Robbie will be a guest star in the season premiere of "Crossing Jordan" the NBC TV series on Monday, September 23, 2002 (8:30 PM Central time).
There's No Place like Home
A second season begins with a tense 90-minute episode (written by series creator Tim Kring) that finds Jordan (Jill Hennessy) in Los Angeles. She's trailing murderer Herman Redding (Jack Laufer), who previously tricked her into helping him gain a release from a mental-health facility. Back in Boston, there's political pressure to solve a series of killings, and Macy suspects that his friend, District Attorney Olson (William Russ), may be involved. Lorraine Toussaint joins the cast as coroner Elaine Deschamps. Woody: Jerry O'Connell. Matt: Robert Duncan McNeill. George Grebs: Fred Koehler. Martin Griffith: Christoper Boyer.
Paris in Wonderland
By Ian Spelling
"It's suggested to McNeill while he is being made up that Livingston [director] listened to him as much for his thoughts as a director as he did for his reasoning as a actor. McNeill, who has called the shots on 'Sacred Ground' 'Unity' and 'Someone to Watch Over Me,' smiles. 'That's nice,' he says. 'It may actually be a little bit true, too, even though I try not to talk like a director to a director when I'm not directing. There are those actors who will tell the director what to do and have lots of opinions, and I try not to do too much of that, My feeling is that when I'm not directing, whoever is directing has done his homework and is coming in with many thoughts and ideas I may not know about, and he wants me to listen as an actor.
"'So, I just try to do the one job that I'm doing, which is acting. I really embrace that. I find it distracting as an actor sometimes to think too much about where the camera is going or what other technical things are happening. I really try to not do that, although I like directing and I want to direct more--and maybe because some people see me a little bit as a director or at least know I have some experience, it sneaks out when I'm on the set acting. If there is a problem on the set, yeah, it has definitely helped that I've observed directors and directed myself. If I'm asked, I can sometimes help solve the problem.'"
"Directing, which McNeill yearns to do again. As soon as possible, in fact. He's not currently lined up to step back behind the Voyager camera, but hopes the powers-that-be will find an episode for him later this season. 'I've done three shows so far and I'm very proud of them,' he says. 'They all turned out really well. I think everybody has enjoyed it when I've directed. I enjoyed it when I directed. Star Trek has given many people the opportunity to direct and to produce, to expand their careers beyond acting....There are a lot of politics involved. They have to be careful that it doesn't get out of hand. So, they've been very supportive of me directing, but also very careful.
"'They want everyone to feel comfortable with it. They don't want too many actors directing too many episodes because it affects the scheduling. But who knows? Just like Jonathan and LeVar, I would love to come back and direct another Star Trek series. At that point, I would be more free in terms of getting directing slots, not to mention my schedule would be easier. I'm sure I'll direct again before the series' end, but I'm not sure when. Obviously, I would love to do one this season and one next, but it's out of my hands.'"
"Those familiar with McNeill's career know that he takes directing very seriously. His baseball-themed film short, 'The Battery,' has been well-received on the film festival circuit. He's also branching out into producing and recently sold a TV movie idea to Paramount and UPN. That idea is now Monster, which will probably air early next year. 'I found the script and sold it to Paramount with the intention of directing it. We couldn't work out the dates for me to direct because it's shooting now in Australia and I have to be here. I'm producing that and am trying to sell UPN on other ideas. I think UPN and hopefully, other people realize that I want to do more than just act. Who knows? Maybe by the end of all this, I'll have my own production company here on the Paramount lot, like Jonathan and LeVar. That would be nice.'"
"As McNeill makeup man applies some final touches, the young children of a Voyager staffer step into the makeup trailer. The actor makes pleasant small talk with the two kids for a few moments before they leave. The encounter gets McNeill musing out loud about his own children and how Voyager is as much a part of their lives as it is of his. His comments are an appropriate epilogue, once more reflecting his love of directing. 'My kids are so used to their Daddy being on Voyager that I think they're going to be in for a shock when it stops,' Robert Duncan McNeill comments. 'My son was born just a few months before the show started, so he doesn't know anything except Daddy doing Star Trek. My daughter, who is nine, has a vague memory of my life before Voyager, when I was like most actors, going from one project to another and going on location.
"'I did a lot of theater, too, and was in New York City quite a bit, for months at a time, though I usually had her and my wife with me. It was different kind of a life, much more of a vagabond-Gypsy life. So, it will be interesting to see what happens when Voyager does end. That's another reason that directing is so appealing to me. There's a little more stability. In a weird way, you're a bit higher up on the food chain. You also get in on the process early and stay there until it's done.'"
In the article We'll always have PARIS, Robert Duncan McNeill talks about the character of Tom Paris. "The thing I like about Paris is he reminds me of someone in the present who would be like an activist, somebody who would break the law to stand up for something he believes in,..."He finds a cause or purpose more important than the Starfleet rules or than anybody's rules. He's also a bit of a loose cannon." (By Melissa J. Perenson in the February 1998 issue.)