Jeri Ryan Explains Why She Turned Down Star Trek: Nemesis Role

It has been reported before that Star Trek Voyager’s Jeri Ryan was offered the chance to reprise her role as Seven of Nine in the 2002 movie Star Trek: Nemesis, but had scheduling conflicts. In a new interview the actress explains how she was offered the part (which appears to be more than a cameo), and why she turned it down.    

 

Jeri Ryan explains why she turned down Star Trek: Nemesis role

On this week’s Nerdist Podcast, Star Trek: Voyager’s Jeri Ryan said that she wasn’t sad there was never a Voyager movie. She also confirmed reports she was offered a role in Star Trek: Nemesis and indicated it was bigger than a cameo:

When I got off [Voyager] I was very very lucky to step right into a David Kelley show [Boston Public]. That was when they were shooting [Star Trek: Nemesis] Paramount called Rick Berman and said "put Jeri Ryan in the movie" which is very nice and flattering and Rick called and said "do you want to be in the movie?" And I was like "hmmmm." I just did four years in a catsuit and I just got on a David Kelley show, which was my one chance to break out of Star Trek, which was still frankly a fear that I wasn’t going to be able to escape that and do something else. You have very little outs in a TV series contract, so I didn’t want my first step once David Kelley made this role for me to be "hey, could you let off for a couple months to do Star Trek."

But it wasn’t just a matter of timing and wanting to change her image, Ryan also didn’t feel she fit in a movie with the TNG crew:

I told them if there was a reason for this character to appear in the story, then absolutely. If there was a good story reason, then absolutely, but she never interacted with any of the characters on [Star Trek: The Next Generation], she’s never met them. Why would she be there? They would be plugging her in just to plug her in. It was just odd. So it wasn’t the right thing to do…They understood, but then he was like "Do you want to do a cameo at the wedding?" And I was like "no, if I don’t want to be in the movie, why would I want to do a cameo."

It has been conjectured that the role offered to Ryan for Nemesis was just a cameo and was rewritten for Kate Mulgrew. But Ryan’s account makes it sound like she could have had a more significant role than Mulgrew’s brief appearance as Admiral Janeway issuing orders to Capt. Picard, especially bearing in mind Ryan’s comment about needing "a couple months" for Star Trek shooting.


Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine on "Star Trek: Voyager" and Kate Mulgrew as Adm. Janeway in "Star Trek: Voyager" – Ryan turned down "Nemesis" role

It’s worth listening to the full podcast for a fun discussion with Jeri about her career, Twitter, cooking and her new show Body of Proof.

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Harry Ballz
June 8, 2011 10:22 pm

If Jeri Ryan didn’t have a big chest, she wouldn’t even be on our radar!

Tiberius Mudd
June 8, 2011 10:37 pm

Just… astounding. Nemesis was a gigantic cluster’farr.

Necros
June 8, 2011 10:47 pm

Still better than the crap Abrams made…

Jack
June 8, 2011 10:54 pm

1. Sigh.

June 8, 2011 11:01 pm

she is the star of VOY.

never forget it.

June 8, 2011 11:02 pm

Nemesis was so mediocre, I don’t know if it would have been better or worse with 7 of 9 in it. :-/

June 8, 2011 11:04 pm

A good reason? Jerry Ryan would be the reason.

I would have seen the movie more than once had she been in it.

Come on Harry, no one talks about your ballz that way.

Irishtrekkie
June 8, 2011 11:48 pm

i would have much prefer if paramount , had put some damn romulans in its movie set on their home planet Romulus.

No instead we get a clone , b4 , and the Remans(pulled out of fresh air)

seriously there was like one real Romulan in the movie, Commander Donatra

BitterTrekkie
June 8, 2011 11:49 pm

8 Irishtrekkie.
I didn’t hate Nemesis, but I agree, it should have focused on the Romulans

Marvin the Martian
June 9, 2011 12:27 am

Everyone has their opinions about what is best… I get it, but I anyone who thinks Nemesis was a better movie than 2009 Trek is on crack.

Anyone remember The Defacer’s early release of the annotated Nemesis script? That was a brilliant takedown of a horrible script that became a even more horrible movie.

Just the fact that Berman was looking to “plug her into” a role says all you need to know about how Nemesis was nothing more than a collection of spare parts.

OLLEY OLLEY OLLEY
June 9, 2011 1:01 am

Paramount : “Put Jeri in the movie”

Nemesis had too many people giving their input including Pat Stewart and Brent Spiner.

Trekboi
June 9, 2011 1:41 am

sounds like the ususal desperate gimmicks of the berman era- but if they thought of merits of having jeri why didn’t they think of an epic multi cast film.

Dr. Cheis
June 9, 2011 1:47 am

What? What could they have possibly done with her in that movie?

Sit her at the wedding? Sure, let’s put her at the wedding of two people she’s never met. While we’re at it, let’s sit her next to that famous black lady who played a part on the TV show. I remember she had some connection with the Borg or something from one of the episodes, right? They will get along fine. And then we don’t have to fill up dialog with that kid because we’ll have more interesting people to say it.

No wait, let’s make her the new science officer who interfaces with Data and helps him realize he is different from B4, because if he makes that realization on his own, the audience won’t understand how a machine can differentiate between two androids.

Or maybe she can drive the Argo and shoot at stuff. She’s like the Angelina Jolie of Star Trek, and people love seeing Angelina shoot stuff!

===

I actually kind of liked Nemesis, but there were far too many things in that movie just because they felt like putting things in the movie and not because they were good for the story or the theme. Jeri Ryan simply didn’t belong there without a radically different story.

Mike Thompson UK
June 9, 2011 2:34 am

Another sign that Berman had lost it!

June 9, 2011 3:19 am

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Ah heck. The movie couldn’t have possibly been worse. It could only have made it better. Two negatives equals a positive, right?

Ric
June 9, 2011 4:04 am

Maybe if they had started the movie with Riker et al already transferred to the Titan, they could have written Seven in as part of his crew, though she never really was part of Starfleet officially. Hey, if Tuvok ended up on the Titan in the non-canon novels, anything is possible if you really put effort into the writing… unfortunately, we all know what we ended up with instead…

James Cannon - Runcorn Trekkie UK
June 9, 2011 4:13 am

#11; Agreed:

Paramount : “Put Jeri in the movie”

Did no one even think or have the balls to say:
“ermm.. why? what for? its not necessary or relevant? “

naysaynever
June 9, 2011 4:36 am

@3 Necros

huh? what do you mean?

VZX
June 9, 2011 5:21 am

16:

Yeah, that would have made sense! Even start with Riker as captain of the Titan for the past 3 years, and his crew could have consisted of Tuvok, Wesley as Cheif Engineer, maybe even Dr. Bashir for some more Trek-flavor.

But, then, there was so much of Nemesis that pissed me off. I only watched that movie twice and will never watch it again.

Magic_Al
June 9, 2011 5:30 am

On the other hand, having William Shatner guest star on Boston Public turned out great.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
June 9, 2011 5:50 am

I think maybe she read the Script and just ran the other way. Nemisis was ok. The Fighting with the Semitar and the Enterprise was the only thing about the Movie i loved. The Story was so retreaded and the plot was just not very good.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
June 9, 2011 5:52 am

In my opnion. When they made Nemises they forgot to make it Star Trek.

Damian
June 9, 2011 6:00 am

14–It was Paramount who apparently told Rick Berman to put her in the movie, not the other way around. Part of the reason for some of the problems with the later Berman years was studio interference. I can’t tell you how many interviews I saw with many different people involved with Star Trek that have noted Paramount wanted this, Paramount wanted that. Rick Berman may have been at the helm, as it were, but Paramount was at the captain’s seat.

Re: the article, I don’t really see what Seven could have added to Nemesis. She is right that this was not her crew and it probably would have been awkward. The novel “Before Dishonor” did include her, but she was needed for her Borg expertise. With Nemesis focusing on the Romulans, it would have been hard to see a reason for Seven to be needed. I’m one of those who liked Nemesis. It’s an average Star Trek movie and it’s one major flaw was that it was not geared to a larger audience. But as a Star Trek fan, I thought it was fine.

Admiral New
June 9, 2011 6:18 am
It would have been interesting to have Seven appear in Nemesis, though I suspect it would have made things more complicated than necessary. The writers would have had to explain the whole Borg thing (for the benefit of the uninitiated), then justify why they brought in the Borg to the story, when they don’t make an appearance anyway. Unless Seven comes up with some Borg-inspired plan to undermine Shinzon’s superweapon or something, in which case her injection into the story (besides being a studio decision) becomes nothing more than a cheap plot device. Besides, the writers could just come up with some clever tech-talk among the principal characters to resolve any plot complications, and no one (not even the Trek vets) would be the wiser. Nemesis fails because it fails to effectively exploit its central nature/nurture theme. We’re never really convinced that Picard and Shinzon possess the potential to be the other, so there’s no genuine tension. It doesn’t help that this entire issue is *verbally* discussed. Picard doesn’t *realize* that he’s Shinzon’s mirror– Shinzon TELLS him that! (And for some inexplicable reason, Picard is actually bothered by it. Why? Because he and Shinzon had the same illness when they were kids? Really? That’s it?) Then at crunch time, Picard doesn’t *realize* that Shinzon was wrong– Instead, Data *lectures* him about how experience and personal aspiration all make the difference. I mean, wouldn’t it have been more interesting to have Picard actually face a moral dilemma that Shinzon has had… Read more »
June 9, 2011 6:24 am

I never doubted for one second while watching Nemesis, that it was a Star Trek film I was watching… It’s a better entry in the franchise than either Generations or Insurrection. Definitely darker, perhaps more than any other but there are good moments. Picard quite never giving up on turning Shinzon around and Data switching places with him right at the end. It just lacked more emotional involvement on the Direction side, that Frakes or Stewart (or anybody intimately involved with these characters) would’ve brought. Stuart Baird was an action Director winging it between the set-pieces and possibly focused too much on Shinzon’s side of the story – the things that interested him most. More build up and emotional investiment was needed with the TNG crew. They were hollow, lifeless and going through the motions, in the same way the TOS crew were in The Motion Picture. There’s no zest or playfulness up there on screen.

Cygnus-X1
June 9, 2011 6:29 am

And I was like “no, if I don’t want to be in the movie, why would I want to do a cameo.”

And he was like, “Because I’ve been out of ideas for years now and my movie sucks. ”

And I was like, “Well, just make sure you get someone good to direct.”

And he was like, “No worries, I’ve got this great guy who’s never seen a Star Trek episode in his life. He’s got no baggage, and he’ll bring a fresh approach to invigorate the franchise.”

And I was like, “I dunno, dude…sounds like a big mistake.”

And he was like, “Hey, I’m Rick Motherf*ckin’ Berman, and don’t you dare question my production decisions.”

And I was like, “Right, I’m out. Later bra. Good luck.”

And after I hung up he was like, “She’s totally into me. My movie’s gonna rock. Because I’m Rick Berman.”

Miko
June 9, 2011 6:35 am

‘Set a course for earth, kill everything’ Best line in the film… Shame it doesn’t actually happen!
The only time i felt earth was in real danger was when the Xindi tried to destroy it! And for the most part succeeded cutting a huge swath across the planet! Bring back the Xindi!

Vger23
June 9, 2011 7:09 am

27-

How could you think that “Earth was in real danger” when ENT was a prequel, and Earth is just fine in the 23rd and 24th centuries?

OH NOES! EARTH IS GUNNA GET BLOWED UP!!!

Nope.

rblaine
June 9, 2011 7:34 am

#27. because the threat was actually from interference from the future in an attempt to change history.

ST:EXP
June 9, 2011 8:02 am

Whoa. What a hateful bunch of posters. No insight into what actually occurs or no involvement in the entertainment industry. Just trolling news stories to bash.

Continue…I love reading the hate. PROCEED please.

I would like a bizarro-website…. DoucheWeb.com

I would love if fans created a website and posted info about their crap jobs and meaningless promotions and initiatives. And the only people allowed to post comments on the stories is Star Trek producers who could bash the fans.

Do you realize that 99% of the people who post in these forums would crap their pants and have a heart attack if they only had a fractional percentage of the responsibility and pressure that a random producer like Rick Berman had over a period of 20 years.

Damian
June 9, 2011 8:29 am

I actually thought bringing in a director who had no previous involvement with Star Trek was the right idea. Obviously Stuart Baird was not the guy. While I liked Nemesis, it did not have the broad based appeal it needed.

But it’s interesting to see how many posters bash Berman for bringing in a guy who was never involved with Star Trek to give it some fresh input (along with John Logan) while saying at the time Star Trek needed fresh blood. Actually, other than Rick Berman and the production crew, there was very little involvement from the Berman people in writing. John Logan was largely in charge of the story itself and Baird in charge of the filming.

IMO, Berman had the right idea bringing in new people to write and direct, he just could have done a better job picking his director (I actually think Logan’s script had potential). Stuart Baird is a fine editor (he has been editor on a number of great films out there, The Omen, Lethal Weapon, Superman, Casino Royale) just not such a good director.

Damian
June 9, 2011 8:36 am

25–I agree with you. Generations and Insurrection were two that could have just as easily been episodes of the TV series. They were ok and I watch them when I’m in the mood. But they seemed TV material. First Contact and Nemesis were the two TNG movies that seemed to have the scope of a motion picture. They were the two films that I could say I could not envision in the TV series. They felt like bonafide movies to me.

I’ll be honest, I never understood the Nemesis hate. If I never read these sights I would never realize Nemesis engendered such hate among some Star Trek fans. I left the theater and though it was a decent Star Trek film. Not the best but stronger than say Star Trek V (for the record, I did like Star Trek V, but it is clearly the weakest of the films) and Nemesis was a lot better than a lot of other crap that’s out there these days. I happily own the special edition DVD (along with the other 10 films) and have watched it a couple times since buying it.

Phil
June 9, 2011 8:37 am

Three posts in, JJ shots start …

June 9, 2011 8:44 am

28. & 29. – To borrow a tag line from Doctor Who…

“Time can be rewritten.”

Polly
June 9, 2011 8:50 am

Nemesis. grrr….

Buzz Cagney
June 9, 2011 9:12 am

Better than the crap that JJ made? Really? I accept the concept ‘each to their own’ but surely prefering Nemesis over ’09 is just taking fickleness to a whole new level!

Desstruxion
June 9, 2011 9:13 am

@#1. Harry I also noticed her legs.

Horatio
June 9, 2011 9:18 am

This just proves that those who had control of Star Trek (the faceless suits at Paramount and Mr Berman) are the reason why the franchise took a face-plant into the tarmac.

BitterTrekkie
June 9, 2011 9:19 am

36 Count me in among those who prefer Nemesis.

Red Dead Ryan
June 9, 2011 9:57 am

Well, “Nemesis” IS better than “The Final Frontier” and “Insurrection”. “Insurrection” is the worst and beyond redemption because of it’s inherent racism.

I’d like to see a re-edit of “Nemesis” where the mental-rape scene is removed and the name “B-4” redubbed “Lore”. And possibly include some of the deleted scenes that were left out.

“The Final Frontier” needs better visuals. Paramount would be wise to get ILM to re-do the effects. Wouldn’t cover up William Shatner’s horrid directing and acting, but definitely would go a long way to reducing the cheesiness of the film.

And finally, I am glad Jeri Ryan WAS NOT in “Nemesis”. She would have been out of place. Admiral Janeway, on the other hand, was a wonderful cameo that felt natural while being a nice nod to “Voyager”.

CmdrR
June 9, 2011 10:34 am

Nemesis and Insurrection played like Trek off the tracks, while Final Frontier seems like a Trek wreck.
So hard to choose. It’s seriously hard not to want those movies to be better than they are, I see the seed of a good movie in each. Then, I see the thumb prints of studio suits, and the scars of budget cuts, and the wipe marks of a director who decided to hijack the franchise without respect.

Anyway… we’re on a new course now.

Oh wait, I just reread the actual topic here.

JERRY RYAN IS GORGEOUS!!!!

DS9 Rocks
June 9, 2011 10:35 am

B-4
A human pro-consul of Romulus
Picard clone… who is the human pro-consul of Romulus
B-4
Murder of the *entire* Romulan Senate… by a human… without a peep from any Romulan, military or civilian
*Admiral* Janeway
B-4
Ship-to-ship outer space jump
Data’s death
Data’s reincarnation
Mental rape
B-4 (did I mentioned that one?)
….

I am sorry, but to me, the damage the Nemesis plot wrought on the Trek universe was paramount to the anti-climactic death of Kirk in Generations. And worst of all, it was done without a reason! Obviously JJ Trek changed the universe a lot, but that was for a very good reason (or, even you might say, out of necessity due to Nemesis’ failures).

I own Nemesis, but I cannot get through it without throwing up in my mouth a little. Worst. Movie. Ever.

I’d rather watch Spock’s Brain in an infinite loop.

DS9 Rocks
June 9, 2011 10:40 am

@30. What??

Who are you? Is this your first time out of a dark box in which you’ve been living?

Anyone whose profession is *entertaining* masses better be ready from some heavy criticism from those masses should they stumble. Their worth to society only comes from the love of the masses, so they (and you) better listen to the hate, or get the hell out of the “kitchen.”

Jesustrek
June 9, 2011 10:47 am

Hey Orci…Seven of Nine es un personaje bastante interesante recordemos que fue enlistada por la USS RELATIVITY a varias (o una sola) asignaciones temproales en VOY , Jeri Ryan ademas de ser una bella mujer es un personaje iconico de Star Trek aqui es donde puede entrar la Relativity y Seven of Nine un buen punto para unir TOS y TNG por un breve o buen momento de la historia…¿resuelto el 30% del guion? (ja eso espero como fan).

Saludos ;)

Horatio
June 9, 2011 10:53 am

The one good thing about the new JJ Trekverse is that perhaps… perhaps…. certain things that happened in the prime universe will not happen in the JJ-verse ie – Kirk’s pointless death, or even, perhaps the whole Nemesis timeline!!

Daoud
June 9, 2011 11:26 am

In retrospect, the only thing that could have possibly made Nemesis work, was for Patrick Stewart to also portray Shinzon. A Tale of Two Picards would have been excellent. And maybe someone at Paramount could have said “Hey, get Denise Crosby in this as Sela and use her as the explanation for them cloning Picard.”
.
The role for Jeri Ryan would have been Shinzon kidnapping her to extract Borg nanoprobes from her to modify use to take over (rather than destroy) the Senate, and thus take over Romulus and Remus. Much better than the B4 storyline.

ST:EXP
June 9, 2011 11:39 am

43…… whaaaaaa? “Their worth to society”. ???

“You didn’t entertain me!!! You are now deemed worthless to society!!! Into the oven with you!!!”

Of COURSE they entertained you, or you wouldn’t be writing in a Star Trek forum.

You can see any of these 2 hour films for anywhere between $5 and $19 depending what your source is.

It provided you for 2 hours of entertainment PER movie PER viewing plus all the time you spend on these websites emotionally involved.

I think they did their job for your money.

Meanwhile… if I have a substandard sandwich at Subway for $8 which I’d consume in under 10 minutes…. I’d be branded an asshole if I endlessly bashed their restaurant chains on their Facebook page.

How much money does someone spend to watch a single movie by which they then feel they have the right to perform character assassination in perpetuity?

Be fortunate they have assembled these movies “for the masses” and don’t individually pursue legal action for the very clear case of defamation of character which they endure daily.

There is nothing on the back of your movie ticket that says someone can call out a producer *by name* and continually call them a worthless asshole loser.

If someone criticized an open work of yours on the most minor level, you’d go apeshit.

Case in point… your forum posting.

P.S.

Hey, have I just entertained the masses?

P.S.S.

Nemesis sucked ballz.

Buzz Cagney
June 9, 2011 11:46 am

#39 Thats fine, as I said, to each their own. But I can honestly tell you I find it baffling even while i respect your right to chose.

Harry Ballz
June 9, 2011 12:18 pm

47. “Nemesis sucked ballz”

I’ve never even MET Ms. Nemesis!

VOODOO
June 9, 2011 12:35 pm

Harry #1

You are exactly right!

7 of 9 was nothing more than a supermodel in a cat suit that was 7 sizes too small.

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