Marina Sirtis is best known for playing Deanna Troi in “Star Trek:” The Next Generation”. The show is celebration its 25th Anniversary this year. Marina took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about reflects on her role on the show and what makes this show so timeless.
Mike Gencarelli: “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is celebrating its 25th anniversary, what is your most fondest memory looking back?
Marina Sirtis: The best memories all circulates around my fellow thespians. They were the best bunch of people I ever worked with and became family. We just hit it off from the get-go and they are still my best friends. That was honestly the best part of the job.
MG: You attend many “Star Trek” conventions, what do you enjoy most about meeting fans?
MS: The great thing about going cons is getting to meet you fans. I think we have a very symbiotic relationship with our fans. We get as much out of them as they get out of us. I can’t tell you how many time people would come up with me and say “I become a psychologist because of you” and that is just what a compliment. I am an actress and I just played this part. It was a job [laughs]. I could have ended up on “Law & Order”, you know what I mean? To have some such an impact on people’s life is something that when I was studying at drama school never entered my consciousness.
MG: What do you think makes this series so timeless?
MS: The thing about it “Star Trek”, especially “TNG”, is probably one of the one shows that every generation of the family can watch together. I always used to say apart from The Weather Channel [laughs], it was the only real family show, since you can’t even watch the news anymore with kids. People always tell me it was family night for them and they used to order a pizza and sit around and watch “Star Trek”. Some people tell me that even with 25 years past, when they watch it now it brings back just great memories for them.
MG: How is it for you being know as the sex symbol of the entire show?
MS: Mike, I have to tell you I was a very ugly child. When I say this to people they don’t believe me. But I was have pictures to prove it [laughs]. I have to tell you a story, Mike. When my mother passed away, my sister-in-law called me and asked what I wanted out of her apartment and I just told her I wanted photos. She called me up a few night later hysterically laughing because she was going through the photos and told me she found the ones of me when I was young. This is what she tells me, “You were right Marina, you WERE really ugly!”. So to be regarded as a sex symbol, I am thrilled [laughs]. The little ugly girl inside of me is going “Woo Hoo!!”.
MG: I feel that season six was your characters strongest, including “Face of the Enemy”, can you reflect on your favorite season?
MS: I have to be honest, if you go back to the first season there was a lot of episodes that I wasn’t in. I was very worried, I was going to be written out. I knew the writers had created this character but didn’t really know what to do with her. She was an empath, so if she did her job right we had no storyline. Rather than deal with the situation, I was just written out of the episodes. Come the season one hiatus, which was very long due to the writers strike at the time, Jonathan Frakes got married to Genie Francis. We all went to the wedding and Gene Roddenberry was there also. He approached me at one point and said to me that he wanted to talk with in private. We stepped outside and he told me that the first show of season two is going to be a big episode for me and that I would be in fact opening the season. That meant more to me than anything. It was huge. So that was a very important season for me because they finally got her as a character. From there she just kept evolving.
MG: Did you have any creative control with your characters direction?
MS: Oh, no no no no [laughs]. I couldn’t change a word, none of us could.
MG: What you say was the most challenging aspect for you throughout the series?
MS: The biggest challenge was keeping Marina out of Troi. Marina is not a sweet as her [laughs]. She is not as sweet and not as nice. She is very temperamental, as well as loud and obnoxious. So that was definitely the biggest challenge for seven years. Sometimes though, I tried to sneak her in especially if Jonathan was directing [laughs].
MG: Did you ever keep any memorabilia or costumes from the show?
MS: I am pleading the 5th on that one. Draw your own conclusions [laughs].
MG: Have you ever considered writing a memoir for your experience on the series?
MS: Well I have thought of writing a memoir of my life, because I have had quite a fascinating life. I am one of those people that things just happen to [laughs]. I just have these adventures. As far as writing a book on our experiences on “Star Trek”, in the culture we live in now it is the bad behavior and the scandals that sell. There is not a publisher on the planet that wants to buy a book that tells the story of how we all loved each other [laughs].
MG: Have you had a chance to experience “Star Trek: TNG” on Blu-ray yet?
MS: I saw some of the first episode and it just looked amazing. It looks like we actually shot it last week. It is really great.
MG: I have been reading that fans have been requesting you to be on “Doctor Who”, what are your feelings?
MS: You know what, I would so love to be on “Doctor Who”. Sir Ian McKellen, who is one of our premiere actors on the planet, when he was asked what his ambitions where a few years ago, he said he wants to be a pantomime dame and he wants to be on “Coronation Street”, which is like the longest running show on the planet. Well he has managed to do both and that was really cool. So who knows? Anything is possible. There is a lot of things that I still want to do. Being Deanna for the rest of my life isn’t a problem, actually. But I don’t look like her anymore [laughs]. So I am just glad that it is that Deanna in HD and not me today [laughs].
MG: Tell us about what upcoming projects you are currently working on?
MS: Michael Dorn and I have been trying to get a romantic comedy off the ground for a couple of years now. Well, mostly Michael. It is going to star basically a bunch of “Star Trek” actors. It will be cool for the fans to see us star in something different. So it is a really cool project and he recently posted it through Kickstarter (click here) and it is called “Through The Fire”. Some of the things are pretty cool that you get for backing the film, llike getting to hang with us at a convention or a walk on role. So definitely check it out and spread the word. I also just did a movie based on a video game that doesn’t have a title yet but I am sure you will be hearing about it soon. Next year, I will be shooting a horror movie in Australia and also another possibly called “Shadows from the Sky”. So we have a lot of great projects coming up.