In the second half our exclusive interview with Linda Park, the former Star Trek: Enterprise star answers more of your questions. Among the topics: Park’s inspiration for Hoshi Sato, the controversial Enterprise series finale, and her thoughts on her post-Star Trek career.
Who was the biggest practical joker on the Enterprise set?
Park: Oh, hands down, it was Scott (Bakula).
Were the alien dialects and dialogue all scripted or partially you making them up on the spot?
Park: They were completely scripted, but I and whoever was working on the scene with me, we’d make up the dialects.
Who or what was your inspiration for Hoshi?
Park: Hmmmm, I guess… I don’t know. I took so much of it from my own personal journey.
Someone else actually asked how much of the character was you…
Park: Every part, there is a lot of me. But I take that kernel and I just say, “What if not just on certain occasions I was insecure and a loner and shy and just a dreamer-romantic? What if that was me not just in these circumstances, but in 70% percent of my circumstances?” Then I’d just grow that part of it. Hoshi was a very secret, younger aspect of myself, a less-confident aspect of myself.
If you could have worked on any other Star Trek show or movie, which would you have liked to work on and why?
Park: Definitely I would say the new Star Trek movie. It’s my sensibility to have something that completely does a fresh, fresh, fresh take on everything. I think Zachary Quinto is an extraordinary actor. I hadn’t watched Heroes on TV, but I was in Bulgaria shooting a movie and didn’t have any TV there. So I downloaded all of the first season of Heroes and watched it. It was like chips; I couldn’t stop. I became a big fan of Zachary Quinto, and I thought he was an incredible Spock in the movie. Chris Pine and I have the same agent, and I’m a fan of his as well. I just saw him in The Lieutenant of Inishmore, at the Geffen in Los Angeles. So it would have been a lot of fun to work with some contemporaries who I think are pretty great.
What were your thoughts on the Enterprise finale, which was basically one episode to tie up everything? Was that frustrating? Did you feel like an extra in a TNG story?
Park: (Laughs) I did feel like an extra in a TNG story, but I didn’t mind. We hadn’t bonded with any of the other casts, really, except for the Next Generation cast. It was for a couple of reasons. Marina (Sirtis) and I ended up doing a small movie together, so I knew her previously. Michael Dorn and I were friends and we had the same publicist for a while. Brent Spiner had been on a few episodes, and he was so funny and wonderful. LeVar Burton had directed the show. There was a lot of crossover even before the finale had happened, and so we welcomed them with open arms because they were like friends coming to hang out some more. Jonathan (Frakes) had directed some episodes, too, and he’s such a fun guy. I felt like it was… not a finale that you’d hope and dream for, but it was a fun finale for an actor just to be on because there were great friends around.
What was the best thing that happened to you as a result of your involvement with Star Trek?
Park: I think the best thing that’s happened to me is that, with more and more retrospect, I see what a big impact Star Trek does have not only on our culture, but on many people. Even today when I get letters, some of them are about other things I’ve done, but most of them are about Star Trek. The ripple effect of this show is endless. It has been for a couple of generations and will be for generations to come. Now, with J.J. Abrams having resurrected Star Trek for newer audiences and really having made it cool again, it’s something I’m really proud – as I get older; now I’m in 32 and thinking about family – to have been a part of, that it’s something I’ll share with my family. I’ll share everything I’ve done with my family, but Star Trek will be something really special to share with them.
What of your post-Enterprise work are you proudest of?
Park: A lot of the work that I’ve done has been with ensembles. I loved the show Raines, even though it was only on for however many episodes we did. I was very proud of that show and it’s a show I’d pick up and watch just as an audience member. Even now sometimes I’ll watch an episode because I just loved the show in its entirety. I was also so honored to have been on a show with Dennis Hopper, who I was such a fan of. That was Crash. It was near the end, and I didn’t get to do a scene with him, but I was honored to work on a project with him. I just finished something that was a big thing for me, which is Elektra. I did a production of that up at the Getty Villa with Olympia Dukakis, and that was a really, really formative moment for me personally. She and I went to the same drama school and she spoke at my commencement ceremony. And then to find myself, 10 years after she spoke at my graduation, doing a Greek play with her out in the amphitheater of the Getty Villa, in the Malibu mountains… I’ll always look back on that experience, doing that show on the outdoor stage, as one of the most memorable moments of my life.
What’s next for you, and in what direction would you like your career to go from here?
Park: It’s interesting. I’d thought I wanted to move into doing a lot more film after Star Trek. Then it ended up being, very luckily, TV show after TV show. Something that’s happened during that time is that the level of TV that’s being made now has become incredible. So I’d love to continue pursuing television, and I’d love to continue to find characters that I’ve never played before and that are in genres that I’ve never done before. I love Weeds. I’d actually really, really like to do some comedy. I love comedy and it’s something I haven’t really done before. I love Modern Family. I might totally fail, but I’d love to try my hand at comedy. I just think it’s better to keep trying things you don’t know how to do or haven’t done before because that’s what keeps you alive and vibrant and hungry and searching. And I’ve been writing a lot more lately. So I’d like to make my own movie or TV show at some point.