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I think I`d certainly be lying to say I would have wanted to play the character in somebody else`s interpretation for 8 years that way.

So already, you go from not having a job and thinking you`re going to get fired after the pilot, to knowing that you`ve got a guaranteed job for 4 years.

I find directing more satisfying.

I couldn`t be playing him for this long if I didn`t like him.

We never thought the show would last this long.

There`s a way about it: tearing people down, but not tearing them apart.

You know, if it doesn`t work, we can always cut it.

For some reason, it popped into my head the notion that a lot of the Next Generation cast in the long run of that show managed to step behind the camera.

There was concern whether SCI FI would want the show back with all the recent changes. But now, the changes have made it feel fresh, like starting over.

It`s absolutely true that it`s almost impossible to play a character without having any affection for him.

The environment on set is very encouraging.

There`s one right now that`s sort of a Canadian independent film that Don Davis and I are working to put together, and that`s kind of a labor of love.

I`d done a few jobs, but not much, and I`d come from a family that exercises caution when it comes to anything to do with job security.

I`ve always found ways to bend the rules.

But I don`t bet the farm on any of those possibilities, either. I`m also preparing, intelligently, to walk away from this, and walk away from it happy to have had the experience.

So I think at the start of the 3rd year, that`s when the character became sort of more like myself than it was about the original interpretation.

It`s fun to play the character and then watch him later.

I think the writing on the wall is definitely there this year that this is probably our last year.

By the end of last year we solved a lot of threads, and it`s really good for this new way we`re taking the show to really have these new people and these new energies, frankly.

I think that you can take things personally or get hurt feelings as a result of something not working out just because your psyche said it should or you deserve it, or whatever it is.

With network shows, writers can be so protective of every syllable.

In the meantime, I just have to create those realistic goals about the fact that I don`t have a ton of options as an actor who`s been on a science fiction show for 8 years.

I was doing Hamlet in the off-season, and I had a specific idea in my mind about what I wanted that character to look like, and because it`s going to lead into the next year, I knew that it was going to have to be established somewhere in the show.

It was nice, though, to have the long term benefit to be able to pare away those things and eventually make the character my own and put my own unique stamp.

(about his character Daniel`s relationship with his love interest Janet began) "There seems to be this funny beat that they seemed to have this off-camera familiarity with each other. So we started playing with it. And it became an ongoing thread throughout the show. So whenever we did a scene together, we`d throw in an extra look or an extra glance. I`ll let you guys fill in the blank of where it went from there."


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