INTERVIEW: Trek's K'Ehleyr & More, Suzie Plakson, Part 2
Suzie Plakson has amassed dozens of acting credits over the years, including guest spots on Beauty and the Beast, Murphy Brown, Judging Amy and Bones, series regular work on Love & War, recurring roles on Dinosaurs, Mad About You and How I Met Your Mother, plus appearances in such films as My Stepmother Is An Alien, Disclosure and Red Eye. Star Trek fans, however, think of Plakson as Selar… and K’Ehleyr… and Female Q… and Tarah, whom she portrayed on, respectively, The Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise.
Plakson has been on StarTrek.com’s must-interview list for a long while, and with her upcoming appearance at Creation Entertainments Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, we finally snagged her for an interview. Below is part one of our exclusive conversation, and visit StarTrek.com again tomorrow to read part two.
Did you know when you did the first episode, “The Emissary,” that you’d be back for “Reunion”?
PLAKSON: I pretty much had to come back and die. I wasn’t a sci-fi or Star Trek person, so I wasn’t aware that this wasn’t an average character on that show, on any show. I loved her swagger.
Up next was your role as the Female Q in Voyager’s “The Q and the Grey.” Audition or invite?
PLAKSON: That was an invite. Am I right? Yeah, I think I am. That was an invite, and I was thrilled to do it. Oh my God, I loved playing the Q. People used to ask me which was my favorite, K’Ehleyr or the Q, and I used to say “They just about evened out,” but as the years go by what rises to the surface is the Q. John de Lancie and I were on stage once and talked about this, but I would really have loved to have come back as the Q, because the Q can become or do anything, and I loved playing that sort of narcissistic arrogance. It’s fun and, unless you’re doing something British and drawing room, you don’t really get to do that as an American actor. John and I, had we really gotten a chance to dance, would have had a blast.
The hair and the costume were certainly memorable…
PLAKSON: I loved it. The costume… I have to say I thought that the Q would not have done the very modest lace collar they had her in. I was like, “No, that Q would have had some plunging neckline, Scarlett O’Hara kind of thing.” She never would have been that demure. But I did love that it was a period piece. That’s where a lot of my passion is. I just love period pieces, so it was really fun to be in the hairdo and do all of that. Plus, I got to use my own face, which was nice. And my favorite thing about it was that it was outside, under trees, and we could run around and not just be locked up on a soundstage breathing stale air all day. Harve Presnell was in it and I was thrilled to meet him. I just loved him in The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
Be honest, when Enterprise came on the air, did you think, “Let’s see if I can land a role on this show, too”?
PLAKSON: No. I think it was Brannon Braga who called me and said, “Hey, we’ve got this other role (as Tarah in “Cease Fire”) and we’d love you to come and play it.” I said, “Great.” They sent me the script about the Andorians and I thought, “Ooooh, good, she’s an evil Andorian. That’s cool.” I loved my antennae. They were fun. The puppeteer was a great guy and it was very cool. I thought they were going to be incredibly distracting because you can hear them move inside your head, like eeeee, eeeeee, eeeee, all squeaky. I thought, “Oh my God, I’m never going to be able to remember my lines.” Somehow or other, when they yelled “Action” and the camera was rolling, there was something so magical. I think it also had to do with the dance between me and the puppeteer, but I just suddenly felt like this was somehow part of my animal/creature being. And that was fun.
Fans are always interesting in hearing about current projects. So, what are you working on these days?
PLAKSON: I just did a workshop for something called The Right Brain Game, which was originally intended to unstick writers and artists. It leads them through a series of prompts with music, etc., etc. So it was a lot of fun, and it just happened a couple of week ago. Something else I’ve done is an ebook/audiobook that I’ve written and recorded called The Return of King Lillian. It’s a really long-cherished dream that I’ve put out there, and I’m in the process of marketing it. That is on my site and you can also find it on www.kinglillian.com. It’s also on Amazon, iTunes and Audible.
Do you have any shows or movies or music in the works?
PLAKSON: Some music is beginning to come together. I’ve got to find a guitarist who can help me out. There is another How I Met Your Mother (episode) on the way. I’ll be back playing the mad Judy Eriksen, which I love to do. I haven’t heard anything further from them about doing more. It’s the last season, so I hope I get to come back one more time.
Click HERE to read part one of our interview with Suzie Plakson.