James Marsters is one of those omnipresent genre actors who seems to have been in damn near everything. He popped onto most of our radar screens playing the antiheroic vampire Spike on Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, but he’s also appeared in Torchwood, Caprica, Smallville, The Clone Wars, and Supernatural over the years. It turns out he also could have played a major role in the Star Trek universe a few years back: he apparently auditioned for the role of Shinzon, Captain Picard’s younger clone, in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis.
That role eventually went to actor Tom Hardy, who has gone on to fame with roles in Inception and as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. Speaking to the Australian Associated Press, Marsters says, “I don’t think I sucked eggs, but I didn’t do well enough. But I wish I had, I would have been proud to be Patrick Stewart’s clone.”
It would have been interesting to see Marsters’ take on the role, and to see Marsters up against Patrick Stewart on the big screen. The coulda-been role isn’t Marsters’ only interest in the Star Trek universe, however. “I have an idea for a Star Trek series but I haven’t shopped it yet,” says the actor. Unfortunately he doesn’t elaborate, because I’d have loved to hear more about that idea.
Finally, Marsters explained why he is so attracted to the science fiction and fantasy genres, speaking of their ability to deal in metaphor and allegory:
Frankly sci-fi and fantasy can talk about social issues in a more a direct way that other more realistic forms can’t do. I like imagining very different social situations than the one I find myself in… and your imagination can run with that (on a sci-fi series). When you’re cast as a cop, you’re thinking, ‘I know what it’s like to sit in a car and drink coffee’.
Marsters has a lead role in the yet-to-be-released movie Dragon Warrior, and he also appears in an episode of the French Heavy Metal/Metal Hurlant series that will hopefully make its way Stateside at some point.