An actress known around the globe for her galactic adventures aboard the Starship Enterprise will headline the Star Trek convention that beams into Des Moines next week. Marina Sirtis played Deanna Troi for seven seasons on the popular T-V show “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and she just finished shooting her fourth film, “Star Trek: Nemesis,” which is due out in December. Sirtis says this will be the last film for the Next-Gen crew and she would only reveal one small nugget of the plot: Troi will finally marry long-time love Commander William Riker. Sirtis is already married in real life, to singer-songwriter Michael Lamper.
In an interview from her Hollywood home, Sirtis told Radio Iowa how playing the role of Troi has radically changed her life — for the better. “There aren’t many people who can say that by doing a T-V show, they became a part of pop culture, which is kind of what happens when you become involved in Star Trek. It’s mind-blowing actually this little English/Greek girl came over here and kind of did this amazing thing.”
Born to Greek parents in London, Sirtis recently became a naturalized American citizen. She brims with pride at the accomplishment and has posted pictures of the naturalization ceremony on her “official” website at www.marinasirtis.tv.
While Star Trek cast members in particular have learned to never say never about reprising their roles (even after their characters die!), Sirtis says she’s ready to move on from Next-Gen. She got her start in drama performing on stage, as did many others on the Enterprise crew, including Patrick Stewart, Gates McFadden and Brent Spiner. Sirtis has performed everything from Shakespeare to Neil Simon, and says she’ll return to the theatre. She says Star Trek has been her “safety net for 15 years and it may be time…to fly without a net now.”
While other former Trek actors are known for telling wildly devoted fans to “get a life,” Sirtis defends obsessive Trekkies and the sometimes-bizarre atmosphere of conventions. She says “they’re just regular folks like you and me, who happen to love Star Trek. Unlike any other T-V show, they get to come to these conventions and actually meet their favorite actors.” Sirtis says not everybody is dressed up as “the blue person from the planet Zod” at the conventions — though some are decked out as Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans and other beings from the final frontier.
Also appearing at the Des Moines show will be Aron Eisenberg, who played the friendly Ferrengi “Nog” for seven seasons on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” A real-life space hero is also scheduled to appear: astronaut Richard Gordon was pilot of Gemini 11 and Apollo 12. The convention is Wednesday, April 24th, at the Polk County Convention Complex from 4 to 9 PM.