Whitney Reflects on Trek, Returns in Fan FilmsBy Michelle
October 18, 2006 - 9:00 PM
In two different interviews, Grace Lee Whitney talked about returning to Star Trek, playing Janice Rand's mother in a fan film and appearing in Of Gods and Men with a long list of Star Trek alumni.
"I was always so 'goody goody'...I was the girl next door type," Whitney told TrekMovie.com of her take on Rand, who except for the attempted rape in "The Enemy Within" rarely got to fight back but declared her fears to Captain Kirk instead. "I was very happy with the work [on 'The Enemy Within']," she recalled, though "It was very difficult. Roddenberry was there and he wanted it to be real but glamorous. And I thought 'how can you do that?' I was very black and blue for a while. Shatner threw me around for a while and I did all my stunts."
In Of Gods and Men, Whitney is playing an alternate universe version of Rand where her rank is equal to Uhura's. She met producer Sky Conway through Star Trek: New Voyages producer James Cawley when she was making plans to appear at James Doohan (Scotty)'s final convention. "I got a call from them asking if I wanted to be in a movie with Walter [Koenig] and Nichelle [Nichols], and I said 'yes, as long as it doesn't conflict with the New Voyages."
Whitney has been asked to play the mother of Janice Rand, who like all the original series characters has been recast with a younger actor in the fan film series. She appreciates that people want to be involved in Star Trek any way they can: "Look at John Tesh...he wanted to be a Vulcan all his life." As for having been replaced as Rand, "As long as she was young and beautiful that would be fine, of course."
iF Magazine also talked to Whitney, who said she really thought the series was picked up only to sell color television sets. "And wasn’t Kirk cute. I mean gosh he was cute!" Her most recent appearance in Paramount Star Trek was with George Takei (Sulu) on Voyager, which she had hoped would turn into a series, "George and Gracie on the Excelsior", but Paramount chose to do Enterprise instead.
Whitney believes that J.J. Abrams is qualified to produce the next Star Trek film, but she remains wary of rumours that the film will be a prequel. "I don’t know how fans will react to that. How can you go back beyond the classic Trek?" she asked, recalling that Enterprise didn't do so well, though she thought Scott Bakula "was terrific on that show."