Interview: Nana Visitor On Her Return To Star Trek And The Many Facets Of Kira Nerys

Thursday’s episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks featured a visit to Deep Space 9, along with the return of Kira Nerys from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. TrekMovie had a chance to speak briefly with actress Nana Visitor on Star Trek Day about returning to Trek in animated form along with the possibility of a return to live-action. We also got an update on her Star Trek book and documentary project.

Were you expecting to return to Trek and to get a call from the Lower Decks people?

No, I wasn’t. I mean, Major Kira is a difficult character to some people. So I always go, “Probably not Major Kira.” But that they called and that they drew her so beautifully—not just in terms of the lines, but also the dialogue. That she was so alive and vibrant 30 years later, it was thrilling. It was wonderful. And working with that team was the way collaboration should be: easy, fun, and everyone supporting each other. It was great.

Was how they wrote Kira more broad or was she the way you envisioned she might be after all those years? Because this is a comedy show after all.

Yeah, you know that’s just a difference in tone, really. Like talking to you may be different than the way I talk to my husband before my morning coffee. It’s still me. So in terms of that, it was just Kira mostly with an old friend that she had a rivalry with. So that it was natural for it to be faster and a little more furious and funny. If they were in dangerous situations, of course, the tone changes. So it’s all Kira, just different facets.

Fred Tatasciore as Lieutenant Shaxs, Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman, Jerry O’Connell as Commander Ransom and Nana Visitor as Colonel Kira Nerys

Can you imagine taking the leap from recording booth to being Kira in live action again? And what do you envision that might be like?

I think it would be—look, Kira still lives right here [points to her heart]. They say when you get older, you lose certain things. It just hasn’t been true for me. So certain things have grown like wisdom and certain things like that. But the rest is still there. It doesn’t go away. So I extrapolate that that’s happened for Kira too. She’s still all there.

Last year you talked to us about A Woman’s Trek, your new book and documentary, but then Eaglemoss went out of business, so can you give us an update on the project?

Actually, what made me pause more than Eaglemoss is the fact that I need to talk to all the current women, and they’re on shows that had strict COVID protocols. So I’ve had to wait on a lot of them. And that’s okay. Because meantime, I’ve had incredible experiences of speaking to people who were affected by Star Trek, like the astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who is obviously a huge Star Trek fan. I spoke to her from ESA, in Germany while she was on this Space Station. And I have to tell you when I heard someone say, “Open a channel,” and it was me talking to an astronaut in space, a line that I had said so many times before… it was a knockout moment.

And so you still expect there to be a documentary and book released for this project?

Yes. Yes, I do.

More Lower Decks from Star Trek Day

For more about Lower Decks from Star Trek Day, check out our interview with Tawny Newsome, and our interview with showrunner Mike McMahan.

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The third season of Star Trek: Lower Decks returned on Thursday, August 25, with new episodes dropping weekly on Thursdays, and streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and Latin America and is distributed concurrently by Paramount Global Content Distribution on Amazon Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, India and more and in Canada, airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.

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Visitor really deserves all of the praise and recognition for her acting on DS9. Some of her dramatic scenes are completely heartbreaking. And her deftness at comedy (self-effacing in the case with Kira) is wonderful. I hope they bring her back to do something meaningful in live action.

She’s still a cutie too. Yeah Visitor is a great actress and just played Kira so well. You can tell how much she loved both the character and the show. I’ll be 100% honest, I didn’t love Kira in the beginning because she had a major chip on her shoulder, which of course was the point. But it was the first time in Star Trek that we had a main character that wasn’t a team player from the start or very positive on the Federation or Starfleet. Of course that became very common in all the other shows later, also with their first officers lol. But I came to really like and respect her once we got to know her and her backstory. She was just so different than anything we had seen in Star Trek before, especially for a first officer. Definitely very different from a Spock or a Riker.

I hope we see Kira again and in live action as well. I think this is the start of the DS9 revival and we’ll start to see more of those characters on more shows. While I don’t expect it at all, it would be great if Kira showed up in Picard, even as a cameo.

It’s really unfortunate they unnecessarily threw in Denise Crosby for a cameo in Picard season three
versus having a role for Nana – who is more deserving, is a better actress and whose character is much more beloved by fans,

I have almost zero desire to see Tasha Yar again in Star Trek, but I’d clap my hands, laugh and cry to see Col Kira in a live action role on a serious Trek series again.

Hmm. Was it a binary choice? I wasn’t aware Crosby filmed anything for Picard season 3, merely that Matalas said she’d be seen. Is there new information about a cameo where she’s utilized in a way that easily could have been Kira?

Well it seems quite obvious that they decided to shoe-horn in a way for Crosby to appear just because they wanted to have all the original TNG cast involved. My point is that if they were going to shoe-horn in an additional character from the Berman era, I much would have preferred that if would have been Kira.

And yes, I am assuming this is a cameo role. Can I provide info to prove that’s that case? No. Do I think that it’s 90%+ likely that Crosby is in Picard S3 and that the role is a cameo? Yes

I disagree with this. Yar was part of the TNG cast, and season 3 is an homage to TNG, not DS9. She was also popular and, frankly, led the way for characters like Ro, Kira, and Janeway.

Yar may have preceded Ro, Kira, and Janeway, but in no way did she “lead the way” to them. I would have preferred that they keep Yar, but unfortunately they flushed her well before she had an established persona on which TPTB could base future characters on.

Agreed. And it’s also a fantasy to think she’s hugely popular with fans like Visitor…she’s just not.

It was Crosby’s choice to leave because she felt her character wasn’t being utilized enough. I mean she does have a point but she only gave it like 1/2 of one season. Who knows what might have been for her character had she stayed.

Ok. Well, feel free to keep speculating, it just doesn’t come across as obvious to me based on what we actually know.

Well I can lead a horse to water, but I can’t make him drink. :-)

How do you know she’s “shoehorned” in? Have you seen Season 3 yet?

It’s weird how some people don’t seem to read others’ posts these days and just claim stuff like this. I clearly said:

And yes, I am assuming this is a cameo role. Can I provide info to prove that’s that case? No. Do I think that it’s 90%+ likely that Crosby is in Picard S3 and that the role is a cameo? Yes

So I said, “assuming,” then I directly admitted I can’t provide info to support my claim, and said that I just personally think it’s very likely. So obviously I didn’t claim I know this for a fact?

And by definition, a cameo role is something that is shoehorned in…that’s why it’s a cameo role and not a core role. The definition being:

A Cameo is just a short appearance by a well-known actor, often just for fun.

Thank you for defining cameo for me… I had no idea what one was.


I would have to agree.

Unless I missed something, I didn’t take Terry Matalas comments that Denise Crosby would be seen to mean anything more than that Shatner was seen in STB. I can think of a few ways that Picard, in a reflective moment, could be looking at Yar’s holo-obituary that could be very organic to a story.

Time will tell….

Yeah we may not see anything of Tasha than a photo. Maybe it will be a holographtic image of her, which would be cool, but I don’t think it will be anything more than that.

So Denise Crosby is out there hinting to fans that she’s going to be in Picard S3, but it will just be a photo or holographic image?

I’m not buying that. I rate it at highly likely she’s in a cameo scene, obviously.

But believe what you want. :-)

Dude, who cares? What is your weird obsession with this character lol? OMG, she could be in a cameo????? Woah!! The entire season is in question now.

She could be in the entire season for all I care, I have no issue one way or the other lol. A. I love Tasha and B. As long as she fits whatever the story is, right? Reminder time, you brought this up to complain about something that has zero to do with the article or topic. And now you’re getting into a silly argument with everyone over it that no one else brought up or cares about but you. You have such weird obsessions about the tiniest things man lol.

And FYI, Visitor could still be in the season, so stop whining.

Wow! OK dude, we’ll I just think it’s going to be more than a photo or a hologram given Crosby herself brought this up at a convention. That’s all.

And I plead guilty for not being a fan of the character and being a bit obsessive on it…you are correct,

Before that though she also seemed surprised when told the season had already wrapped, so there’s no telling what will happen. This is the same show that kept Wesley’s cameo under wraps, even enduring the mini maelstrom that occurred when Wil Wheaton was not announced as returning for season 3 with the rest of the TNG cast.

Even if it’s *gasp* a cameo, they are usually what, a five minute scene or less? And it’s a ten hour season. I’m certain you’ll be able to handle it.

For me the more the merrier. Yar was there from the beginning and been around for 35 years now even if Crosby left in the first season. Of course they want her to be part of it in some fashion since it’s celebrating the TNG cast and all. Maybe we should see how it’s done first before complaining about it.

And Matalas hinted we may see more VOY and DS9 actors too so as said that could be Nana Visitor he’s suggesting. Maybe not, but yeah, again maybe wait to see if she’s there first before complaining she’s not there?

The irony of you going after me for calling you out for talking about things that have nothing to do with the article…. and here you are doing the exact same thing because you disagree with somebody. It’s the pot calling the kettle black. Why don’t YOU stop whining?

Dude, you get offensive with EVERYBODY who doesn’t like Discovery. Even when the topic is ABOUT Discovery you still get offended lol. You have told people not to watch the show when they are critical of it. You have been doing this for a year now. I called you out because you have made it a habit to attack anyone who says anything critical about it, which obviously included me.

And I didn’t make an entire post slagging off Discovery, I said one line COMPARING my issues with it with SNW that I thought the canon issues were bad in Discovery. But here is the thing dude, I ALSO said I think the canon issues are bad in SNW as well. Did I not? But then you took offense over it because I was more positive over it with SNW which I also gave my reasons why. But you were just mad I said anything negative about Discovery.

And the reason WHY I compared them is A. they are both prequels B. took place in practically the SAME period, right and C. made by the same people. So is that not a fair comparison, yes or no? Seriously, yes or no?

And btw, if you gave me an argument why I was WRONG, then I would’ve listened and had a conversation about it. You basically was trying to get me to shut up and stop talking bad about a show you like.

You were the one whining dude, not me! Because you responded to ME in that thread first, right? And I only responded to One Lion because he responded to ME first, not the other way around, yeah? If he didn’t respond to me first, I wouldn’t have said anything. See the difference?

Can I get a TL;DR version of this because I have zero time to read your rants. Anytime I post you jump down my throat and honestly, it’s disturbing. Get over yourself because at this point it’s just tragic and sad that you insist on going after me for disagreeing with you. Don’t be a toxic fanboy.

Stop sounding childish. M1701, you get offended by other people’s posts, not the other way around. I don’t even respond to your 99% of posts. I don’t even care, but you are the one who acts like a wounded bird because people say negative things about TV shows and movies on a message board. If you can’t handle it, then you shouldn’t be here. Posters like you come and go here all the time because you can’t handle dissenting opinions. Not our problem.

And if you disagree with people, FINE, tell them why and have a conversation about it. That’s how you do it. If you have an issue with some people’s views, engage with them. Telling to stop watching won’t get you anywhere man. Am I wrong?

And learn the word what ‘toxic’ means. Being critical of something is not toxic. That would mean everyone here was toxic then.

I loved that scene in STB. It was so heartwarming to know that 80+ years after the Enterprise A was decommissioned Spock was still carrying mementos of his time with his crew and his old friends even all the way to Romulus.

Kira was, is, one of my favorite Star Trek characters, all series, movies, eras, you name it. Ms Visitor is such an incredible actress, making her character both tough yet vulnerable and relatable as well. And a note to TPTB, you don’t need a skintight catsuit to have a female character be attractive. It’s all in the personality and the way the actress brings it out on screen. Always had a “crush” on this lady, and still do!

I don’t imagine Kira and Quarks voices were recorded together, but it they were I would be curious to hear thoughts on working with Shimerman again.

They definitely weren’t. They confirmed that on The 7th Rule which is a Star Trek podcast they were interviewed on,

Awww man, that sux. I would have loved the idea of Nana and Armin being together again

Yeah, but it’s pretty common with voice acting. We learned at SDCC Jack Quaid who plays Boimler has never met Fred Tatasciore in real life who plays Shaxs and they been working on the same show for 3 years now lol.

LOL yeah, true enough. Just a fan boy’s dream I suppose :)

Visitor’s acting (as well as that of guest star Harris Yulin) on “Duet” was a good as anything I’ve ever seen on American television. The material was there, and they more than rose to the occasion.

Personally I consider “Duet” to be one of the best episodes of Trek ever made.

I’ve been mostly on a disc moratorium as of late owing to cost of living escalating while wages seem to shrink, but am pretty sure I will complete my ds9 dvd collection. I have had s 4-7 for over 15 years, but now hamiltonbooks is selling 1-3 as a set for ten bucks. Even with shipping, I’m figuring that is just too good of a deal to pass up, just to have PAST TENSE and DUET and the episode with Dukat’s voice recording of ‘attention Bajoran workers,’ which has been a source of comic relief for my wife and I for just about ever.

The image quality issues on ds9 streaming and DVD are seriously massive and impede rewatchability by a signficant amount for me, but at least it is a step up from the 70s when I’d audio record TOS on cassette.

Perhaps my favourite actress in all of Trek. I was beyond thrilled to see Kira and Quark back on my screen for the first time in 23 years!

Nana Visitor is so very good; I’d be happy to see her again.

When my husband talks about Kira, he always calls her “the spunky-but-insubordinate Kira Nerys,” as if “spunky-but-insubordinate” is part of her NAME. :-)


Kira Nerys is a multifaceted character thanks to the brilliant performance of Nana Visitor and the talented writers of DS9. Mike and his team did an excellent job of capturing the voice of Kira Nerys. Thank you LD for that wonderful episode.

For anyone interested, both Nana Visitor and Armin Shimerman did an interview together on a YouTube show called The 7th Rule. It’s the podcast Cirroc Lofton started with Aaron Einsenberg before his passing.

It’s a great interview with a lot of fun insights. A little over an hour long but well worth it for DS9/Lower Decks fans. But it was clear just how much fun both of them had bringing their characters back after 20 years and thought the episode really honored DS9.

Thanks for the heads up, watching now.

Thanks for telling us about it!

No worries! Hope you guys enjoy it!

She is drop dead effing gorgeous.

Lovely Lady.

She is. Very fun, intelligent, kind, and has a strong articulate POV.

I even bought her little baked goods when she had a company making them for a short spell. She was also my introduction to Broadway – very first show I saw when I moved to New York was Chicago when she headlined it.

Her voice has changed too much and it was distracting. At least with Quark, Sherman’s voice still sounded kinda-like it did.

That’s funny because I thought the opposite and I wasn’t even sure it was Armin’s voice at times.

Same actually. They obviously both sounded older but I thought Visitor sounded exactly like Kira. Shimerman sounded very different in the beginning but improved as he spoke more. He sounded so different people thought he didn’t have Quark’s teeth in which he confirmed he did.

She looks every bit incredible today as she did during DS9

I have always loved the character of Kira. When most people discuss the character they always say she’s a badass she kicks ass. But she’s so much more than that. We got to see her be a soldier we got to see her be a strategist we got to see her fall in love white we got to see her give birth. We even got to see her nurture the daughter of one of her most bitter enemies. And how much her faith meant to her. Nana Visitor phenomenal performances

She has aged beautifully.
Must be living right.