is done. We've talked to CBS / Paramount, and they haven't said no. So that's a victory in itself.
I think it would spoil it to share now. But don't worry, they will be out very soon.
Hi Michael! Among your other work, I loved your guest appearances on Regular Show. What was your experience like working on that?
I didn't understand what I was doing, while I was doing it? And when I saw the show.
Do you ever look at/post in the Star Trek subreddit?
This is my first time on reddit.
What was your reaction to the episode of South Park with you in it?
I absolutely loved it.
I'm a big fan of South Park, and I was totally blind-sided when I was watching the episode - which was a funny episode - but what really blew me away was that my character in the show was wearing a shirt that said "Pasadena City College."
And that's where I went to junior college.
It was great.
How long did it take to put the face of Worf on? Did you have to put it every day on anew or did you sometimes sleep with it on?
Oh no, it was every day a new face.
And just so you know - we added up that I did a thousand makeups.
It took three hours.
What was your favourite Star Trek episode/movie that you worked on?
There were two favorites, absolute favorites - the movies was "First Contact," that was my favorite Star Trek movie that I worked on. On the TV show, there were 2 episodes of Deep Space Nine that were my favorites - one was "Once More Into the Breach," and "Soldiers of the Empire." The movie I thought was the best Star Trek movie that was made. And I love Star Trek. I'm definitely a big fan of all the movies, but that was my favorite. And "Once More Into The Breach" was a wonderful episode about a Klingon Warrior, and a wonderful actor that I know, John Colicos, he's not with us anymore, but he was wonderful in that show. And it was an honor, a great episode, and I absolutely loved it. But those episodes from Deep Space really showed the Klingons to their fullest.
From watching various episodes of various Star Trek series, it is clear many actors playing Klingons had no idea how to properly speak tlhIngan Hol (Klingon). Were you or any of the main cast given lessons by Okrand or others on how to speak the language, or was it entirely self-taught?
It was entirely self-taught. And we had one rule, when it came to alien languages, which is: Whoever said it first, that's how you say it for the rest of the episode.
Oh gosh. What can you say to a question like that?
Jonathan was the only one that had a repertoire of songs. The rest of us were not quite as enthusiastic about our singing ability as he was.
If it was Marina, I'd say "The Bitch Is Back." Patrick, I think, would be "I've gotta be King." That's not really a song, but...that's it. That's all I can come up with.
Dear Mr. Dorn,
I have 3 questions (one from me and two from my Dad).
My question is this: You participated in the production of two audiotapes: Conversational Klingon and Power Klingon, but you were given almost no dialogue in Klingon (most of it being supplied by Marc Okrand). How did you feel about this?
My Dad's questions:
Which is your favorite episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and why? And
You're a pilot, but while acting on The Next Generation, you weren't allowed to fly--how did you feel about having to (temporarily) give that up?
I feel fine.
It was - we were doing the show at the time, and to actually learn all of that Klingon was very time consuming. But I thought that what they did with it was actually very funny.
1.) Well, the one I love the best is "The Drumhead" which, once again, is a story-driven episode where we are on a witchhunt, and it turns from just a "trying to find out who sabotaged the warp drive" into dragging an officer's name through the mud unnecessarily. And it was wonderful performances. Jean Simmons, the wonderful actress, was in it, and it was powerful.
And it had one of the best-shot endings of any show.
2.) I hated it. I was gonna quit the show. (Not really).
And down the hall, to the left!
How was your cooperation with Seth MacFarlane?
Wonderful. Seth is a big fan of the show, and he's a good guy.
Hi Michael!! SO EXCITED.
You've been doing conventions for so many years now. I love watching you, you always seem so serene and calm in the midst of the craziness that is Marina and Patrick and Brent and co. (Is that an act or a coping mechanism?)
Is there any story that you still love to tell, every time you're asked, every chance you get? If so, which one?
(If not, what often asked question would you like to replace and what would you like to be asked instead?)
No, that is not a coping mechanism or an act, that is really who I am.
I've been (not to get too woo-woo-woo about it) but I've been on a spiritual journey for many, many years. And it's helped with acting, with life, with everything. And so it's not an act.
Oh gosh. There's so many. Just say that there are so many stories. I can't think of one in particular!
As far as questions, they always want me to say this one line that Worf always says, which is "I'm not a merry man."
And I'd like to replace that with "How was your day?"
Hello Mr. Dorn. I've been a fan for years. My wife and I loved your performance in DS9. You were one of the most interesting and compelling characters. We always loved your episodes.
If you had to fight the Dominion today, and you got to assemble the dream team to take them on from all Star Trek history, who would be on your team?
Also, what is your opinion about what Klingons represented on Star Trek?
Oh gosh. Probably Captain Picard... Data...Odo...and Major Kira...and I think that's enough.
Well, in the original episode, the Klingons were the Russians. That's what they represented. And as we discovered over the years, the enemy is really within. It's not the Russians. The enemy was really within us, ourselves, and that's what Gene wanted to say when he had a Klingon on the bridge of the Enterprise.
Hi Michael! I've got three questions for you:
1) What is the best part about being an actor?
2) How much of you and your personality went into playing Worf?
3) What's the favorite thing you've been part of as a professional and why was it DS9?
1.) The art of it. I consider acting an art. And the creating of characters is exciting. Also, going to work and having something different to do every day is the best part.
2.) Very little. I do share his honor, and loyalty. But I'm not exactly gruff and surly.
3.) Um, I think it had to be Deep Space Nine.
Do you like Game of Thrones? Did you like performance of Alexander Siddig in the last season?
I didn't watch Game of Thrones. I'm a little prudish, because when it first came on, it seemed like it's soft porn. But Alexander is a wonderful actor, and a good guy. But I have not watched Game of Thrones.
Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA!
1.) DS9 did some fabulous "one-off" episodes in the later seasons, my favorite of which was Far Beyond the Stars. What was your feeling (or the cast and crew's in general) about going in to film that day, with the makeup and setting being so different from the usual?
2.) Why's everyone so down on Klingon opera?!
1.) It was very interesting for me, just because - it was a wonderful episode - but for me, it was seeing the actors out of makeup. Because you forget how really wonderful they are as actors, outside of Star Trek. Seven years on a show behind makeup, you begin to see them do one thing. BUT every actor on the show, I was re-blown away again by how good they were.
2.) Because they don't understand it.
My good friend John insists you came to his house to film a gardening show in Chico, Ca and jumped on a trampoline with him. His mom says this is not true, but he refuses to believe her. Can you set the story straight? This would have been about 20 years ago.
I've never been to Chico, California in my life.
Which Star Trek cast member were you closest to?
What were the differences in group dynamics between casts on TNG and DS9? I thought i read somewhere that there was a lot more goofing around on TNG.
What do you like/dislike about the reboot films?
Since we were all together, and we started together, and there was nothing else on television like it, we were all basically very close, and for some reason, the cast is STILL very close. Deep Space Nine was a group of very talented actors whom I get along with extremely well, but they weren't - for some reason, their chemistry was on-camera, not off-camera, which is normal, I mean, that is the normal thing. Our show was the exception to the rule - usually you come in, do your work, and go home. But we enjoyed each other very much, so we spent more time with each other than with our respective family members.
You've said you think you've spent over 3000 hours in make up. What was your thought process while you sat there?
I was the smartest person for those 11 years in Los Angeles, because while they did the makeup, I read the LA TIMES from cover-to-cover, and did the crossword puzzle.
Which Star Trek series did you enjoy more to work on?
Did any work on Star Trek help in Mass Effect?
Would a Krogan or a Klingon win in a fight?
I loved them both, but each was different. I loved The Next Generation, because they were my friends and we were close, but I loved Deep Space because it was really good work. And Worf became a major character in that show.
No, video games - the voiceover work is totally different. It's just acting. There wasn't anything specific to that that made it easier or harder. Just acting.
Klingon would win.
Big fan, Michael. You played a role in Adventure Time not that long ago, a show which has been host to a few different Star Trek alumni. Can you tell us how you got involved in the show? Did Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, and LeVar Burton take parts on the show because they were following your lead?
Nope! I'm sorry, but it's not very interesting. They called my agent, they said "would you be interested," I said "yes," they hired me, and I went there, did the job, and came home.
Would you be interested in bringing Worf back if it were as part of an animated series or web series?
No. Only live-action.
Hi! Long time Trekker here.
Do you have any good stories of people coming up to you and describing Worf as an inspiration to them?
Oh yes. One guy in Las Vegas, who was dressed in full Klingon makeup and costume, said that I saved his life.
And I said "Why? Why do you say that?"
And he said that he'd gotten to a point in his life where he was doing so many drugs that he had lost his job, he'd lost his family, his home, everything. And at his lowest point he started watching the show, and he took from the character this sense of honor, of loyalty, of stick-to-it-iveness, and somehow he said after he watched the show, and he identified with Worf, that he got his life together. He's got a great job, he's got a great family, and he's back.
And that was incredibly moving. And I'm very happy for that.
I tried to tell him "Look, I appreciate that this character had something to do with it, but you have to realize that came ALL from you. Never forget that."
It was a great moment. A great moment.
Hi, Michael! Thanks for doing the AMA!
With so many seasons and episodes between TNG and DS9, Worf is certainly one of the - if not the most - established and explored trek characters. I’ve always enjoyed his expanding depth and charter quirks that you and the writers brought to him over so much screen time. Thanks for bringing the son of Mogh to life.
What do you think you’d absolutely need for a Captain Worf show to make sense/be appealing to you as an actor, or to continue to make Worf interesting as a character?
EDIT to get to the point quicker.
Well, go to this link and your questions will be answered.