Luther Admits Orion Slave Girl Was Once NerdyBy Michelle
November 2, 2005 - 11:18 PM
Being an Orion slave girl on Star Trek: Enterprise has opened doors for Bobbi Sue Luther that she never would have dreamed, the actress revealed.
"It's really been a blessing, something I never could have foreseen," Luther told Chase Masterson in an audio interview with TheFandom.com. "It kind of turned from something small to something really big...I could never have anticipated the response."
After her appearance in the episode "Borderland", the actress was invited to conventions and gatherings all over the world and scored her first magazine covers, though she had been a model for several years. When invited to audition, she did not realise that the character would be "the green girl that everyone used to talk about" and that she would become the first woman in many years to don the green makeup.
Ironically, having green skin and black hair got her face more publicity than she ever received in her more regular blonde, blue-eyed appearance (which fans can see at Luther's official web site). She said that she was very surprised when she walked into Tower Records toward the genre magazines, "and there was my green face for everyone to see!" Star Trek, she said, has been "the gift that keeps on giving", and the fans have "just been delightful."
Though she had little trouble wearing the green paint - Susan Oliver, who played Vina in the original series "The Menagerie", became so ill from her body makeup that she required medical attention - Luther found that getting the green off was more arduous than putting it on. "I wore no prosthetics," she explained, "but the painting and process really did take about five hours." The green paint was applied by airbrush. Because it was alcohol-based, she said, it felt dry to the touch and did not itch or hurt, but after "three makeup artists throwing chemicals at me" in the shower for more than an hour, she added, "You just give up and say, 'I'm just going to have to live with a little bit of green on me.'"
Playing the role was "a blast", Luther noted, but "it was definitely a shocker to everybody on the set because my costume was so, so small, and I was just walking around in it." Because of the paint, she did not feel exposed, but she thinks others may have been slightly scandalised. Still, she laughed, "How many days can you get up and be painted green and be an idol for boys all over the universe?"
Luther finds this particularly amusing because, as she explained, she was "nerdy" in high school, wearing headgear and big glasses, playing the flute in marching band. "I wasn't very popular," she said. "I was definitely a dork and I definitely looked it." But she believes that her role helped her become who she is, rather than trying to be like everyone else around her - a firefighter and later a sous-chef before she became an actress. "I was hungry for the world," she added. "At some point the glasses came off, the braces came off, the hair got cut short, I gained a couple of pounds."
Luther's partner, Robert Hall, is a makeup artist who worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Deuce Bigalow, European Gigolo, in which Luther appears. "Unfortunately, most of what I did got cut out of the movie...fifty percent of that movie was cut in and reshot," she explained. Masterson assured her that she is not just another pretty blonde and noted how popular Luther had become among Star Trek fans.
Masterson also interviewed David Reddick, who draws The Trek Life comic strip for StarTrek.com. "I was doodling in the old sketchbook…I thought, a comic strip about Star Trek and fans would be a lot of fun," he explained. After e-mailing the editors of the official web site, "I went ahead and finished [some samples] up and sent them off, and voila!"
The audio interviews may be downloaded as an mp3 at TheFandom.com.