By: Ken Hulsey
KH - Playing a lounge singer in a production like this almost seems like type casting due to your present singing career and love of the songs of the 30s', 40s' and 50s'. Do you feel like this is the part you were born to play so to speak?
CM - I knew when I read the script that if I got to do this role, it would be one of my favorite roles, ever. I had, just that week, specifically prayed to be involved in a really quality project, and I truly believe this was an answer to that prayer. This role resonates with me on so many levels, the music actually is just one of them-- the type of music it is has always been my favorite, even while I was growing up, which wasn't exactly a popular choice. But more than that, the things that Singer says to Hoyle are deeply ingrained in me, they always have been. Singer has a sense of playfulness and yet a strong truth, an honesty, an integrity and vital understandings that I feel blessed to get to play. This kind of role doesn't come along very often for any actress. It's a huge treat.
KH - You were voted "The #1 Science Fiction Actress On Television" in TV Guide reader's poll. That's quite a hefty title. What do you think the fans identified with you above all the other talented actresses in the genre?
CM - That was an amazing thing, I was completely blown away when I heard that. Gosh, there are so many talented actresses, the only thing I can think of is that I do make it a point to have close, one-on-one talks with the fans. I truly don't even like the word "fan", and I always emphasize that my job is no more important or worthy of applause than any of theirs. It takes all of us to create the world we live in. I have no pride about doing what I do--I see it more like a ministry. As actors, we get to have the jobs that make the emotional space for people to relax & be entertained, or to reflect, or to resolve a difficult situation, or to laugh or to cry or to hug their kids more, or to just be quiet and thankful...and that's a huge blessing.
KH - A lot of actors stay clear of genre shows such as "Star Trek" for fear that they may hurt their careers and limit their options. You however have starred in a fair amount of sci fi productions as well as other types of films a TV shows. Do you feel that your role as Leeta on DS9 caused you to viewed as a sci fi only commodity or is this form of perceived type casting just a myth?
CM - I am absolutely fine being cast in sci fi, but no, it's not all that I do. I am grateful to be part of a genre which is so well-loved, and grateful for its loyalty to me. It's all a phenomenon, really. Being part of Trek is being part of a legacy that I wouldn't trade for anything. It's possible that any actor who is known well enough to get type cast in a particular role or genre. When you consider the huge amount of gifted actors out there, I have absolutely nothing to complain about, and a mind-boggling list of people & things to be grateful for.
KH - Did you get a chance to compose any of the pieces you perform in "Yesterday Was A lie" or did you at least hand pick some of the music?
CM - The instrumental music in "Yesterday Was A Lie" is being composed by Emmy Award winner Kristopher Carter. None of the vocal pieces in "Yesterday Was A Lie" are original, they're all classics, as it should be. I think the music will add a great deal to the film. James hand-picked the vocals, I think they're perfect. Because they truly pertain to the action of the film. You'll see.
KH - You gained a fair amount of praise for your debut album "Thrill of the Chase." I understand that you are presently working on your second album. Should we expect more classic songs or are you venturing out into more contemporary music?
CM - I sing the music I love, which are the classic songs of the Golden Era. I will be doing an album with some original songs at some point, but I'm working on the second CD now, which will be all classics. Like I said, I always loved this music, even when I was a kid, it was all I wanted to listen to. And that was pretty dorky, growing up in Texas. I was really made fun of for my sensibilities. Now, it's my turn, I'm happy to say. I talk about that in my "Thrill of the Chase" liner notes.
KH - You have spent a lot of time recently performing for our troops as part of the USO. How rewarding is it to bring a little taste of home to our service people who put their lives on the line to protect our nation's interests around the globe?
CM - It's very rewarding. Actually, I've done Army theatre since I was five, and my mom was one of the directors. All the time growing up, I did theatre for the troops, so it's a natural thing to do now. I don't support the war, but I do support the troops, and it's so important to let our men & women over there know how much we appreciate them. Again, I'm blessed to be in a position where I can do that. It's an honor.
KH - I found it interesting that you are listed as one of the films producers. Is this your first time working behind the camera? Do you have aspirations to someday take the reigns as a director yourself?
CM - While it's true that I'm the producer on "Yesterday Was A Lie", I didn't go into this project intending to be. I was cast in November, but our line producers dropped out, and the film was pushed. While we were trying to figure out what to do, I basically just said, "Hey, I can do this." I had produced before, although not on this thorough a level. It's not brain surgery, but it is lots of hard work; so far, it's working very well. But, as far as directing, I have way too much respect for fine directors to ever feel like I'd want to tackle that. I do love producing, even as high as the pressure can be sometimes, it's worth it. I want to find directors, and James Kerwin is the finest example, who deserve their work to be known, and I'll help make sure it happens.