Famke Janssen Talks TNG & Her New Film, Jack of the Red Hearts

Famke Janssen Talks TNG & Her New Film, Jack of the Red Hearts

Famke Janssen is best known these days for starring in such major film franchises as X-Men, Taken and James Bond, and for her nuanced work in many indie features, including City of Industry, Made, The Wackness and Bringing Up Bobby (which she also produced, directed and wrote). She’s also recurred on the television series Nip/Tuck and How to Get Away with Murder, and for three seasons played Olivia Godfrey on Hemlock Grove. Given the breadth and depth of her credits, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Janssen – who hails from the Netherlands -- started out as a model-turned-actress whose turn as Kamala in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Perfect Mate” marked one of her very first on-screen appearances.

Jack of the Red Hearts

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Let’s start with Star Trek. What do you remember of the process of landing your role as Kamala, the title character in “The Perfect Mate”? You did it not long after your very first job, which was the film Fathers and Sons, right?

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What do you remember of working with Patrick Stewart? Did he calm your nerves or, him being such an old pro at the time, did he make you more nervous?

What intrigued you about Kamala as a character?

I wasn’t familiar with Star Trek at all, so I didn’t know until much later how unusual a character she was. It was just a really fun character to play. It was iconic in the end only because I ended up working with Patrick years later on the X-Men movies. So we had this whole history before we started working together on X-Men, and that, of course, made it so much easier. Coming in on a big action film like that, it’s always a little nerve-wracking, so it was great to have had that previous experience with Star Trek and to not have been a stranger to him. 

When was the last time you actually saw the episode?

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The story is that you passed on the role of Dax on Deep Space Nine. First, is that true? And, if so... why, and have you ever regretted the decision?

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You have always shifted back and forth between big studio films and TV shows and smaller indie films. What compels you to keep supporting films?

What specifically struck a chord within you when Jack of the Red Hearts came your way?

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Kay, as you say, has a lot of plates spinning and when we meet her they're all in danger of crashing down. What kind of research did you do to better understand what the mom, what the family of an autistic child goes through?

You had a lot of helping making it real thanks to Taylor Richardson and AnnaSophia Robb, who are both remarkable young actors. How amazed were you by their performances?

Again, visit www.jackoftheredhearts.com for details about Jack of the Red Hearts.

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