Terry Farrell & Michael Westmore Talk ‘Dax 539’

One of the most-memorable and talked about moments from this year’s Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas was the transformation of Terry Farrell into her Deep Space Nine character Dax by makeup artist Michael Westmore.

The transformation, which occurred live on stage in front of the Las Vegas audience, was the 539th time Westmore had applied the Trill spots to Farrell and the first with such an audience.

Following the event, StarTrek.com discussed the experience with Farrell and Westmore.

Farrell returned to the convention circuit in full-force during last year’s STLV, where she not only appeared on stage but also donned a red TOS-style t-shirt dress to be a part of the Guinness World Record attempt for the most costumed Star Trek fans.

My husband is very supportive and without him none of this would be possible for me. My son is at a good age; he understands that I really enjoy myself. Plus, Adam and Stephanie (at Creation Entertainment) are very respectful of my commitment to my family. I don’t have any pressure, and I just have fun. And everyone is having fun! It’s contagious! I love it.

West more, who doest attend many conventions said:

The convention was great. I always enjoy the interaction between Trekkies, fans and former associates.

Farrell, who circulated the idea of the live transformation, talked about how it came to be.

Last year’s show, when I was up on stage, I was talking about how I made a Dark Sonic costume for my son and the convention he was at — Sonic Boom — in St. Louis. I was super-proud of making a costume for Max and I think it fueled my excitement for the attempt that year, 2013, at Creation’s convention in Las Vegas. I can’t remember, but I think a fan asked if I was going to go to the Guinness attempt later that afternoon. I didn’t have a costume and had said to the audience that I would make my own costume for 2014 and join them then on the attempt. Well, when I got off stage it was a craze! Everyone was supportive of getting me a costume for later that day. It was electric, the excitement. We didn’t have a moment to spare and I was booked solid. Stephanie and Val pulled this together with the help of the amazing volunteers. Fun drama. We pulled off, surprising the fans.

Michael Westmore and Terry Farrell
Michael Westmore and Terry Farrell

When I got up on stage in my “Trials and Tribble-ations” costume, a t-shirt dress, I was so blown away by the amazing costumes. I knew I was in way too deep to be making a costume for the following year. And I was thinking, “I can’t do my spots!! I can’t come like I’m going to a Halloween party down the street. I need to look like I just walked off the set. I need to look as good as these amazingly talented fans!” I needed Mike. “If I could have my spots done by Mike and make an original costume/wear an original costume…. Bob, but why would Bob have my costume? I need Stephanie Dizon (at Creation) to help… I need to look authentic, now that would be cool.” The great thing was we already had plans to go hang out at Mike and (his wife) Marion’s house. As we are driving across the desert I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea and how much fun it would be. Asking Mike is the easy part; he’s a friend and always up for something new! I just couldn’t wait to see his face and I so hoped he wouldn’t be too busy to do it. I asked Mike what he thought of the idea — and he loved it. Done on that end.

Westmore said he was immediately supportive of the idea.

My immediate reaction and comment to Terry’s suggestion was “Let’s do it.” After our show (in Vegas), my response was, “Let’s take Dax 540 to Broadway.” Our interaction was so right. It was just like the old days, bantering and laughing. Seriously, I would love to do it again at another convention and I am sure Terry would, too.

While formalizing plans, Westmore discovered through his notes that he had previously transformed Farrell into Dax 538 times, making this the 539th.

I have a log where I kept track of every person or alien on a daily basis. All I had to do was go back to season one and count the days over Terry’s six years. Actually, I numbered each time on Terry’s lower neck with Roman Numerals and my initials. This time it was DXXXIX MW. It didn’t surprise me, the number of times, because I was keeping track in my log all along. I also kept track of Voyager’s Chakotay’s tattoo.

Terry Farrell and Michael Westmore

Following the live make-up application, Farrell went backstage “to get her hair done,” she appeared a short time later with not only her hair done but wearing Dax’s red leather wedding dress. She was accompanied by costume designer Robert Blackman.

That was beautiful. I didn’t know until Wednesday night that I was wearing my dress. That is when all the pieces fell together. I was out-of-my-mind excited. I didn’t think about the dress not fitting. My weight is the same, but it never occurred to me that the dress could’ve shrunk. Yikes! I got lucky. I had my fitting on Thursday, just after I arrived in town. John and Marian from CBS helped me and I asked if Bob could escort me out. Everyone in the fitting room loved that idea, so I called Bob and asked if he would. And he was thrilled and I was beside myself. It was perfect.

Terry Farrell transformed into Jadzia Dax by Michael Westmore
Terry Farrell transformed into Jadzia Dax by Michael Westmore and Robert Blackman

Based on the reaction, recreating this special moment would be something other fans would be interested in seeing. On whether a “Dax 540” presentation is in the cards, Westmore left the door open, saying:

I don’t know if it will ever happen again, but I am going to keep my Dax makeup kit handy and my fingers crossed.

Read the entire interview with Farrell and Westmore at StarTrek.com.

More from STLV:

Photos: Brian Wilkins/TrekNews.net

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