I’m waiting for Wil Wheaton out in front of the Columbia Bar and Grill and beginning to wonder if he’s going to show up. He’s already canceled a day at the beach, a lunch in Beverly Hills, and an afternoon at his house in La Crescenta. Since he is almost a half hour late, I suspect he’s going to blow off interview attempt number four.
Just when I’m ready to leave, Wil pulls up in his truck, tumbles out, and shuffles up the restaurant’s walkway. “Sorry I’m late,” he says, pushing his hair out of his doelike like chocolate-brown eyes. “I lost my wallet and then I went to the wrong place to meet you. I’m really absentminded, I guess.”
After ordering a turkey sandwich, fries, and a Coke, Wil begins to relax. Since leaving his role as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, the nineteen-year-old actor has been busy making movies. This month Wil stars in December, playing a boarding school student facing his mortality when he enlists in the army during World War II. “The only time I miss being on Star Trek is when I’m paying my bills,” jokes Wil. “I miss the cast, but as far as acting goes, I never had a lot to do on that show. I love making movies, even though for the most part the roles being offered to me are garbage. I get halfway through a script and think, I can’t believe a tree had to die to put this on paper.”
During his spare time, Wil prefers playing guitar or a fierce game of ice hockey (often with fellow actors Jason Priestley, Scott Grimes, and Jason Hervey) to hanging out at clubs or parties in Hollywood. “I detest the scene,” he exclaims. “I really think it’s lame. I’d much rather play hockey. I’m a goaltender, and I play at ice rinks all over Los Angeles with people from all different walks of life.”
By the time you read this, Wil should be moved out of his parents’ house and into his own place near the beach. “Last summer, my girlfriend and I would drive for an hour to get to the beach,” he says, polishing off the rest of his sandwich, “It would be a beautiful day when we left, then the beach would be fogged in and cold when we got there. Now I’ll be living six hundred yards from the ocean. The hardest thing about a new house is trying to visualize where the furniture is going to go.” At least Wil doesn’t have to worry about where his career is going to go, right?