To say Star Trek: Enterprise divided Trek fans would be an understatement. The show inspires strong feelings to this day, with some blaming Enterprise for the franchise being cast into the television wilderness before the 2017 launch of Discovery.
But while fans have the luxury of simply turning off the TV, it nearly led to the end of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s career.
Morgan is one of the hottest properties out there, with his role of Negan winning plaudits even as many continue to criticize the direction of The Walking Dead. Yet fame wasn’t always in the cards for the actor, and like most finding their feet in Hollywood, he spent many years building his name through bit parts, including on Star Trek: Enterprise.
Appearing as an unnamed Xindi-Reptilian in the third season episode Carpenter Street, the actor was under heavy prosthetics to create the unique look of the alien Xindi in a plot that featured the Reptilians traveling back in time to then present-day Detroit. Needing to pay his bills and with only a few television credits to his name, Morgan accepted the role before being contacted to say he needed to go for a prosthetic fitting.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s horrible experience on Star Trek: Enterprise made him question his life choices
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly back in 2012, the Negan actor said that the process was too much for him: “I remember them dripping goop on my face, and I had straws sticking out of my nose. I couldn’t eat lunch.”
While many may say that such things are part of acting, it can be a horrific experience for those who don’t like confinement. “I was claustrophobic,” Morgan added. “I’d go home in tears. This was the job that made me want to quit acting.”
Once again asked about the role by Sean Evans on a recent episode of Hot Ones from First We Feast, the actor added more detail to the story, saying that he’d “never been on a set where I went home at night and just thought ‘What am I doing? I’ve made the worst fu**ing decision of my life. I don’t ever want to be an actor again.’ Like, I was sure that this was just wrong, and it almost made me quit.”
Luckily, Morgan decided against quitting acting. After a few more small appearances in The O.C. and Weeds, he got his big break in 2005 as John Winchester in Supernatural, followed swiftly by his role as Denny Duquette in Grey’s Anatomy. With his role as Negan eventually elevating him to horror and comic-book royalty, we think it all worked out well in the end!