Being an actor may seem like it’s all glitz and glamour, but anybody who’s ever been to a movie set knows it primarily involves lots and lots and lots of waiting until you’re needed for something. You can add to the less-than-thrilling category things like the video below, a seven-minute reel of makeup and wardrobe tests for the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. For the actors involved, that mostly means staring into the camera while trying to figure out what to do with your face.
There’s plenty of amusement to be found in watching the ways the various actors mug for the camera, but it also provides some looks at some truly bizarre concepts, such as a more flesh-colored Data that just looks wrong.
It’s fun to see some of the actors’ personalities coming through in this no-doubt very boring exercise. Brent Spiner is in the midst of The Brent Spiner One-Man Show, Denise Crosby can’t quit laughing, and Patrick Stewart seems determined to climb right through the camera and make love to us all. I’m also impressed to see LeVar Burton sporting some Geordi casualware, a yellow-and-green sweater that looks to be straight out of the Cliff Huxtable collection.
The music is kind of jarring when contrasted to the tedious action on-screen, but I do love one particular moment: when the footage moves from Burton to young Wil Wheaton, the soundtrack suddenly shifts into an incredibly ominous tune. Wheaton’s expression fits the music perfectly: either he’s just really impatient for it to be over, or he had had just learned that the cameraman slept with his mother and was planning to murder him as soon as the camera was off.