Yesterday, in part one of our sit-down interview with Jeri Ryan, the actress revisited her time as Seven of Nine on Voyager and talked about life after Star Trek. Here, in part two of our exclusive StarTrek.com interview, Ryan chats some more about Voyager before catching us up on her current projects, which include the new series Body of Proof, which debuted last night, as well as the upcoming online action series Mortal Kombat: Legacy and an episode of Warehouse 13.
What do you think Seven – or Annika Hansen – is up to now?
Ryan: I don’t know. I honestly haven’t thought about it. That’s not the way my imagination works with the characters that I’ve played. Seven is a character that I loved, but I don’t necessarily want to make it up in my head, what’s going on with her now. “Endgame” sort of ended it for me. That was the last chapter and the book closed for me at that point.
Something that’s happened with Voyager – and with every Trek show since TNG -- is that there’s an impression, at least among a certain contingent of fans, that Voyager was underrated or under-appreciated during its run. What are your thoughts?
Ryan: I’m probably the wrong person to ask. You’re asking somebody who’s not really a science fiction fan. It’s not really my genre. I came onto the show in the fourth season. I don’t know what kinds of complaints they were getting in the previous three seasons before I was brought on. But I didn’t feel like I was climbing up a hill so much when I was doing the show.
You still attend Star Trek conventions once in a while. What continues to be the appeal of those for you?
Ryan: They’re a lot of fun. I loved the character and I’m very grateful to have done the show. And I especially love running into everybody from the show. I love catching up with Bob (Picardo) and Robbie (McNeill) and everyone. Garrett (Wang) came up on stage to surprise me last year in Vegas, and we were tweeting pictures of each other from the stage. Bob came out, too. I actually wasn’t able to do them for several years, for security reasons, and then Creation very, very nicely hired an amazing security company. They’ve been phenomenal and take really good care of me.
Your new show is Body of Proof (which premiered last night on ABC). Dana Delany plays Dr. Megan Hunt, a Philadelphia medical examiner who likes to stick her nose in police business. You play her boss, Dr. Kate Murphy, who seems to butt heads with Megan on a regular basis. Several episodes into filming, what intrigues you most about Kate?
Ryan: The more I get to know Kate, the more cool I think she is. I’m really enjoying it. She’s a lot of fun. She’s obviously smart. She’s obviously a tough cookie. I think where she and Megan sort of complement each other is that she gets where Megan is coming from, but they just come at it in different ways. Kate’s a little bit more by the book, by the rules, but obviously she’s had to ruffle some feathers to get where she is, too, because she’s the first female chief medical examiner in Philadelphia history. So she gets that aspect of Megan and has her back to that extent. She sort of overlooks a lot of Megan’s personality quirks and her clumsy social mores.
What else did you wrap before starting on Body of Proof?
Ryan: I did the second half of the second season of Leverage, which was incredible. Jonathan Frakes directed one of my episodes and he’s amazing to work with. That was the first time we’d worked together. We’d met before, but it was the first time we worked together, and he was just a riot. I was in New Jersey for a few episodes of Law & Order: SVU. I did a couple of TV movies, one in Montreal and one in Detroit. One of them, Secrets in the Walls, aired (in October) on Lifetime. It was my first ghost story. I’m a single mother with two daughters, who winds up buying a house that’s haunted. And one of the daughters ends up getting possessed by the ghost in the house. The other movie is called Deadlines, and I play a fashion designer who’s very environmentally conscious and gets wrapped in a murder-mystery. I don’t think that has an airdate yet. And I was in Vancouver for an episode of Psych. So I’ve been flying all over the place.
More than a year ago, as a favor to a friend, you played Sonya Blade in a live-action Mortal Kombat short film – Mortal Kombat: Rebirth -- directed by Kevin Tancharoen. It went viral, fans went nuts and now you’ve shot a multi-part online series entitled Mortal Kombat: Legacy, which will premiere on April 12…
Ryan: I didn’t think it’d become what it became. It became huge. I was just blown away by Kevin’s vision and what he was able to put together. I mean, it was badass. And it was enough to get Warner Bros. to do the online series and enough to get all of us to sign on to do it again. It’s a cool project and Kevin is an amazing director. He’s going to be huge.
How close to the game version of Sonya is your version and, be honest, how often on set did you say, “I’m getting too old for this?”
Ryan: (Laughs) My version is significantly more dressed than the video version. This is a lot more realistic, a lot more human. These episodes are not so cartoonish. It’s much grittier, much more realistic. There are still the fantasy elements, of course, especially for the characters that are completely based in fantasy. But the human characters are grittier and more real, and Sonya’s a tough girl, man. She kicks some ass, which was fun. And, good God, it’s probably been 10 years ago – maybe since Voyager – that I’ve done anything as physical as this. It’s not something I typically do in my daily life, so I was definitely soaking in the Epsom salts while I was up there shooting. But it was so much fun. The action stuff is just great to play.
What’s the game plan from here?
Ryan: We don’t know, actually. I think everything is up in the air. We’re just riding it to see where it goes. We loved doing it. We loved working with each other. We loved working with Kevin. So who knows? We’d definitely love to keep doing it.
You’ve just completed an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, another Leverage episode looks likely, and right now you’re heading up to Toronto to shoot an episode of Warehouse 13. What can you tell us about your Warehouse 13? Is it a one-off?
Ryan: It is a one-off. I play… You know, I’m not sure how much I can say because I haven’t spoken to any of the guys from the show to ask what I’m allowed to say and what I’m not allowed to say about this. But I am someone’s ex-wife. I won’t say character’s name just in case it’s supposed to be a secret.