Chase Masterson & Max Grodénchik (Leeta & Rom, Deep Space Nine)

Chase Masterson:
masterson1.jpg (38151 bytes)My very first convention I was going to was when I had done about three episodes.  I was really, really excited to be on Star Trek.  I was on my way to my first convention.  I was thinking: 'Oh, thank God!'  Finally we were getting recognized a little bit and able to go and be at those wonderful things.   I was always intrigued by the fact that there were these Star Trek conventions.  

So, we all have those days when we are just fresh out of the shower and we think: 'Nobody is going to see me'.  And that's the days that everybody sees you?  And you've just got on your sweats and no make-up and you are just completely a mess and you think it's okay.  That's when you run into everyone.   Your boss, your ex-boyfriend, the guy you'd like to date, everyone is there.   Right? 

Well, I was having one of those days on my way to my first convention.  And I was checking in my luggage at the airport check-in.  And I had a box of pictures with me.  And on the outside of the box is a photograph of all the Ferengi holding Leeta up.  Leeta goes Betty Grable style...

So, I'm checking in my box of pictures and the man in the check-in line looks at me and he looks at the picture and he looks back at me and he says:

'Girl, are you in Deep Space Nine?'
So I was all excited and I went 'Yeah?'
And he goes: 'Girl, you look good on TV.' 


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So, I said 'Well, ah, thanks... thanks a lot.   I appreciate that.'  And the people behind me start whispering.  They go: 'Star Trek!  Is she on Star Trek?  Is she?  Well, ask her!'

'Excuse me Miss!  Are you in Star Trek?'  And I get all excited again and I go 'Yeah?'  And they point to the picture on the box and they go: 

'Are you inside one of those Ferengi masks?'

 How Chase got to be on Star Trek

click for close-up (63861 bytes)I had wanted to be on Star Trek more than any other show.  And here is why:

In a city of twelve million people we had an acting class of ten people.  And in that acting class three of those people were Jonathan D'Arco,  Garret from Voyager, and me. 

Garret and I had not been working yet very much.  But Jonathan had done his three episodes of 'The Next Generation', which I loved.  And every Monday night Jonathan would come back to class and he would tell us about a convention he had been at that weekend. 

And I thought 'Oh, my God, how great is that.   That not only you are on that really quality show, but that you get to go and meet the people that make it all possible.  And I just thought that was the greatest thing.  That's the show that I want to be on.

So, I made it a point to meet the casting director, Ron Cerbo,  for Deep Space Nine.  And I got this audition for the role of Marta.  You remember Marta?  She was the Bajoran Dabo girl who dated Jake in the second season.  Well, I thought how great is that to get to be a Bajoran Dabo girl.  Bajoran spirituals, double fun.  Not that I can relate to either of those. 

But I just thought it was a really neat thing.  So I worked really hard on this.  And I don't know how it is in Hollywood.  But you can go in for an audition five or six times for the same role.   They keep having you back and they can't decide.  It can be really grueling.   Well, I went back and I went back for this role of Marta.  They had narrowed it down to me and one other girl. 

But, it was for the role of Jake's girlfriend, right?  He is sixteen and she is nineteen and I'm not...

So they cast her.  And I thought 'Oh God, so close and yet so far away.'  I really had wanted it.  Well, I heard when we were shooting 'Let He Who Is Without Sin', Ira Beer told me that they wrote the role of Leeta for me.  After that Marta audition that was really nice. 

It was my first day at work and I was so excited because finally I get to be on the show.  I thought it was my only day.   I didn't know it was going to be a recurring thing. 

I am in the hair trailer at five o'clock in the morning.  And Avery was in the hair trailer.  What Avery was doing in the hair trailer I don't know.  I was really really excited even just being in the same trailer as Avery and was really excited to be on the set that day. 

masterson9.jpg (32155 bytes)I was leaving to go into make-up and I said   'Thanks for doing my hair up.   I  see you later.  I'm going to go and get my make-up.  I'm so excited to be on the show.  Thank you.  Bye Mr. Brooks.'

Well, I was so star struck by him.  So, Avery says: 'See you later Kathy.'

And I said 'No, no.  I'm not Kathy.   I'm Chase, Chase Masterson.  I play the role of Leeta.  I had auditioned for the role of Marta but I didn't get it.  It's nice to meet you Mr. Brooks. Bye...'

And he says 'See you later, Kathy.'

And I said 'No, no.  I'm not Kathy.   I'm Chase, Chase Masterson.  I'm not Kathy.  I never even played a Kathy.'  And he took one long wonderful Avery Brooks look at me and he said 'Nordic Track.'

I had done a Nordic Track infomercial YEARS before.  And now on my first day on the show, my ONLY day on the show I thought, Avery Brooks, the star, is reminding me of it! 

So embarrassing, right?  Well, I had to say something, right?  So I took one long hard Chase Masterson look at him and said   'Avery.  I was not paid for doing it.  What's your excuse for watching it?'


 Chase Masterson's talk show

I had my own talk show on the Sci-Fi channel.  It was really nice because it was an opportunity that came out of Star Trek.  It was a lot of fun to do...

It was called Sci-Fi entertainment and it was not only about Science Fiction but also about Science fact.  And how interesting it is that the world is now turning into a lot of things that used to be only Science Fiction.  You know?  How technology is just progressing amazingly...

It was a wonderful experience,  it was fun and it was intelligent and I really had a good time doing it.  Not bad for a Dabo girl...


Chase's upcoming films and projects

masterson4.jpg (50513 bytes)I have a couple of films coming out, one is called 'Frozen', it's a Stephen King movie and it's very, very dark.

The original title for this film was 'Sometimes they come back for more' and it was part of a trilogy.  It was called 'Sometimes they come back'.  The other part was called 'Sometimes they come back again'.  If they do another one it will have to be called 'Sometimes they don't know when to quit'.

And I got another film coming out called 'Sammyville', in which I play a child protective services worker.   That was a very brainy and strong role. 

And another project of mine is the series I have on the Internet, which is really fun.  I'm playing a character called 'DigiGirl'.  We start shooting in January 2000.   It's based on Comic Art.  I'll play the Digi Girl and save the world.   Finally Leeta gets to drive...

A couple of other things, I got a production company called 'Merchants of Wow'.  We just shot a pilot for a children's show and we have an Internet company.  So there's a lot of great stuff going on...

I'm not bored by any stretch of the imagination. 

But I miss Deep Space Nine.  I really do. 

Chase Masterson's Favorite Episode

click for close-up (43450 bytes)My favorite episode was 'Dr. Bashir, I presume?'.

It was my favorite episode because I got to work with Bob Picardo.  He is the greatest, he is so much fun.  I tell you a great Bob Picardo story, okay?

When we were shooting the scene where Rom's finally comes to accept his love to Leeta Bob and I were going off on a shuttle craft together because Rom was not going to come through, and finally Rom comes running, shouting 'Leetaaaa...!  I love you!''

Bob Picardo was then left to go off on a shuttle craft alone.  And they hadn't written an exit line for Bob.  No problem for Bob Picardo, who'd make one up...

Bob Picardo is an actor of .... proportions...   click for close up (31123 bytes)So, we shot the scene twice and what he did was instead of going of with me he followed this alien woman onto the shuttle craft.  And there were two takes.  The take that they used, which I thought was really funny, as he follows her up he makes up this dialogue 'Excuse me Miss, have you heard that I worked with Kama Sutra?'

The take which they didn't use he did first, which I thought was hysterical.  As he follows her up he turns to her: 'Excuse me Miss, have you heard of my work on Star Trek Voyager?' 

Regarding that episode there was a big buzz on the Internet about the Leeta-Bob Picardo shower scene.  There is no shower scene...   I came out of the shower and everybody made it sound like it was out of 'Days of our lives'.  Like there was some big steamy scene.  But we just played it for all it was worth.

On a talkshow they asked us 'Chase, what was it like, working with Bob Picardo in the shower scene?'  And I couldn't help it, I said 'Bob Picardo is an actor of manly proportions.  His timing is impeccable, the depth of his character enormous...'  And he said the same type of thing: 'Well, Chase got a lot of... energy'.

 Latinum is a girls best friend

Chase Mastersons standing rendition of a Marilyn Monroe song:

masterson3.jpg (28588 bytes)

Latinum is a girls best friend:

streaming RealAudioclick here to listen



Max Grodénchik:

mastersongrodenchik3.jpg (39922 bytes)Sometimes people came up to me on the set and they asked 'Max, what do you look like underneath all that make-up?'

And I always said the same thing.  I said 'I'm six foot three, and look like Mel Gibson.' 

Then sometimes I'd be done shooting early in the day, and I'd come up to them and introduce myself (after I was done getting out of make-up) and I'd say 'Hello, this is Max'.  And they'd have this look on their face.   A very painful expression.  And they'd say 'Oh, my G-d!  You look just like Rom!'

People on the autograph lines tell me 'You look just like Rom!   You really look like...  Honey come over here!   You're not gonna believe this, he looks just like Rom!'

So I want all of you to know that that is not a compliment...

I realize the Federation puts a great moral value on honesty.  But I'm a Ferengi...  You can lie to me, please don't tell me the truth.


How much did Max know about Star Trek before his role?

Before I first appeared in Deep Space 9 I knew literally nothing about Star Trek.  My agent called me in January of 1990 and said 'Star Trek called.   They want you to read for the role of a Ferengi.'  It was the third season.   The episode was called 'Captain's Holiday'.

And I said 'What's a Ferengi?'

And she said 'Come and pick up the material and it will all become clear.'  So I picked up the material and nothing was clear.  I knew my room mate was a Science Fiction fan.  So I said 'Darrel.   What is a Ferengi?'  And he made a hissing sound like something was stuck in his throat.

And he did his impression of the original Ferengi.  But this was the third season and I thought he was way out...   I thought it was sooo exaggerated that I called my brother in New York.  I said 'Barry, my room mate this is what a Ferengi is like.  And I don't believe it.'  

And he said 'No, they ARE very exaggerated characters.  All they care about is profit.  They are 24th century capitalists.' 

Those were the only two Science Fiction fans that I knew.  So I went into the audition.  And there was Rick Berman.  And Michael Piller.  And David Livingston (?).  And our director Chip Chalmers.  I said that I wasn't going to think that I was a bad actor.  I thought that what I was supposed to do was outrageous.  So I said 'I don't know what a Ferengi is.  But this is what my brother and my room mate say a Ferengi is.'   So I read the lines that way.  And when I was done one of them yelled out to me: 'Tell those two guys we might have jobs for them!'

Those teeth, one careful owner...I got the job about 1 1/2 hours later and I went in for the make-up and all that.  And I got these teeth.  Those teeth!  Those are the same that I wore in the fifth season as Par Lenor and that Rom wore.  So if they ever had to use dental records to identify one they'd be totally confused. 

And then I started watching Star Trek.  That week I watched 'The Next Generation'.  There was an episode called 'The Hunted' and I was bowled over by it.  And I've been watching it ever since.   And if anyone asks me what my favorite Star Trek is, to me it's 'The Next Generation'.  Because that's the first Star Trek I saw. 

Nothing against the other Star Treks, but that's the Star Trek I grew up on. 


How long it took to remove the make-up?

The thing about prosthetic make-up is, they do it faster and faster and faster and faster when they get used to it.  I did a Horror movie called 'Rumpelstiltskin'.  The first day the make-up was seven hours.  The next day it was like five and then 4 1/2 and so on.  They have to get used to doing it. 

So, when we finished Deep Space Nine my make-up was two hours.  And Chase Masterson's make-up was 2 1/2 hours.  It takes more time to look beautiful than to look ugly.

When we started out 'The Next Generation' and the first two seasons of 'Deep Space Nine' the make-up was three hours.  And one day they gave me the wrong call times, they called me in too late. 

And they had to get me done right away.   So they had two make-up artists (females).  One on the left side of my face, and one on the right side of my face and they finished my make-up in 51 minutes.  And then I went out on stage.

The next day I came in and I said  'If two of you can finish my make-up in 51 minutes, three of you can finish my make-up in 14 minutes!  Four of you can finish my make-up in minus 5 minutes!  I could come for a 7:30h stage time at 7:35h!  You know, it will be like a temporal anomaly...'  




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  Armin Shimerman with Chase Masterson (30673 bytes)

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