Terry Farrell spoke yesterday about her frenzied first few weeks on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and how, over time, she developed the character, with the Trill taking on several of her own attributes. Today, in the second half of our interview, Farrell discusses her decision to depart DS9 after the sixth season, fills us in on what her life is like now, and shares her excitement about the upcoming 45th anniversary festivities at Creation’s Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas.
A lot of fans were surprised that you didn’t return as Dax in some way, shape or form in the final season of DS9. How about you?
Farrell: Yes. Yes. I did not want to die. I would have been so happy if they just would have let me be a recurring (character) the final season, so I didn’t have to be in every episode. I was just really tired. I was tired of waking up at four in the morning. I was tired of all the minutiae. I’m sure a lot of the other actors feel this way, too. When you’re number five (on the call sheet), you’re waiting for that schedule to arrive and it becomes frustrating. You want to feel like you have your life again, and I’d definitely put my life on hold because I didn’t know how to balance a schedule constantly changing all the time. It was really hard for me.
After you left, did you watch DS9 at all?
Farrell: No. No, I didn’t. I didn’t because the person replacing me, I didn’t want to not like them or be jealous, because I knew I would be. I loved Dax. I didn’t not love playing the character. I didn’t not love the show. I didn’t not love the people. Just the routine of it all, I needed a break. I personally just needed a mental break and, unfortunately, I wasn’t mature enough to maybe present it in the way of saying, “Could I please be a recurring character?” I’m sure at that point, too, for Rick Berman and those people, it was all or nothing. They were angry because I wasn’t doing what they wanted me to do or expected me to do. So it was an unfortunate situation all the way around.
Are you at the stage now, though, where you can sit down with your son Max and watch episodes of the show?
Farrell: Yes. Well, see, now the hard thing is I’ll be watching a show where I’m with Worf (Michael Dorn) and I’ll be like, “Huuuuuuugghhhh! Do I kiss Michael in this episode? Do I kiss someone else?” My character wasn’t predictable enough for me to go, “Yeah, that’ll be an easy episode to get through with my seven-year-old!” But he has seen “Trials and Tribble-ations.” So that’s the one episode he’s seen so far. But he has my action figure. Dax plays with everyone – Sonic and Buzz Lightyear. Dax is always by their side, which is pretty cool.
What are you doing these days?
Farrell: I’m a registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance. I have my 200 hours in and I teach at our local rec center. It’s twice a week and I have a nice little class. I started to garden again this year. And, of course, I’m a mom and a wife. That’s what I do.
Would you say that you’re officially retired from acting and, if so, why?
Farrell: Well, I guess I am officially retired from acting and I’d say that’s because my focus is on my family. I waited so long to put this family together. I came from a home where my mother had been married and divorced a couple of times and it was a really scary thing for me to commit. It took a long time for me to realize that I was the problem, that I was the runaway bride. When I finally met the right guy my life suddenly became very real, and I didn’t want to lose any of those amazing things I’d just gotten: the right guy, somebody who wanted to have a family with me. So, after living in Los Angeles for 21 years, I thought we’d probably have a better shot at having a healthy and strong marriage if we weren’t doing what we were doing, which was essentially waiting for whatever job to come along and letting your life sort of unfold like you’re gypsies. I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to do that to a marriage and I certainly didn’t want to bring a child into the world in that situation. That’s for me. That’s me. It’s too much for me to do everything. And I wanted to raise my son myself. I didn’t want to have to have a nanny. There are days now when I wish I’d had one, but I didn’t. Max still loves me, so it’s all good.
You still make the occasional Star Trek convention appearance, and you’ll be up there on the stage at Creation’s 45th Anniversary show next week. What do you still enjoy about doing the shows?
Farrell: Oh my gosh, I’m more relaxed than I’ve ever been. When I was doing them while doing the show I was always stressed out about time and learning lines and being sleep-deprived and lonely because I was single, and all those crazy things that happen when you’re single. Plus, I was usually racing back to L.A. to do the show. Now I can just enjoy it more. I’m still going back to my life, but I’m not rushing back. It’s not like I have a deadline or someone yelling at me about possibly missing a flight and being late (for work). I always felt like I was constantly trying to ride this precarious edge. And I just didn’t have the energy to do all of it. Now I can bring my family with me. Mommy can go to work and I feel like I don’t have to worry about anything. I can say hi to everyone and they enjoy the conventions, and I do, too. And at night I get to go hang out with my husband and son, my mom and dad, and it just feels more like life should be.
Who from the old Trek days are you still in touch with?
Farrell: I try, but it’s hard for me because I live so far away from everybody. I used to see Marina (Sirtis) all the time. Armin Shimerman’s wife, Kitty, and I would always talk about going for a run, and then we’d wind up going to breakfast instead. And I’d see Brent (Spiner) and Michael Dorn. But now I really don’t see them because I live so far away, which is another reason why I enjoy it when I do a convention. I get to see some of my friends. And I did get in touch with Whoopi (Goldberg) because of the No H8 Campaign. I got my picture taken for No H8, which supports the right to marry who you love. Whoopi and I were going to try to do a picture together. It didn’t work out, but it was great because it put me back in touch with her. I’d actually never worked with her on Star Trek, but we were connected through Hollywood Squares. I was on Becker (with Goldberg’s then-boyfriend, Ted Danson), which was on CBS, and Hollywood Squares was CBS, so it was fun to meet her like that.
To read part one of our interview with Terry Farrell, click HERE.