Brent Spiner Talks Independence Day: Resurgence, Star Trek, & Super Heroes

This new Independence Day Resurgence trailer sees the return of a classic character

With Independence Day: Resurgence hitting theaters this weekend, several cast members from the original 1996 film will be heading into their second battle with the high-tech extraterrestrials. Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox, and Judd Hirsch are all among those coming back 20 years later.

One more actor revisiting his role is Brent Spiner, who steps in once more as Dr. Brakish Okun. While Spiner wasn't looking to divulge plot details for the film, which opens in theaters with early showings tonight, he was eager to share his excitement about the film, thoughts on aliens in reality, and talk all things super heroes during an exclusive interview with


CB: I think you might fall under that umbrella. Awesome, I've got a few questions if it's all right we can just jump right in. How does it feel to return to the Independence Day franchise with such a big gap in between? It must be pretty exciting.

BS: It's totally exciting. Not many people get to do that, to make a movie and then 20 years later make another one with the same cast, same director. I feel I belong to a really special club right now of people who have gotten to do that. You think about it, that's Harrison Ford, Mark Hammell, Carrie Fisher, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sylvester Stallone. I can't think of anyone else.

That's pretty cool, that's pretty exciting when you put it that way. It's been 20 years. I know that a part of the plot deals with that time difference, in what ways has alien technology evolved and the threat that alien's bring to earth in the movie evolved since the original?

Wait, are you assuming I read the movie? I would have had to have read the script to tell you that. The way it goes is this: You get a script, you read it go, "My part, my part, bulls---, bulls---, bulls---, bulls---, my part, my part, bulls---, bulls---, bulls---, my part."

You can probably speak to how the humans have evolved then?

Well we've all gotten older ... Or most of them, with the exception of myself, of course. I think the idea is they have taken the alien technology and they use it to create a defense should it ever happen again, and low and behold, guess what? It's happening again.

You mentioned the cast returning, obviously one of the big questions surrounding the film was whether or not Will Smith would return. I wonder, was there ever any chatter on set? Did you guys talk about missing Will or anything like that?

We had to hold each other occasionally and shed a few tears over it. In fact, we love Will, Will's a great guy, loved working with Will on the first movie, it was certainly more significant to Vivica and maybe Jeff who worked with him more than I did. Who wouldn't want Will Smith in their movie? Hopefully they've managed to populate the film with some interesting young people who could kind of fill that gap.

Of the newcomers to the Indendence Day franchise, who did you get to work with this time around?

Oddly, most of my scenes were with a guy named John Story, who played my assistant in the first movie, he was always behind me in the first movie. He's in this movie again and he and I have a lot of scenes together. He's a terrific actor. I worked a big with Jeff Goldblum and I had scenes with a lot of people ... I was in scenes with a lot of people, I had a moment or two will Bill Pullman, Charlotte Gainsbourg, but primarily my story exists on its own in a way. There were scenes where I was part of the whole ensemble, and there were a large number of people in those scenes, but most of what the fruit line of my character in this character is me working on something with John Story, who was my assistant.

Very cool. Have you guys been talking about coming back for a third at all?

I'm hopeful. I can only imagine that if this movie does well that Fox will entertain the idea of doing a third one. Hopefully they won't wait 20 years this time unless they want Dr. Okun in a wheelchair.

What's the first thing you, not your character but you, would do in a real alien invasion?

What is the first thing I would do? I don't know, I'm not sure I've really entertained the idea ever that there would be a real alien invasion. I think I would just do my best to try to make friends as quickly as possible, invite a few over to my house for dinner, whatever it would take, just don't hurt me, that would be my mantra.

Do you and the cast believe in aliens at all?

I can't speak for everyone, I don't particularly believe in it. I don't believe in a lot. I can accept the possibility of it, I suppose, but in terms of believing in it, I can't think of much that I would actually say I believe in.

I'm sure you're getting this a bunch but I've got to ask you, there's the new Star Trek series that's being talked about and it says it's cannon to the original. Is there any chance you'd make a return there?

I guess there's a chance. They haven't asked me to, that would have to come first. I can't really force myself on them, or maybe I could ... Maybe while they're shooting I can just show up and barge on set, demand that they give me a part. I think if I did appear on that show it would be not as Data because, as you recall, Data blew up, but also, I'm too old to play Data. I've said and people have gone, "No, you're not!" But, yes, I am. Reality is, I would look really, really scary in that makeup now.

Speaking of makeup and costumes, I've got to ask you this because we are, was there ever a superhero you've always, you grew up wanting to play or you'd be interested to suit up for now?

I think I'm an obvious Batman.

There you go.

You know what, I would like to play a superman at 70 ... Does he age? Superman? Sure, he grew up, he was Superboy, he has to age. What's going to happen to him when he's an old man?

He's got to get there eventually, right?

He's got to.

Have you ever auditioned or been in talks to play any superheroes or any parts in any Marvel or DC movies?

Marvel or DC films ... I've done some voiceovers for both Marvel and DC, I did the Riddler for, was that Justice League? I did the Joker ones, and I did Purple Man, and I did Star Wars Rebels. I've done voicework for both of them, but I don't think I've ever been in one of those movies, although I'd like to be, that would be fun.



Independence Day: Resurgence opens in theaters this weekend.