Ryan Recollects The Trials Of The CatsuitBy Chris Wales
October 5, 2004 - 2:05 AM
See Also: 'The Gift' Episode Guide
If there was just one thing that set Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) apart from the rest of her Star Trek: Voyager colleagues, her gravity-defying, attention-grabbing and oft-parodied collection of catsuits might qualify. It's been previously held responsible by various sources for generating ratings, cheapening the franchise – and apparently keeping Ryan from answering the call of nature.
"It takes about 20 minutes to get into it, someone has to dress me and undress me. It's a production break [...] a big production break," explained Ryan, "...so, you know, in the interest of being a team player, that first season I would not take bathroom break..."
Ryan's troubles with the infamous suit are well-documented – particularly with the first silver incarnation of the suit which first appeared in "The Gift" reportedly pressed on her carotid artery, causing her to black out during filming and requiring a team on standby with oxygen. Despite this she kept going for a while to keep production rolling. "Initially, I would stay in costume much longer than I needed to [...] I finally learned that you just heed the call of nature and take breaks when you need to take breaks," she said.
Ryan also mused on her experience in playing the landmark character, noting that Trek fans have a reputation for being very defensive of continuity in the show. The greatest challenge though, she said, was the "fine line that you walk between being unemotional and showing to much [...] that challenge was really fun to play as an actor."