Nichelle Nichols Almost Had ‘Star Trek’ Cameo?

According Nichelle Nichols, the original Uhura, there was talk about her getting a cameo role in the new Star Trek movie. Nichols, who has previously spoken enthusiastically about visiting the movie set and meeting both the new Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and director JJ Abrams, made this new revaluation Saturday at the Supernova Pop Culture Expo in Perth Australia.

Here is what Nichols had to say about her meeting with JJ Abrams on the lot at Paramount:

He was very excited… like a young fan. He was like ‘I can’t believe I am sitting here with Uhura.’ And he said ‘You know, I would really like to find a valid reason for you to be in the movie.’ And, of course, I became – ooh! wow! I would love it. But how? And he says ‘that is the point, I don’t want it to be a gimmick, I don’t want to just be doing that to just do it.’ Leonard [Nimoy] is in it because the whole movie is about him, about Spock. …. He said ‘I’m just thinking’ – and he was telling me about the young actress who got the part to play the young Uhura, the pre-Uhura, Zoe Saldana – and he said ‘I think she could learn a lot from a lovely lady’, and he said: ‘You know what I’d love? I’d love for you to play her mother!’ And I said: ‘You know what I’d really like?…I’d like to play her grandmother!’ And he said ‘You’re too young to play her grandmother!’ and I said: ‘This is what grandmother’s look like !’

Nichols went on to say that Abrams wanted to make it happen, but due to the writers strike, which started soon after the meeting, it was not possible. Regardless, it was clear from her appearance in Perth that Nichols was charmed by Abrams and impressed with her visit to the set. She was also very impressed with the new Uhura, Zoe Saldana.

Nichols also touched on other areas and impressed the crowd of around 300 who came to see her, including a few in Starfleet uniform. One topical note she made was that she felt that the vision of the Star Trek’s IDIC was coming true with the recent American presidential campaign and seeing the candidacies of a woman and an African-American run for President. Nichols got a standing ovation at the end of her talk and had long queues of fans lining up to get photographs with her and autographs. The lines for Nichols were much larger than those for Jewel Staite (Kaylee on Firefly) and Kandyse McClure (Duala on BSG).

Nichols entertaining the crowd in Perth Australia
(photo via Sophie’s LJ blog)

VIDEO: Bonus Nichelle Down Under: Spock’s Bike Story
This weekend is actually the second Supanova weekend for Nichols in Australia – Last weekend she was in Sydney. Below is a video from that event (from YouTuber starrylizard), where Nichols talks about Leonard Nimoy’s bike on the Paramount lot back in the day: would like to thank Greg Parker (our new ‘Australian correspondent’) for providing this convention report. If you are ever attending an event that TrekMovie is not at, we are always looking for ‘Trekkie Journalists’ to provide reports from around the world. For more on how you can help, click the tipline (right column) or visit the About page for more contact info.


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