This interview originally ran in July of 2014.
Scarlett Pomers sounds content. The actress, who played Naomi Wildman in 16 episodes of Star Trek: Voyager and went on to a series-regular role on the long-running sitcom Reba, is 25 years old now and makes her living as a jewelry designer and photographer. She no longer acts, plays music mostly for herself these days and is quite healthy, having overcome the anorexia that threatened to derail her life and career as a teenager. Pomers will be among the guests at Creation Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, which runs from Thursday to Sunday, and StarTrek.com seized the opportunity to catch up with her. Here’s what she had to say.
StarTrek.com: For much of your time on the show you were very much like Naomi, the only kid amongst a lot of adults. Would you agree?
Scarlett Pomers: Totally. I’ve never been a shy person, especially as a kid. I’m pretty outgoing and friendly to people. When you work as a child actor you’re around adults all the time, whether it’s a show, a movie or a commercial. And even if there are a lot of kid actors in the scenes with you, it’s all adults around the set. So everybody has to interact with everybody, from the director to the craft service people to the lighting guys. It helps to be friendly and be cool to everybody because you’re going to be with them a lot of the time.
Plus, they’re the ones who make you look good. So it’s always good to make friends with the lighting people and the grips and the people who build the sets. And they work the hardest, too. They’re there before anybody else setting things up in the morning and they’re there when everyone else is done, still working five hours after you’ve left. So I always appreciated everybody who worked around me because without everyone else it’s just people standing there talking.
Of the 16 episodes you did, was there one episode or even a single scene that still stands out to you all these years later?
SP: It’s a scene from “Once Upon a Time.” Naomi thinks her mom might be dead and she thinks her life is in danger after they’ve crashed their ship. They’re on an away mission, crash the ship and they’re losing life support. Naomi finds out that this has happened and she’s mad at Neelix for not telling her this is going on. And there’s a scene after that where I’m in the holodeck and Neelix comes to find me and talk to me, and in the scene, Neelix is talking about how he lost his family.
Ethan Phillips is one of the funniest dudes on the planet, but he’s such a great actor, too, and he didn’t get too many chances to show just how good a dramatic actor he was on that show because he was kind of the quirky, funny Neelix. But he was really, really good in that scene, and I remember that it was hard not to cry while we were doing that scene because he was so emotional and it was so real.
Switching gears entirely, post-Trek and during your run on Reba, you battled anorexia. You went public with your struggle and your recovery. Are we right in guessing that you heard from a lot of young people who were very appreciative of you sharing your story? And how are you now?
SP: I’m probably the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life, actually. Anorexia is a mental illness. It’s something that you carry the effects of with you for the rest of your life, like with any mental illness or any unstable period of your life that you go through. It’s one of those things where I don’t know what my life would have been like if it hadn’t happened as well. But definitely, the best thing that could have come out of that was being able to help other women — and men. Eating disorders, they affect men, too. So it was really incredible, actually, to see how many people reached out to me and thanked me, and still do to this day.
What are you up to these days?
SP: I’m a photographer, first of all. I do mostly fashion stuff, but I also shoot bands. I shoot their promo pictures and stuff like that, and a little bit of concerts, too. I don’t do concert photography as much as I used to because it’s not as fun, not as creative. With fashion and other kinds of shoots, I can be a little more creative and have more say on the concepts whatnot.
I also dig jewelry and I have an online store called The Mermaid’s Lure. I design the jewelry. It’s mostly pieces with different kinds of stones and crystals. It’s pretty simple. It’s a hobby I like and other people liked what they saw when I was wearing it out, so I started making it and selling it.
I still do music, but I do it mostly for myself and not for money, not for a living. There’s no money in it anyway. Right now, I’m working on an industrial metal project with my best friend. I also started learning how to play mandolin a couple of years ago, so I’m writing songs for that, too, now, which has been great fun.
So are you done with acting?
SP: Pretty much. I’ve been doing some voiceover work here and there, but for the most part I’m focused on the music and photography. That keeps me busy and happy, and I can make enough of a living doing it.
You’ll be in Las Vegas for Creation Entertainment’s big Trek event. How often do you do conventions and how big a kick do you get out of meeting the fans?
POMERS: I think the last one I did was also the one in Vegas, and I want to say that was 2010 or 2011. That was a blast. Honestly, the Star Trek fans are the best fans ever. I know everybody says that and I’ve said it a million times, too, but it’s true. I’ve never met a nicer, more-generous and just really amazing group of fans than the Star Trek fans. I love meeting them. I’ve never had a boring or bad experience going to one of these conventions. Plus it’s pretty cool to be in Vegas. You can hang out and party afterward, which is always a good time.
We saw you at that convention, actually. We happened to be there when you and Jeri Ryan ran into each other, and it was like witnessing a mother and daughter reunion…
POMERS: Yeah, it was so great to see her. She’s really awesome. Jeri’s been working her ass off since Star Trek and having success. She’s a really, really cool lady, just very smart and comfortable and a strong actress. When I was on Star Trek, she and Kate Mulgrew just totally owned that show. It was amazing when they stepped on set. They just got their work done and were role models for me growing up.
This interview has been edited and condensed