Tracy Scoggins will be among the 100 celebrities transporting out to Las Vegas next month for Creation Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Convention. Wait a second, you may be thinking, “Isn’t Scoggins best known for her long stint as Elizabeth Lochley on Babylon 5 and Crusade?” Well, yes, she is, but she earned her Trek stripes playing Gilora Rejal in the Deep Space Nine episode “Destiny.” Gilora was the tough Cardassian subspace researcher who clashed with O’Brien, but then came to respect him. StarTrek.com recently chatted with Scoggins – whose many other credits span from Dynasty, The Colbys and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman to Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years, Demonic Toys and Castle -- about her DS9 experience, a hysterical William Shatner anecdote and more. Here’s what she had to say:
How did you wind up on DS9?
SCOGGINS: It was an audition. I’d been asked to play a Klingon and, unfortunately, I’d just severed my Achilles doing sports. And, apparently, Klingons are fragile, so I didn’t get to do that part. But I did get Gilora Rejal.
SCOGGINS: I loved everything about it. I loved playing an alien. First of all, she was an intelligent alien, a science officer. I like playing aliens because every day is like Halloween when you’re doing it. You’re free to misbehave. You’re free to take license. You might do things that you wouldn’t do playing, say, the daughter of a dean. When I did DS9, most of my scenes were with Colm Meaney, and I’m a huge fan of his. And I liked that she had an edge to her. She was smart and had this edge, and yet I also got to be sexy. Nobody cared that she was sexy, but she got to be sexy.
SCOGGINS: I’d never done anything like that before, not in theater, not in anything. I had 3 a.m. makeup calls and I loved my makeup and my kind of Grace Jones hair and all the prosthetics. I was there at 3 a.m. and then was in rehearsal at 7:30 or 8. There were a couple of other female science officers, and at least one of them became quite claustrophobic in all the makeup. That can happen, and I’m glad it didn’t happen to me. She asked if they could take little breaks once in a while, and they were very accommodating. And I’d utilize those times…
To scare kids on the lot? So that story is true?
SCOGGINS: It is! I went around the Paramount lot and terrorized kids who were there on field trips, and I insulted studio executives. I had a ball. I would literally walk up to these precious little children and say, “Oh, what are you doing here?” The kids would tell me they’re having hamburgers at the commissary and I’d tell them I like to eat children who like to eat hamburgers. So they’d go screaming off to their teacher. Finally, security called the sound stage and said, “Could you guys try a little harder to keep your aliens contained over there.”
SCOGGINS: I haven’t really been focusing on work lately. I was in Texas because I lost my mom a few years ago. So I was going through probate. You have four years to do it, and I just finally did it, nearly the end of the time limit. It’s on me because I’m the last twig on the family tree on either side. So, all of my family’s things and affairs have ended up with me. It’s not fun, but I have intrepid DNA from both my parents, so I’ll get through it. I’ll make it.
You will be at Creation’s big event in August. You’ve done conventions before. How do you enjoy meeting the fans, answering questions from the stage, signing autographs, etc.?
SCOGGINS: I truly, truly enjoy them and look forward to them. I don’t how much people know about me, but I’m a huge geek. I feel like, “This is my land. These are my people.”
You’re far better known for Babylon 5 than Star Trek. Do you ever feel like a Yankees fan at Fenway Park when you do a Trek convention?
SCOGGINS: (Laughs). Never, never. I was an original Star Trek fan. The original Star Trek helped my mold my life. Mr. Spock… it makes me emotional just thinking about Leonard Nimoy. I played competitive chess as a child and there was no girls’ team because I was always the only girl. Kids would tease me. I don’t like the word bully. But they’d be somewhat unkind. And here came Mr. Spock with his 3D chess set. Suddenly, I was like, “Who’s your daddy now?”
SCOGGINS: Bill was the team captain. I’d actually worked with him on T.J. Hooker. He remembered me because I’d played an aerobics instructor. But I thought Battle of the Network Stars would be this fun weekend of getting together with some pals, getting some sun and exercising a little. But, boy, Shatner wanted to win! And we didn’t win. We came in second. I remember that we were playing football. We were losing. He said, “I’m Canadian. You’re from Texas. Make us win.” I said, “The only way I can win is if I cripple some of my friends out there or if I draw some bogus fouls, which may or may not get caught, and we could get penalized.” He said, “Draw the fouls! Draw the fouls.” So I did, against some tiny, poor, little blond girl. It was pathetic of me. Even Howard Cosell, who liked me a lot, said, “That was a mighty fishy-looking foul there, but they’re letting Scoggins get away with it.”
Creation Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Convention will be held August 6-9 at the Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas. Visit www.creationent.com for details.