By: Tom Landy
As you're probably aware, Star Trek' is celebrating its 45th anniversary and one of the main events took place at Central Canada Comic Con in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Last week we posted a Q&A with 'Star Trek: The Next Generation's Jonathan Frakes, and now we set a course for Bajor to chat with two of the lovely ladies from 'Deep Space Nine.'
Since her role as Major/Colonel Kira Nerys on all seven seasons of 'DS9,' New Yorker Nana Visitor has been a regular on 'Wildfire' and has also made numerous guest TV appearances including 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,' 'Battlestar Galactica,' 'Torchwood,' 'Family Guy,' and 'Grimm.'
Chase Masterson was known as Ivy Lief on 'General Hospital' before she landed her part as the busty Bajoran dabo girl, Leeta. Since 'Trek,' Chase has been busy doing voice work on 'Fist of the North Star' and 'Starzinger,' and has also starred in and produced the acclaimed low-budget noir, 'Yesterday was a Lie.'
After meeting both actresses earlier in the morning, I spent an hour or so with them at their scheduled Q&A. Despite a few minor microphone technical difficulties, I was still able to transcribe the bulk of the session which is provided below.
NV: Well, good morning. I'm Nana Visitor with Chase Masterson from 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.' It's great to meet you all and if you have any questions it's the best way to get us talking. So does anybody have a question? Don't be shy...
CM: First of all I have a question. I thank you for being here. We really always appreciate this and it never goes unappreciated by us, right?
CM: After so many years it's such a blessing and well, an honor to be on a show that has this.
NV: And a weird thing. This is a completely weird phenomenon to me. You know, to have a relationship with, it's like the biggest club in the world. You know? I can go anywhere and find my people.
CM: A tribe.
NV: Yeah, we're a tribe. So come on, don't be shy… Yes?
Q: How did you get your roles? Were you approached, did you audition, if or…?
NV: I was at the time getting, you know, scripts would be sent and it was in the days where they actually sent you scripts and they'd arrive at your doorstep and you'd read it, there would be lines to learn. It was like three a day and there was a lot of auditions. And one came in and I didn't read the name of it, but I just read the part "Major Kira." I thought it was a guest star. I didn't realize it was Star Trek, but I immediately ran out and got a khaki dress and Doc Marten boots. And this… this is Major Kira. This is who I am.
NV: And I went in and there are times as an actor that you go this is mine. You know? You walk in and it's yours already. Whether they agree or not and that's how I felt about it. And then I found out that it was a series. That it was, you know, the second-in-command at the station. My manager at the time said you know what, science fiction you're dead in the water if you do that you won't get other work. And to a certain extent, he was right, you do get typecast, but I ended up taking the job and firing him.
CM: I had kind of a strange trajectory on this. I was not getting a lot of auditions. I was fairly new, to Los Angeles anyway, but I figured if I could meet people then I'd find my way in it so I wound up at these showcases where you pay $30 to meet a casting director or whatever, but I was a single mom, always have been, and I couldn't afford the $30. Not even once, much less on a regular basis. So I told the place -- this is embarrassing -- I told the place that I'd make phone calls and things for them if I could take their classes and showcases. So I had a limited number of these and I thought Star Trek, that's the show I want to be on because I knew -- I saw it in a different way, that I knew it would open up the doors to a lot of other science fiction and it was really, frankly, purely a business decision. I thought it would have been a great entrance and it has been to a wonderful world of people and work. One of the people that I chose to meet was Ron and after that he got me in for the role of Marta and she was a Bajoran dabo girl in the second season who dated Jake. I thought how wonderful to be a Bajoran -- spiritual, dabo girl -- FUN! I could relate.
CM: And so I went out for this and it got down to the final two and they went with the other girl. And I thought, oh so close and yet so far away, and so I continued to take the occasional showcase when they would let me. And then I got a call for the role of Leeta and I didn't know this but Ira told me actually a few episodes later that they wrote the role of Leeta for me based on my audition. And it was really nice. I still had to audition anyways, that's how it goes in this business, you still have to audition even when you're playing yourself.
CM: Like Keegan De Lancie had to audition to play the role of Q's son. And so, I had a similar thing. I thought this is mine damn it. I'm going to have this role. But I went in, I had very short hair at the time, I went in, I thought Leeta, she seemed very (inaudible due to microphone interference) so I went in with a wig and a dress and the whole thing, and they hired me actually just as me. They said no, we want the short hair and we want, you know, that look.
Q: I've heard stories about it taking a couple of hours for some of the more elaborate prosthetics. How long did the nose take?
CM: A long time.
NV: A long time. Because you know, it was solid rubber so what they had to do was take any sign of blood out of the rest of our faces so that it matched. Otherwise it really looked like a dead thing sitting there. So you know, if, if they deadened the rest of our face, but that painting took quite a long time. I remember asking there must be some kind of really cool okay glue like eyelash glue, and I asked but they said no it's just full on glue. It's just like wood glue.
NV: And it took twenty minutes to take it off because they had to carefully lift it off your nose. The first year I would just rip it and I've got scars from that. I learned very quickly not to do that. And what, an hour and a half would you say?
CM: My hair and wardrobe took 3 1/2 hours total.
NV: But you were glamorous.
CM: And well, the beauty makeup though, Marina always used to say that her makeup would take longer than Michael Dorn's, and it's true. Beauty makeup takes a long time. 3 1/2 hours is about what it took for me in the morning. But I will tell you very fast that Max's makeup was very interesting, we would get in the chair and he'd actually get out earlier than me. But he would have two people working on him and he said that he wanted to get in earlier so it went from an hour and a half and then they put two people so it was 45 minutes, and he calculated if there was enough people that it would take negative 3 minutes.
NV: Anybody else? Yes?
Q: At what point during your association with Star Trek did you really come to grips with this world and the impact or did you... (inaudible)?
NV: No, absolutely not, but I have to say the impact was the other way around. That the people watching the show had a big impact on me. I became, I took on the responsibility of what it meant to you guys. And I was a stickler for making sure that it was truthful. That, you know, that I didn't do anything that you could catch and it would take you out of this scene that you were doing. So it made me much more aware and careful, more careful than I've been in any other job. So that was the huge impact to me. And that little girls would, you know, be watching the show and go this can help me through a hard time. That just made me feel a greater responsibility to really watch everything about what I did.
CM: I'll tell you, I've come across so many little girls named Kira.
NV: A lot. Now they're like 16.
NV: And the kids, it's such an amazing experience. To go to a city and I could remember little girls that I meet now I'm meeting them like this. We're seeing people grow up.
CM: Thank god we never change.
CM: Yeah, no, I've come across a couple of people, not really people named Leeta. One person told me they had a beagle named after me. Did you have to tell me that?
CM: Um, but the impact, has been so profound. Something that I did realize early on as I said was the amazing phenomenon of fandom. And really appreciate that and respected it so greatly, especially appreciate being there and the incredible ways that Star Trek reaches beyond the show itself and beyond me, phenomena, fandom, out into the real world and doing incredibly good things for people who need us. And one thing that just struck me since the very beginning, I think part of why I embraced the convention circuit so much, is that you guys' hearts are amazing. And I think that's part of the reason why you love the show is that there's such amazing messages and profound transcendence of these stories. I often think god, I could have been on 'Nash Bridges.'
CM: But to have this show, to be able to be a part of, and the way it reaches out for real causes and issues, and my fan club for a long time has supported various charities, and I cannot tell you the amount of times that I've been greeted at the Airport by a bunch of Klingons saying "hey, we had a Klingon bake sale and so we raised $325 for your charity for kids with AIDS." And we're helping other charities right now, which I can tell you about later than really make a profound difference. So it's kudos to you guys that are able to take those stories and meaningful things and put them to work and change lives.
Q: Do you like to watch yourselves on TV?
NV: That's a good question. Do we like to watch ourselves on TV? Ummmm…
NV: You know, I stopped because there's so many different emotions. When I see Kira, it's such a different thing from me that I've disassociated myself and I can watch Kira. Other things, eeeehhhh, I don't want to watch and I don't watch. I don't know why, it just makes me uncomfortable. But, you know, my sons, when there'd be a Star Trek marathon, they'd be flipping through the channels and, "there's momma... Is there a game on?"
NV: But it's great, you know? It's just what I do. It's just what I do. That's why I don't really like being called an "actress" because that's a noun to me. That has become a noun and there's a whole lifestyle that goes along with it. I'm an actor, it's something I do, it's a verb. It's how I work. (To Chase) How about you? Do you watch yourself?
CM: It's excruciating.
CM: But something really interesting to me is that I can't stand watching myself the first time I see something. And then given some time, and then the second or third time hopefully years later, I can revisit watching a show and think man, you weren't half bad, girl! You kind of know what you're doing up there. And well we should because we've been doing this for a long time with… extensive study and theatre backgrounds and all that stuff. It's a very strange dynamic because we're passionate about the work. But the more I have expanded my life as (inaudible) and have great aspects of the rest of me and acting is something that I do for money and it's fun but its work, the more I can watch myself build and this is not brain surgery, it doesn't have to be, right? But I will tell you real fast, we were on opposite of 'I Love Lucy' and my son was a huge 'I Love Lucy' fan so same thing, I could not really get to watch myself on the first run. We were, it was, thanks for the love, honey.
NV: I remember when my action figure came out for the first...
NV: Buster was, what? He was about two years old, and we had this huge um, dog, just massive dog, and I remember I thought I don't want him to ever play with the action figure because that's weird.
NV: That will not be healthy. And then I just couldn't resist, I wanted to know if he recognized it as me, you know? I just thought, so I said hey look at this, Buster, and he went MOMMA! And then he handed it to our dog.
NV: And I kept that action figure and said yes, this is the humility you must…
CM: This business will chew you up.
Q. I'm a beginning actor and I still have somewhat of a issue with stage fright and being self conscious about there being an audience there. Do you have any ways you use to block out an audience or any strategies you might suggest so that it's not an impediment?
NV: He just asked if we had any strategies for, um, nervousness.
Q: Audience awareness.
NV: Audience awareness because he's becoming an actor. You're a beginning actor. And I would say that, well, this is such a long conversation in that whole…
NV: It's really there's a lot to it, but first off what makes you nervous is becoming aware of yourself and when you're on stage, what you need to do is be aware of the other person that you acting with. Or with an audience, you want to get in their brains what you're trying to convey, whatever that is. Your truth, your character's truth, but you must not -- you can't care. It's their job to have an opinion of you. It's not your job. It's not your job to sit there and go oh that was good. Oh wait, I didn't like that. Uh oh, I might have offended someone there. That's not your job. Your job is to tell the truth. So that's how I get over it.
CM: Absolutely. We had this conversation yesterday that um… (microphone ringing) .
NV: That... noise. Excuse me I'm trying to, is that bothering you?
CM: (looking up) It's the mothership.
CM: Um, one of the best teachers I've ever had was before I got on the show was in a class with Corey Allen who worked a lot as a director on Star Trek in various incarnations and it's really interesting that three of the ten actors in that class in a city of 12 million people were Garrett from Voyager, Jon Del Arco from Next-Gen, and me, and then there was Corey. Corey helped us understand that the only important thing is what you're doing. It's not about anybody else watching you or what they think of it. If I care about getting the message, I don't really care about getting this message to you. The minute that you care more about what somebody thinks about what you're doing than what you're doing then you're dead in the water. So it's all about that and nothing else matters. And so, if you can keep the passion for the thing you're doing in the moment for the camera or anybody else then you're alive. And, and then you are capable of truth. You know?
Q: Do you ever find that your characters' personalities become part of your real life personalities or that in the real world you start behaving or responding like your characters?
NV: Yeah. Yeah. Do our characters have an influence on our real lives? Uh, yeah. Absolutely. I got a little out of control when I was playing Kira because you're using one particular muscle over and over again, and I started to really believe I was a badass.
NV: I really had to watch that because at the end of the day, you know, I'm not that big of a woman.
NV: So it does, it does, it makes I was definitely more aggressive. The music I listened to at that time was aggressive. It helped me. That was the muscle that grew with Kira. Also, a great humility because Kira, to me, had, you know, so many faults and was aware of them and was humble, and that kind of grew on me, too.
CM: Um... Not having been on the show full-time I didn't experience that so much, but I do appreciate the way (inaudible) a character over a period of time. Not on a day-to-day basis, but incrementally, that that can happen, that you bounce around in your character and she can bounce around in you. And I think that it's wonderful the way the writers can pick that up and say oh there's a little tiny thing let's go with that. And so I like to think that Leeta rubbed off on me. I liked who she was to a certain extent. But the bottom line is yes, it's lovely when that happens but only to a point. I mean, you don't want to go Nora Desmond on us, you know. Yeah.
NV: Yes? Back there? You.
NV: No, wait a minute, the lady right there. Yes, you. AND THEN YOU!
Q: I was just wondering if there was a lot of pranking backstage?
NV: I'm sorry? I couldn't quite hear.
Q: Pranking. Have you guys had a lot of pranking backstage?
NV: Um, no. Ask Jonathan Frakes that.
NV: We were very serious.
CM: Very serious. But people always ask this question, the favorite story I like tell about pranks, because this is the closest that I can come because we weren't a pranking cast, is related to you (to Nana) so I'm going to ask you, do you (giggling) mind if I tell the one, remember when Sid turned around on the Dead Time stage?
CM: That's the prankiest thing I can think of, an audience member telling, a prank on us. Do you want to tell it?
NV: No, go ahead.
CM: Okay this is hilarious, and Nana was involved, so I have to tell you if you're recollection is as mine we're at Dead-Con, right? 5000 people. Flashbulbs every--and it feels like you're Madonna or something and Nana was there and Sid was there, and so Sid's taking questions and so they say is there any questions. And this woman gets on and says, (in an accent) "excuse me Sid, I think you have a great ass."
CM: ...And the audience laughs and he says thank you and kind of turns around and she goes on, (same accent) "Excuse me Sid, could you please turn around and show us your ass."
CM: And Nana was up there being a great sport on stage and said "c'mon turn around, Sid."
CM: "Excuse me could you please BEND OVER and show us your ASS??!"
CM: And she's, "go on," and he does this and we noticed backstage ten minutes later he had a split. It was torn down the middle.
NV: (laughing) I don't remember that at all.
NV: I don't remember that at all. But I do remember he was wearing this really tight, what was the sport he played?
NV: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, so he had this giant tights thing, and he used to put things down his pants, but nobody would notice.
NV: (laughing) And he's like I'm not doing this anymore.
CM: Wow. I never knew that.
NV: Yeah, no one noticed.
CM: So all of you e-mail him or find a way to find him online and tell him you've heard this story.
NV: Let me put my glasses on so we're really making eye contact. Yes?
Q: Episodic television -- some scripts are strong and some of them are not so strong, so how do actors deal or think about the material that you know is kind of dreck? Or do you just make the best of it?
NV: Well, there are two things. As actors we have a lot of control over words, you know? When you think of that I can make you feel, I can say "I love you," and make you feel that I have huge disdain for you. You know, words become less important with what you're doing. That's one thing. The other thing is, I would go to the writers and fight certain fights, when I felt like it was taking my character in a way that wasn't truthful. And beyond that, that's our job. Our job is to take those words and make them live in some way. So it's harder than when it's great writing, but it's still our job.
CM: And you learn, and thankfully, well I don't know not being there day-to-day and Leeta was established as a fairly limited character, rather very limited in a lot of ways, but you learn to make yourself writer proof in some way. You learn to make yourself director proof also because everyone has different strengths. And if a director is brought on because they're fast or and good at visuals, actions, etc., they may not know how to talk to actors, so they say louder, or bigger, or smaller, and you have to know what that means. It doesn't mean louder or smaller. It means more passionate. Fuller on the inside and make it show on the outside. More intimate. You have to learn to interpret these things so if there's something in the dialogue that isn't working for you, you have to just figure out what's the very best way to change it, to make it work according to what they mean, and not how good of a job they're saying it. Right?
NV: You're so sweet all of you. You're asking about our craft and stuff. This is unusual.
CM: Yeah, (snobby) "What is your favorite episode?"
Q: Was it more fun to play your alternate universe selves than your regular characters?
NV: Was it more fun to play alternate universe selves? Um, yes. It was. That was a lot of fun. And again, that really evolved from certainly mine, the Intendant, evolved from things that I didn't really know that I had control over. Like the slaves. That you know, I had slaves, and that I had female lovers, and all that stuff. That all evolved from the fact that I believe the Intendant loved Kira because she was a huge narcissist. She wasn't in love with Kira, she was in love with her mirror. You know? How about you?
CM: I got more mileage out of making lesbian overtones with Ezri.
Audience: Turn them towards you.
NV: Turn them towards us…?
CM: Oh is it because they are facing each other?
NV: Oh for god's sake.
CM: And if you want to ask what our favorite episode, I'm sorry. I'll tell you. We'll tell. If you want.
Q: What would your characters be doing today?
NV: What would our characters be doing today? Well…
NV: There's one side of me that goes Kira is running the station, you know? Well established there and probably alone, you know? But she's become an old crone in the best possible way. There's another part of me after I went to Vegas when the Hilton was there and they had, you know, they had Colonel Kira's chicken.
NV: And I always thought Colonel Kira could have a chicken stand somewhere.
CM: I hear Leeta and Rom have a child in one of the novels written by Keith (inaudible), who I've met, and that scares me.
CM: What is THAT like? Cleavage with ears?
CM: I would like to think that Leeta has found a strength that, our writers were amazing, and wonderful, and had so many different characters and personalities of characters and situations of characters to juggle, so I'm not saying this with any kind of disdain at all, but I'm hoping Leeta has found in her life the strength that she didn't really get to have, the kind of depth and strength that was never shown on camera. There was a lightness to Leeta that I wish hadn't been constantly enterprised? But that was Leeta's place. And she got to have a lot of other things, passion, and courage, and persistence and all of that. And definitely a faithfulness that is lovely to have between two characters on television. But I like to think she found more of those things on her way. Definitely running some sort of "clothing for Ferengi women" on Fereginar.
Q: In your case you had a number of scenes with yourself, you had Kira and the Intendant. From a technical aspect, how did you as an actor pull that off? Was it hard to do, convincing reactions and stuff?
NV: Doing, doing a scene where I was in a scene with myself, the Intendant and Kira together, technically what was that like? It was excruciating. Right now they have such different techniques, but then it was very rudimentary and if I made a gesture I would have to gauge *exactly* where my hand was so that I could match it again on the other side. And you know, if it was here, up here, and the cameramen, you know, everything was locked down and the cameramen would just be on me -- no, little this way, up, there, that's it. So to make something live under those circumstances was hard and to do one scene, um, it was twelve hours. And I couldn't blame the other actor for not showing up.
NV: She was awful. She was so self-involved.
NV: Yes? Back there.
Q: With your background in dance I was wondering if you met anybody famous like Gene Kelly from the fifties?
NV: Did I ever meet anybody famous from the fifties? Dancers? Um, the Broadway dancers more so. And, I guess he's from the fifties, Richard Burton, I was very friendly with him for a while which was a wonderful. He and his wife Susan. Yes?
Q: My question is regarding the lesbian (inaudible) and if there was any sort of a negative backlash from doing those scenes because it was a different time then?
NV: It was a very different climate, very different. It was like a shocking thing to have a kiss between two women. The only thing that I noticed is that Nicole DeBoer and I, when that scene came up, I was the Intendant and we had to fight our way to the set. There were suddenly more men...
NV: They came from other stages and other shows.
NV: We really had to push our way to the set to do that scene. We had a lot of audience members. But no, never any backlash. None whatsoever.
CM: But it was a different kind of backlash. Wasn't it? It occurred to me, definitely an entirely different landscape that it was fifteen years ago in terms of gender and all of that, sexuality. But I mean I think that television has everything it's come a long way (inaudible) you know I'm saying? (inaudible) A different kind of backlash, the sensationalism, kind of dirty. You know?
NV: It's me. I don't know what I'm doing here.
NV: But also people at the time assumed that I was gay and I became, my character was a champion for a lot of gay women. So I was, I was, it was never negative. Nobody ever gave me trouble about it. Yes?
Q: How do you feel how Star Trek has evolved since the very beginning with controversial issues as Star Trek has always been on the forefront with having a colored person, having like a Russian during that time period in the sixties and...?
NV: That's storytelling at its best. When we're able to look at ourselves and our issues in a way that feels safe. And yet we see what's going on with ourselves at this time. I mean think of it, I was a main character and I was a terrorist, you know? I might call myself a freedom fighter but I was a terrorist. You know? And that's kind of amazing. I don't know that she would be on TV now. But yeah, it's very daring and it's always been a wonderful thing that Star Trek does. Truly.
CM: And I think that's part of why obviously it's so beloved and obviously the gender and racial issues were confronted full head on in the original series. And just as we established a few minutes ago that a character was gay and a woman, and just so many different things. (Inaudible) But yeah, what an honor to be on a show that does that.
Q: I'm very interested in what you're doing now? What are your current projects and what are you up to?
NV: What-cha-up-ta? Well, I did a series in New Mexico and I really was one of those people that thought there's New York and then there's a long ride in an airplane to LA and there's absolutely nothing else in between. And when I got this job called 'Wildfire' and was told that we were shooting in New Mexico I remember calling my agent saying get me out of it. I can't, I can't go to New Mexico. And I went there and everything was brown and there was nothing there. And I, you know, get me out of here. It took about two weeks and I started to see what was there and I started to love it. And I love New Mexico. I love the people, the mixed culture. I started a business there. I moved my family and started a business there, we did desserts and things for coffee houses, weddings, and things like that. And I really thought that I would stay there forever doing that. And then suddenly, you know, you know I'm kind of like a cat, you know, that's sitting in a room and suddenly it gets up and RUNS to the other room.
NV: And you're not sure why. And that's kind of how I do my life. It's like all of a sudden I go, "time to go, let's go." And it was suddenly time to leave New Mexico and come back to L.A. so I'm back in L.A. now. Six months. And I have an episode of 'Grimm' coming up in a few weeks that was really fun. Talk about the differences in the technical aspects from back in the day when I was doing a scene with myself, to doing the technical aspects it took to do this episode. It's so different. It's really, really amazing and exciting what they're doing. So I'm in L.A. and waiting for the next, you know, for the next thing to pick me up and take me on an adventure.
CM: I've had a really odd, interesting, sometimes horrifying trajectory since 'Deep Space Nine.' Not a lot of people know this and I haven't talked a lot about this at conventions, but a few months ago after Star Trek wrapped, I don't think the final episode even aired yet, I was doing an autograph tour as we tend to do in something like 38 countries in a few months and it was wonderful.
CM: And I came home to find out that a member of my fan club had listed me on a huge international dating service without my knowledge or consent. And this person was someone that I worked with very… very intensely. Not that intensely, mind you, but worked with about three members of my club to raise money for kids with AIDS. And so it was horrible and apparently he decided he wasn't getting as much out of his fan club membership as he wanted, so he listed me on Matchmaker.com without my knowledge or consent. And listed pictures of me, and listed my acting credits, and disgusting sexual lies, and my home address, because I said hey send me stuff so he had my home address. He listed an e-mail address for me so people could e-mail me and he would get it and respond to people. And to each person to that he would respond he would give my address and home phone number.
CM: So I subsequently received a threat from somebody who I knew had my home address threatening to really stalk and rape me and hurt my son. And so, this was right after Star Trek, it was absolutely devastating. Beyond devastating. It was horrifying and suddenly I was on the run. This person made it very, very, very clear that he was going to do bad things. And my son was deeply impacted and so I took time off to make sure that my son was okay, and make sure we were safe, and file a lawsuit against Matchmaker.com because they had allowed this. They didn't have my credit card or my signature or anything, even remotely, and the disgusting stuff that they put about me wasn't true, because it wasn't. And so, I had a lawsuit against Matchmaker for 5 1/2 years during which I wasn't in the mindset to work. And I lost because the courts said that you are a public figure and if you are a public figure this is what you get. This is what happens to actors. And so I said well that's not something I take as lightly and so I came back with the appeal and I received very, very, very light support, frankly, of Screen Actors Guild. They really didn't take this very seriously. And although definitely (inaudible) an issue, clearly if you're a public figure and this happens to you there is no recourse. So I came back with Screen Actors Guild and (inaudible), and a few privacy rights organizations and I lost the appeal because they said that it was the Internet. And because it was on the Internet apparently under communications (inaudible) act says that you have to be a content provider (inaudible) and so it's fine, it's the Internet. And so after that they sued me for my legal fees and won.
CM: And so this is what I've done after Star Trek. And so I wasn't really in the position mentally and just emotionally to put myself out on the line to do a great job in a room. You know, just auditioning was something that I truly couldn't wrap my mind around during those years. And what I didn't realize, because I thought I could recoup it, what I didn't realize was that it's really hard to recoup when you take that much time off. Oh it's science fiction. Oh she's on Star Trek. That's hard to break. And you've (to Nana) beautifully broken it and you deserve to. For me it really is (inaudible) and that's painful. Although I believe I did the right thing. I filed this lawsuit because I never wanted it to happen to anybody else ever again. And, you know, that's how it goes. You have to do what you believe in and I did. And so I've had less than ten auditions since Star Trek ended.
CM: And it's been rough. It's part of the reason I've done so many conventions in various ways to keep things going and I know a lot of people wonder why, why I've done that. I've also had to pay for my lawsuit.
CM: Yeah, so it affected me extremely, profoundly. But a few years ago, am I going on too much? I'm sorry. I'll tell you about the one good thing that's happened. A few years ago, I auditioned for and got, it's one of the jobs that I got, I got two of the ten jobs by the way, a beautiful film noir called 'Yesterday Was a Lie." A sci-fi (inaudible) shot in classic black and white, and it was low budget and I was cast as "Jazz Singer." And loved this role and during a very brief rehearsal period the producers fell out because they wanted more money and so I helped interview 37 line producers and producers who each of them turned down the job saying don't make this movie, don't you can't even try on this budget. Just forget it. So I just stepped in because it was the one job I had a shot at and I produced the film and sold (inaudible) single-handedly, and we were listed in the ten best films of the year on the festival circuit by Film Threat, and had a theatrical release. Limited, but a solid theatrical release.
CM: And a solid DVD release by Entertainment One which is a strong company, the soundtrack is out by the Film Music Critics Association label of the year, and I have three songs on the soundtrack.
NV: Good for you!
CM: Thank you. There's a graphic novel, so we multiplatformed. We did everything we could with what we've got and you know, that's how it goes sometimes. I, I, real fast, I'm producing another film which deals with education and (inaudible) and I'm partnered with the United Nations on the project. I've optioned the novel because I thought it was important and I called the organizations and said do you guys want to get involved because we could do some good things for the world. And they had an initiative that does that. So I'm producing that and we'll see what happens.
CM: She's making, you know, films, water initiatives, working with the United Nations, and I'm on 'Grimm' as a giant bee.
CM: (inaudible) if I could've been on 'Grimm' I would.
NV: Believe me, I think that's fantastic. I am impressed. Very, very impressed. Someone had a, yes? Right there?
Q: What do you think of Winnipeg?
NV: Well, I'll tell you. I came into Winnipeg last night. This is my first trip here and landed about 6:00 with Jonathan Frakes and a bunch of them and went to this wonderful steakhouse in an old mansion. Do you know it? And it was one of the best meals that I've ever had. It was just so decadently wonderful. And then this morning I come and meet really sweet, charming people. So Winnipeg is pretty fabulous as far as I'm concerned.
Q: Which character or part of Star Trek would you choose to be real? For example I would choose Data to help with housework...
NV: I would, I would -- replicators are pretty cool.
NV: You know, really, Odo, shapeshifter, that I had the life as Kira, right?
NV: That was great, right? (To Chase) How about you?
CM: I would be beaming aboard everywhere. I mean, it's very interesting like, things like the replicator, you know that there's a 3D printer? It's stuff like that that is so uncanny about science fiction writers.
NV: Oh my god. The iPhone. I mean, I remember, you know, it was like so science fiction where we were doing it. And now there we go. It's right there.
CM: Yay Steve Jobs.
Q: I was thinking of a Bajoran jewelry line, which you (inaudible) market, but also the costumes, you were saying sometimes you had the ability to go to the writers to say "I don't know about that." Did you ever have costume incidents where you said "I don't think so?"
NV: You know, I remember when the producers came to me the end of one of the seasons and said you know, because they've always said that I walk like, um, I walk like John Wayne.
NV: And they wanted me to stop. They wanted to like, girl me up. And they took me from the corduroy type costume with the flat boots to, you know, high heels and kind of a 'Barbarella' look. And I didn't love that and I fought it and fought it and realized you know what? If I can, if I can be Kira in short boots, I can be Kira in high heels it doesn't matter. I just got to forget what I'm wearing because it really did bother me for quite a while. But I was able to just, I wasn't going to win that one. It was just the way it was. Yes? Back there?
Announcer: We have time for one more question so does somebody have a really, really loaded question to ask?
Q: So I grew up watching Deep Space Nine, spent seven years like since I was a little kid, right? And it's been one of my favorite shows of all time, not because of Star Trek, but because it was real people doing real things and that's because of all the hard work that you guys did.
NV: Thank You.
CM: Thank You.
Q: But I just have a question because you were talking about truth, and all that stuff that you put into it. For someone like me who grew up with your show and really loved the characters, watching the finale was really emotional, because of how long it set everything up, but also the acting, the camaraderie, you know, all the different characters and their entire journey and everything. How much of that was acting and how much of that was actually sort of part of being in a cast and sort of, like how blurry did those lines get? I guess.
NV: You know, they did it so right. That was the last scene that we shot. You know, and it was very truthful. I couldn't stop crying. I kept messing poor Jimmy up he was trying to sing the song. And I wasn't on camera and he was on camera and he'd look at me and I'd burst into tears and then he would and it was very long. It was a long day filming that scene. But it was, oh my gosh, it was such a big huge part of my life -- that show and that character. It was really hard to say goodbye.
CM: It was very, definitely (inaudible) how hard it was and I wasn't even there all the time. That day, I wasn't in that episode but I was there because I had to be, part of what was so beautiful about 'Deep Space Nine,' I think, it was like Camelot. Shows like that don't happen. (inaudible) It was that kind of heart (inaudible) and the beauty of it is we knew what we had when we had it.
CM: We wouldn't look back and go those were the days because we knew those were the days. It was just an incredible, rich thing to be a part of. And at lunch that day, Ira stood up that day and told us, I remember, (inaudible) he stood up on the scaffolding so everyone could see him and we were all having lunch (inaudible) so much of it to have said that with such humility, that kind of leadership, sweetness, that heart, and it just spread, to you guys and to us even us recurring characters, and made us feel welcome, and just so many things that (inaudible) electric on the show. It's hard to really explain. But as much as you guys loved it, so did we.