Chase Masterson Ian Spelling Interview

Chasing Chase Masterson
By IAN SPELLING   © Ian Spelling

The chase is over.

After a remarkable game of phone tag highlighted by 10 exchanged calls and
e-mails, several near misses and a couple of full voicemail tapes, Chase Masterson can at long last be heard on the other end.

Masterson, of course, plays the recurring role of Leeta on "Deep Space Nine'' and co-hosts the Sci-Fi Channel's magazine program, "Sci-Fi Entertainment.''

"Wow, that was nuts,'' Masterson says, chuckling, during the long-awaited call from her Los Angeles home, which she shares with her 12-year-old son. "I've just been so busy and on the road that I've been impossible for anyone to reach, but you've been pretty hard to get, too, you know.''

True, but Masterson's the story here. She's the one who parlayed a four-line bit as a sexy D'abo girl into five years of work as Leeta, then capitalized on her popularity by landing the "Sci-Fi Entertainment'' gig in May.

'' 'Sci-Fi Entertainment' is fun, hip entertainment news. It's also a look at what's going on in the real world of science today,'' says Masterson, who shares hosting duties with Scott Mantz. The show airs Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. (EST).

"It really makes you realize that many of the things that were only dreamed about in the early days of sci-fi are now happening right before our very eyes.

"So, we're a mix of interviews, entertainment, reviews, premieres, plus real-life issues and developments like bio-perfection, cloning and how science is affecting us every minute right now.''

Switching back to "DS9,'' Masterson remembers that Leeta was a tiny part that kept growing in size. She started as a lust interest for Dr. Bashir (Alexander Siddig), then became romantically involved with Quark's (Armin Shimerman) brother Rom (Max Grodenchik), and finally wed the quirky Ferengi in the fifth season finale "Call to Arms.''

"Having Rom and Leeta together is very much in keeping with 'Star Trek's' theme of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations,'' Masterson says. "Leeta chose to look beyond the guy who was pretty on the outside and instead married a guy who's scary-looking and loseresque, the kid brother who couldn't do anything right.

"For Leeta to see the beauty within Rom, that's a lovely choice for Leeta to make, for the show's writers to make. I'd like to think that I could make that same kind of choice.''

Though "DS9'' won't return to the airwaves until the end of September, production is already underway for the show's seventh and final season. The actress recently shot an episode entitled "Take Me Out to the Holosuite,'' which finds the characters immersed in the world of baseball. Yes, baseball. Beyond "DS9,'' "Entertainment,'' frequent convention appearances and charity functions, Masterson has several other jobs brewing. She's set to star in two independent features, "Sammyville'' and "Avatar Exile.''

Masterson sounds particularly intrigued by "Sammyville.'' "It's based on a true story about a man named Sammy who runs a town in Oregon,'' says Masterson, an "Army brat'' whose credits include "ER,'' "Sliders,'' "General Hospital'' and a few independent films. "He's judge and jury, and he decides everything, with no one really asking anything at all about it.

"I play a child protection services worker looking for a child who's been kidnapped by his father, and I believe the father is in Sammyville. So, I go toe-to-toe with Sammy.''

Masterson, who last year produced a documentary about the venerable Cannes Film Festival, is also busy producing two animated series. One of the shows, "Manboy,'' Masterson describes as "'Cheers' meets 'Beavis and Butt-head,' with a little 'Greatest American Hero' thrown in there, too.''

"I love acting, I really do, but I see myself going more and more into production,'' Masterson says. "I don't foresee stopping acting. I not only want to be in projects that are worthwhile, I want to create projects that are worthwhile.

"And I'm getting there.''

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