July 16 2024


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Ryan: Corset, Captain And Conventions

3 min read

While Jeri Ryan has good memories of her days on Star Trek: Voyager, not everything about with her time there was positive.

Initially, Ryan was hesitant to take on the role of Seven of Nine due to fear of being typecast. “That was a huge concern for me when I signed on initially,” she said. “My agent came to me three times with this role, and I kept passing. I kept saying, ‘Absolutely not!’ I wasn’t a Star Trek fan. I never watched it. All I knew was that the actors are pigeonholed and that’s all they do. It was so early in my career I didn’t want to kill it.”

Her audition convinced her that taking on the role would be worth the risk of being typecast. “What really got me to do it was one particular audition scene,” said Ryan. “Well, there were two. One which I absolutely hate, which was the infamous ‘Harry Kim, take off all your clothes’ scene, which, of course, they shot and used. The other one, which they didn’t shoot, was so beautiful. It was Seven and she was with Chakotay, and she has her first experience of laughter. In that scene, I really saw the possibilities of the character. That’s what got me to do it.”

Once she took the job, Ryan had to learn how to deal with “the suit.” “Apparently they don’t wear bras and underwear in space,” said Ryan. “It was a very elaborate undergarment. I have to say that Robert Blackman, the costume designer, is an absolute genius. That costume was a real feat in engineering, because the producers had said that they wanted it to look like skin, to be skin-regenerative fabric. For the breast mound, they wanted two individual breasts and they wanted it to hug every curve, like skin.”

Her suit became an issue when it was time to answer the call of nature. “It was an event,” she said. “If I had to go to the bathroom it was a twenty-minute production shutdown. It’s true, no joke. The whole crew had to know about it, too. “10-1, everybody take five, take ten, take whatever. Jeri has to use the bathroom.” People had to get me dressed and undressed, so I had a full-time dresser. I couldn’t do it myself.”

In addition to dealing with her costume, Ryan had to deal with animosity from Kate Mulgrew. “It was not a super-easy four years for me, I will say that,” said Ryan. “It does not stick out as a wonderful, wonderful work experience. It was tough. It was difficult.”

Not only did Ryan have problems on the set, but she encountered the bad side of Star Trek fandom. “I used to not be able to attend conventions because I had stalkers,” she said. “Finally, the conventions agreed to get security for me, and they’re really on top of it. It’s nice that I can see the fans and interact with them again. They’re such a nice, supportive audience, and they’re very enthusiastic.”

Ryan’s most recent show, Body of Proof, has just finished its second season.

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6 thoughts on “Ryan: Corset, Captain And Conventions

  1. If the writes of this article are going to suggest it, why do they not tell us what the “animosity from Kate Mulgrew” was? This person is just a re-poster of old news. The way I read it from Jeri Ryan’s point of view, since someone interviewing her, just made a unsubstantiated statement about something Mulgrew said at another convention. Ryan answered it anyway someone normally would in a public interview, “It was tough. It was difficult.”

    Interviewer- At an event a couple years back, Kate Mulgrew mentioned that there might have been some animosity between the two of you. Is that true at all?

    Ryan – [Laughs.] It was not a super-easy four years for me, I will say that. It does not stick out as a wonderful, wonderful work experience. It was tough. It was difficult.

    Interviewer- One of the bright parts of “Voyager” was definitely the three strong female characters.

    Ryan – Yeah, that was great. B’Elanna Torres was very strong and got to kick ass and take charge. I say the same thing now as I said then: I don’t have a problem with Seven’s overtly sexual physical appearance, if only because of the way she was written and developed. If it was a crappy character, then OK. But she was so nuanced and beautifully written.

  2. Thank you for checking that; I was about to do the same. Seriously, folks, don’t imply stuff in the article if you don’t have quotes to support it. That said, Jeri’s answer does seem slightly dodgy. But a bit of quite understandable tension from the leading lady doesn’t constitute a feud.

    Really wish we’d seen that early scene with Chakotay! I always wished those two had more scenes together. There was plenty for them to talk about, both being foils for Janeway with checkered pasts. With the right buildup, their relationship in the finale could even have made sense.

    By the way, the top comment at HuffPo is seriously peculiar. (If it’s not top anymore, look for one that uses her maiden name, Zimmerman.)

  3. I loved her character and I thought Seven of Nice was well written and developed addition to the series. However Captain Kate Mulgrew was actually my favorite character so I don’t see why she felt threatened by Seven of Nine’s character, very strange.

  4. That’s such a good point. Sure, it’s a given that Seven was beautiful. She was, breath-takingly so at times, and that could be distracting. Well, it could IF Seven wasn’t such an intriguing character. After a while, she could have been played by any capable actress, and that’s not a slight on Jeri at all. he physical beauty had zero to do with who and what Seven was.
    That said, it was always a pleasure to watch Jeri as seven, as she was undeniably gorgeous, but it says a lot about the writing and development of the character (and the interaction with the other cast members) that she didn’t need to be a hottie.

  5. No need for supposition/hearsay/assumption. Mulgrew and Ryan may not have gotten 100% along, but the acting was first rate and no one outside the show could tell there were problems. If Seven of Nine lead the Borg invasion of Earth I would surrender immediately and ask her to personally “assimilate” me! 🙂

  6. Kate has made it clear in the past that she did not like the fact that Voyager’s powers that be resorted to having a sex kitten for a character. She felt it cheapened the show. Jeri is right about one thing… ST actors for the most part can’t find a decent job afterwards the exceptions being Stewart (X-men), Mulgrew (OITNB) and Shatner. They make their money attending conventions. That has got to suck which is why Shatner didn’t attend them for a decade back in the day.

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