STAR TREK Nana Visitor Interview
From Bajor to London: it's Kira Nerys!
Star Trek London is just days away, so to help get you set for three days of pure Trek indulgence(including appearances from all five of Starfleet’s TV captains), we caught up with one of the many big names who’ll be making an appearance – Deep Space Nine’s Major (later Colonel) Nerys, Nana Visitor.
So you’re coming over to London at the weekend…
“I know I can’t wait, I haven’t been over to London for a while. I’m looking forward to it.”
Star Trek must be unlike any other job you’ve done, certainly in terms of fan feedback?
“It is. What was unique was at the time you were able to sense that it was really important, because of the way people watched the show and the meaning they took from it. You couldn’t just flippantly decide that your character would do this or that. It all had to be well thought out.
DS9 was very different to the original Star Trek and The Next Generation – not least because you weren’t travelling around the cosmos in a starship. How was it pitched to you?
“I knew then that that was a huge difference, that we were on a space station. What was fascinating to me was the question of all being stuck together and having to make it work. One of the best things that science fiction does, we all know, is allow us to look at ourselves with a bit of distance. And I thought it was a timely show for that.”
Kira’s relationship with Odo, I guess, was one of the sweetest things about the show and one of the best character arcs. Was that something that you enjoyed?
“I loved working with René [Auberjonois]. It’s llike playing tennis with someone who’s better than you are. It just brings your game up. He was always 100% there, interested in the scene, interested in working with another actor. It wasn’t a pain in the neck to him, like it sometimes can be with actors. He loves acting, and I loved acting with him.”
Was the whole political allegory side of DS9 something that appealed to you?
“I read a lot of Campbell and I believe that the stories that we tell ourselves all come from mythology and archetypes and I think the shows and movies that live on in our hearts are the ones that really come from strong mythology, and I was thrilled with that. As a matter of fact, I’ve done movies where I’ll ask the writer ‘What does that come from?’ and they’re like ‘It’ll just be good to have them jumping out – it’ll scare people.’ You know what? It never works. It just doesn’t work to do it without meaning.”
What do you think of DS9 as a vision of the 24th century?
“Well I don’t think it was idealistic. People didn’t get along. Shows like ‘Duet’, I thought, really pointed to what we can do in life. Just the thought that we could be wrong about somebody, just opening our minds to that. That was the sweetness of that show, ‘Duet’.”
Did you enjoy playing Kira’s Mirror Universe doppelganger? She was a rather different!
“It was fantastic. She was pretty outrageous, and got more so all the time, but it was a flip of this woman who was committed and altruistic. The exact opposite of that is someone in love with themselves and that’s what she was.”
Were there any particular storylines that were highlights for you?
“I enjoyed mentoring the Cardassian girl. I loved carrying the baby. That was fantastic and convenient, that they didn’t have to hide [that Visitor was pregnant in real life]. And I loved the relationship with the captain. There was a deep friendship and respect that was hard earned.”
What did you think of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot?
“I loved it. I was so afraid that he was not going to be respectful. Yeah, I thought it was wonderful, I enjoyed it completely. I thought he was so respectful of the whole genre and I was glad about that.”
Read our Connor Trinneer interview.
Read our Ronald D Moore interview.
Read our John De Lancie interview.
Read our Walter Koenig interview.