Interview with Jeri Ryan

Jeri Ryan is know best for her role in “Star Trek: Voyager”. Jeri played the character Sonya Blade in the short “Mortal Kombat: Rebirth” and the web series “Mortal Kombat: Legacy”. She is also playing Kate Murphy Philadelphia’s first female Chief Medical Examiner in the hit TV series “Body of Proof”. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Jeri about her new roles as well as her work on “Voyager”.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about working on your new show “Body of Proof”?
Jeri Ryan: It has been a lot of fun. The cast is really great. Dana (Delany), of course is such an amazing actress but she is also really cool. She is kind of a broad [laughs], so we have a good time laughing. It is just a fun set. You get some goofy things happening on the set also because you are working with supposedly dead bodies played by actors. So, we had a body fall asleep in the middle of a scene [laughs]. It has just been a lot of fun. Also I am really excited to hear that “Body of Proof” already got picked up for a second season. So I am looking forward to that.

MG: What do you like most about your character Kate Murphy?
JR: What I like about her is that she is tough character. She is the first female Chief Medical Examiner in Philadelphia’s History. She care about what happens in her work and also the victims in the families and what they are dealing with. But also the people that work for her. I like that we are peeling back different parts of her personality as we go.  We are finding out new things like she is a Texas Holdem player [laughs]. There is a lot more to her and that is what I like.

MG: How did you get involved with “Mortal Kombat: Rebirth”, playing Sonya Blade?
JR: “Rebirth”, I did as a favor to friend of a friend. Kevin (Tancharoen), the director, is the boyfriend of a friend of mine. We knew he was putting together a project to show Warner Bros. his vision and to sell them on doing a new “Mortal Kombat” project. So we all volunteered our time. I didn’t know him very well before, I knew he did “Fame” and I knew he has a lot of choreography in his background. When you meet him, he is the sweetest, quietest and nicest guy and looks like he is about 14. So at first, I did not expect the project to be anything special. When it came out it was just amazing…amazing! His vision is incredible. He is a really talented director. When they approached me that they were doing a web series, I jumped at it. Again, it is a web series, it is not like they are backing up the money truck for anyone on this. Everyone is doing this because it is so cool and his vision is so amazing. We are all very excited about working on it.

MG: You also appear in “Mortal Kombat: Legacy”, tell us what is it was like playing that character and working on that series?
JR: She is a real kick ass broad, right? It is great to get to play that kind of character. The one downside of doing a web series, compared to a feature or TV series, is the lead time to get ready for it. I think I had a grand total of four maybe five days from finding out the project was happening to being on a plane to Vancouver and shooting the next day. It was literally that fast. There was no time to train and do fight training and things like that. Hopefully it will go further and we will get a second season or something else. Now I am on to them though and I know I need to start training on my own [laughs].

MG: How does it differ between working on web series like “MK: Legacy” to series like “Body of Proof”?
JR: It was really all about prep time. Even though you are doing a short, you may even have more time to shoot it then you do a TV series because you have a week to shoot a much shorter episode. So really we can take our time shooting it and we can get the cool shots and action and things like that, that they wanted to. His vision is just very cinematic and what he has done with this is just crazy. That part of it is great, you don’t feel a web series budget doing that. Just everything is very quick leading up to it.

MG: Going back to “Star Trek: Voyager”, tell us that experience and the aftermath it has had on your career?
JR: Well “Voyager” really gave me a career, it really did. It was my second series, after “Dark Skies”. This was really my launching pad for my career. That is a gift as an actor to be given a character that is so rich to play, interesting and has so much growth. That arc of growth on that character was so huge over the four year period. I mean she started out human and there is a lot of ground to cover. Then to have that character become so iconic is a really rare gift to be given as an actor.

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