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TrekToday - Nichols Offers A Hero's Advice To Saldana

Nichols Offers A Hero's Advice To Saldana

By Michelle
October 2, 2007 - 8:16 PM

Nichelle Nichols would be happy to pass on advice to her successor as Uhura, Zoë Saldana, and has plenty of ideas about why Star Trek continues to be relevant and important today.

"I talked with J.J. Abrams, and he was telling me about her, that he felt she brought to Uhura what he found fascinating in my having created the character," Nichols told MTV. "He says that she has the charisma and presence." She revealed that Abrams had contacted her about Saldana before the younger actress' casting was made public.

Though Nichols hopes that Saldana might give her a few tidbits about Uhura's backstory, because the film will be a prequel to the five-year mission, "I have a few things to tell her — where Uhura came from, what her feelings are, what her background is and how she came to be." Nichols helped to create those details with Gene Roddenberry.

"There are a lot of stories that Gene wanted to do with Uhura that we never got to do, and I would love to talk to her about that," Nichols explained. "Mostly you saw the no-nonsense woman in charge." She would like to see "a little glimpse of the poignant Uhura, the lovelorn Uhura, the serious Uhura, and the fun Uhura."

Though Nichols is happy to welcome another actress to the role that made her famous, she is also promoting her guest role on Heroes and a new film of her own. StarTrek.com reported on the debut at DragonCon of Lady Magdalene, where Nichols and director J. Neil Schulman described the thriller in which Nichols plays a madam.

"That's the ultimate choice for an actor, to play something so far removed from their identity, from who they are," Nichols said. "It was also well written for me...it was just so exciting to play this hard-core broad." Nichols did her own choreography and wrote two of the songs that she sings in the film.

Of Heroes, Nichols could only say that she plays a character named Nana and that she could not discuss whether Nana had any powers. Both the show and the film have post-9/11 themes embedded in their storylines, though Nichols said that Lady Magdalene's is not overtly political, rather "the kind of film that you can enjoy and take away from it what you see in it."

"I'm a bleeding-heart Democrat, a proud card-carrying member," Nichols declared. "I believe in all of the freedoms that are inherent in the Constitution that is being destroyed. And I believe that at some point we are going to stand up and take back our Constitution that guarantees all of us inalienable rights."

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