Exclusive Interview

Copyright © 1998 Action Cat Magazine  Used with their permission.

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What's next for this Generation guy?
--an interview by our celebrity reporter Muffin
"I have no regrets. It's an honor to have been a part of the Star Trek family."

Lounging in his Malibu home on a Saturday afternoon, Fluffy discusses his career between bites of Alley Cat© and laps of plain old tap water... no fancy feasts or designer beverages for Fluffy, and no diamond collars either; he clearly remains unaffected by his glittering success. Although Fluffy is best known for his role as Spot in the series Star Trek: Next Generation, he has appeared in numerous sitcoms as well as the smash Broadway hit, Brooklyn. ("Another chance to be on the bridge," he says wryly, "who could resist?")

He got his start at the tender age of 2 months in a Meow Mix commercial, and in 1997 he finally won that elusive Emmy for his brilliant performance as the autistic shop cat on the short-lived drama Dinner at Tiffany's. His marriage to Binky (Men in Black) is one of the few truly successful unions in Tinseltown, and they're looking forward to the adoption of a son and a daughter later this month from the Malibu SPCA.

But in spite of Fluffy's recent success off the Starship Enterprise, it's his role as Spot that continues to draw the fans. "I never forget who made me a household name," he says, when asked if he was irritated by the chants of "Spot, Spot!" when he accepted his Emmy, "and if the Paramount people wanted me in their next Trek movie I'd pounce at the chance. I have no regrets. It's an honor to have been part of the Star Trek family." A classy response , considering that Fluffy wasn't asked to reprise his role in the movie First Contact, a blatant snub that set the Hollywood rumor mills spinning. When asked to comment on the studio's decision, Fluffy licks himself for a moment to hide his discomfort. "It was nothing personal," he says carefully, "the script didn't have room for my character. And I accepted that and I moved on."

But as previously reported in Action Cat: Word on the Street, an anonymous source close to the studio leaked the truth after the movie premiered: a certain warrior-like member of the cast refused to be upstaged by "that animal," and issued an ultimatum. Another cast member -- whose hostility towards Fluffy was such common knowledge it was once worked into the script -- joined the boycott effort. In spite of pleas from Spiner, who remains a close friend, the studio elected to write Spot out of the script rather than lose two key actors.

But that was an Emmy and a Tony-nomination ago;maybe the next time around certain cast members will take a lesson in class from Fluffy and share the spotlight. Meanwhile Fluffy, still taking bows every night in Brooklyn and set to appear in three episodes of ER next season, isn't going to stress-shed over it. "I'm lucky to be working at a job I love," he says, "but it is just a job."

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