Andrew Robinson


Andrew Robinson Trivia


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    • Andrew Robinson: (on how his novel about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 'A Stitch in Time' came about) A diary I started keeping, as if Garak were keeping a diary – it's all in the first person. And it happened because when I started going to conventions, I thought I wanted to do more than just answer questions about how long it takes to put on the makeup, and so forth. And so I started reading entries from the diary. The people at the conventions really enjoyed it, and this one guy, once, at a convention, David George, who co-wrote a book with Armin Shimerman about Quark (I think The 34th Rule or something like that). And David very kindly suggested, "You know, you should gather this material, contact the people at Pocket Books, and see if they'd be interested in turning this into a book? So I did, and they were very enthusiastic about it.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on his favorite episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) There's one episode called "The Wire" where Garak is — being an operative, a secret agent within the Obsidian Order — has this mechanism that they call a wire placed in his brain. Basically, what it is simply is that if he's ever caught, and if he's tortured, this wire would then trip off the endorphins that would transmute the pain of the torture into pleasure. Well, Garak then gets addicted to this, the way any addict would become addicted to a drug, and basically Bashir saves his life and sees him through a cold-turkey process. But in that process, Garak is emotionally at the edge, and is spewing forth all these variations of stories and so forth. No one knows the truth, which story is true, but that's Garak. No one ever knows. It was a fabulous episode, and it was beautifully written by this guy, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, who wrote for several years for the show. The other episodes that I really liked a lot — there was a two-parter, where Odo and Garak set out to find Enabran Tain, who was the head of the Obsidian Order, and who eventually turns out to be Garak's father. "Improbable Cause" and ... I can't remember the name of the other one. It's a two-parter I really liked a lot. The "Doctor Bashir, I Presume," the James Bond spoof that we did, that was a lot of fun. It was hellacious to film, because I probably spent more hours in that makeup on that show than any other show. The show was a bear. They really were trying to make a James Bond movie, but it was an enormous amount of fun. And I thought that Winrich Kolbe, the director, did a wonderful job on it. Unfortunately, we ran afoul of the James Bond people, and we were going to do a lot of those, but that was the one and only.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on his impressions of Cardassians on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) [They're] reptilian. Using the human model, the brain model, Cardassians really work from their reptilian brain. I'm not making a value judgment about that. We all have that. Human beings have what is called a tripartite brain. There are 3 parts to our brain; the oldest part of our brain is the reptilian brain. So don't cast any aspersions about a 1/3 of my brain and I'm a great defender of Cardassians so there's a lot to be said about the reptilian brain. Reptilian brain knows what boundaries are. Reptilian brain knows how to take care of itself so that the species survive. Now having said that, there are downsides to the Reptilian brain knows what boundaries are. The reptilian brain knows how to take care of itself in order that the species survive. Now, having said that, there are downsides to the reptilian brain. And the Cardassians, it's true, have a lot of that. You know, the militarism, and the brutality, which the occupation of Bajor is on a level with anything that the Germans did with World War II.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on Garak's character development on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) The beautiful thing about doing Garak was how the writers increasingly fell in love with the character and they told me that every time there was an episode that included Garak that sort of quickened their juices and they wrote beautifully for me. They also picked up on business that I would come up with, behavior, and amplifying that and in the next script I would see a piece of business or behavior that I had pulled out in the previous episode.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on wearing makeup in order to play Garak on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) I'm claustrophobic and the makeup consists of 7 prosthetic pieces plus a paint job that would make Earl Schieb envious plus the costume that is built on the material that you make upholstery. Ah – so it doesn't breathe. Nothing breathes. In a sense it's like putting you in a mobile coffin. They put it on me and I really had an attack. I thought ... I'm not going to be able to do this. I don't know how I can get out of this. I was really going to call my agent and say, "Listen you gotta get me out of this because this is psychically not possible. I looked in the mirror and I saw this creature staring back at me and I thought this is extraordinary. I have never seen anything like this. This is an actor's dream to be able to do a character the inside of a character that looks like this. The claustrophobia went away. I never really had another attack for the 7 years though there were a couple of long days ... you know one of the 16-18 hour Star Trek days that occasionally happen where it got pretty old.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on how 'Dirty Harry' impacted his career)
      It gave me a career and it effectively ended a certain part of my career at the same time ... it ended a film career because of film and the nature of film and the big screen and the power of the image on the big screen. It has such an effect on people. In the business, once you get associated with a character as defining and as strong as the Scorpio Killer. People don't want to hire you for the good guy, for the poet, for the dad, for the sympathetic character. And therefore they'll hire you for the heavy, but even then, I was so identified with that one particular heavy because that particular kind of psychopathic killer was the first of it's kind really. You had Richard Bismark, harbingers of that character, but that was really the first post-modern psycho-killer with no motivation, no history, no background; just out there doing unspeakable things. So the only thing I got offered was more of that. So when I started turning down those, because there are only so many of those the human psyche and nervous system can take. Then that was it. And I went back to theater. And thank god there was television.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on how he became an actor)
      My career started when I got a Fulbright Scholarship which was an extraordinary gift from the U.S. government ... thank you very much ... it was that year that I decided this is what I want to do for a living. I'd done high school and college drama, but I didn't really think ... now this was in the late 50's, early 60's ... that this was something I could make a living at. It was like a rarified profession, but when I got that Fulbright, that sort of brought it down to earth for me and I never looked back.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on the popularity of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) It's not the most popular because it's the most morally ambiguous. Whenever you have characters who are gray rather than black and white ... Although they are more interesting, they are more difficult for people to get a handle on. I loved DS9 because they were gray, because the characters were not easily definable, but that's not for everybody.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on his greatest achievement)
      Being a father was probably the most important thing I've ever done. I've raised one daughter and two stepsons.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on his weaknesses)
      I have a bad temper. And the only time I have a chance to let it roar is when I'm acting. In that sense, acting is a psychological release for me.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on Garak's character development in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) It was a work in progress. And most definitely a cooperative effort between me and the writers. That was probably one of the most creative experiences I have ever had. The writers would add to Garak's character with each episode.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on playing Scorpio in 'Dirty Harry')
      There are still parts of that film that I can't watch — it creeps me out, too. It did typecast me and hurt me in the business, but it's my own damn fault. I shouldn't have been so scary!

    • Andrew Robinson: (on who he would love to work with) I always wanted to work with Brando, but I have a feeling it's just as well that I never did. I always wanted to work with Gene Hackman. I would have loved to have work with ... oh, a lot of people too numerous to mention. But I'm really happy that I worked with the people I did, like Walter Matthau, who was a great man and great actor. Clint (Eastwood) is a phenomenon. But the two companies of actors that gave me the greatest pleasure were the actors on the old soap Ryan's Hope, where I first worked with Kate Mulgrew, and the actors on 'Deep Space Nine'.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on his character Garak in 'Star Trek:Deep Space Nine')
      By our human standards, he's certainly a bad guy, there's no question about it, because that kind of moral ambiguity in this world just doesn't wash. He would just break too many of our laws. He would bend all our ethics right to breaking point.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on failure) You learn from your failures - at least I do. When things go right, you don't sit down and analyze them. But when something goes wrong, I sit and analyze and consider and get introspective. In personal life or professional, not succeeding teaches you more.

    • Andrew Robinson: (on writing his first Star Trek book)
      People were worried that somehow, by writing this book I was going to give up that mystery of Garak, and Garak now was going to be completely understood, but I think just the opposite happened.