Child actors have a rough time when they become adults, mostly because of Hollywood’s love to typecast.
But there are probably few child actors who had it as rough as Wil Wheaton. Seriously, how many child actors (besides Michelle Trachtenberg) played a character fans despised and hoped they would die each week?
Wheaton really had a hard time putting Wesley Crusher from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” in his past, but he’s done it. And when it really comes down to it, the 39-year-old actor wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m so happy and so grateful to be where I am right now, I would not change a single thing that got me here, no matter how painful or how regretful I am,” Wheaton recently told reporters, including one from Airlock Alpha, during press roundtables at San Diego Comic-Con last month.
Wheaton’s book, “Just a Geek,” was all about coming to terms with Wesley and the negative fandom around it. “It’s weird to have a lot of success very young, and not really know where to from there,” he said. “And I believe it’s given me a perspective that I otherwise would not have.”
Wheaton is back on television this summer as Dr. Isaac Parrish on the hit Syfy show “Eureka,” a not-so-nice guy — but the kind every actor wants to play.
“It’s really fun to be a character who is pretty much the fundamental polar opposite of who I try to be in real life,” Wheaton said. “It’s real important for me to be kind and grateful and generous and honest and honorable, and Dr. Parrish is none of those things.”
However, when playing someone as sinister as Dr. Parrish, Wheaton says he has to be careful about enjoying the character too much.
“It’s easy to get these characters arched and cartoony, because it’s so fun to be these guys.”
Wheaton added that two characters will see a relationship bloom, and that Parrish “gets some much-deserved come-uppance that I also think is very delightful.”
With his work in not only “Eureka,” but other productions like “Big Bang Theory” and the online series “The Guild,” Wheaton is getting the work actors in his position dream of.
“Every day I’m afraid I’m going to wake up,” he said. “There is an apocryphal saying that when you love what you do for a job, it’s not really work. And that very accurately describes my work right now.
“I try real hard to not take it for granted ever. I know that it is the entertainment industry, and it can all go away at any moment. It is very important to keep that perspective and appreciate what I have every day, and keep working to not get complacent.”
You can hear more of Wheaton’s chat with reporters as well as more interviews and news conferences from San Diego Comic-Con on Alpha Waves Radio, airing Aug. 4 at 8 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. PT on TrekRadio.net. Also joining Alpha Waves this week is John Barrowman and Eve Myles from “Torchwood,” former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and current “Grimm” executive producer David Greenwalt, and Eugene W. Roddenberry among others.
“Eureka” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Syfy.