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TrekToday - Visitor Mentors 'Wildfire' Co-Star Onscreen and Off

Visitor Mentors 'Wildfire' Co-Star Onscreen and Off

By Michelle
June 20, 2005 - 4:59 PM

Young star Genevieve Cortese credits Nana Visitor (Kira) with improving her performance in Wildfire, the new series from former Star Trek executive producer Michael Piller which debuts this week on ABC Family.

"I cannot tell you how much my acting has improved because of Nana," Cortese told Zap2It. "I go to her every day with questions. 'How do I handle this? How do I carry myself? How do I make the right decisions, the right choices?' She's amazing." On the series, Cortese plays Kris, a teenager who is released from a youth detention facility to work on a horse ranch run by Jean Ritter, played by Visitor. Wildfire is the name of a failed racing thoroughbred training to become a police horse. The troubled girl and the troubled animal form a bond.

"My biggest thing is, I'm learning what it's like to carry myself in a personal way and also a professional way, how I can be a leader and do multitasking," explained Cortese. "Kris has never really had a mother...she's been hurt very badly. It's a great relationship with Jean. Is she my boss? Is she my mother? And Jean has really accepted Kris as part of the family. But when you've been let down before, it's hard to trust again."

Visitor said that while playing Kira, she had hoped to see her character in a mentoring position. "When I was doing 'Deep Space Nine', I always got the question, 'If you had a story line, what would you wish for?' I always said, 'Mentoring a young woman'", she revealed. "I hope that is happening in the world, a support system, an appreciation for wisdom and age and giving the young people a hand up."

The veteran also acknowledged that her younger colleague has a difficult task ahead of her, for this is her first television series. "It's not an easy position [for Genevieve]," she noted. "There are times that I say, 'Welcome to being the star of a show. There's good stuff, too, but you may have to wait a second for that.'" She found the parallels between being a mentor onscreen and on the set interesting, saying that she was working with "a lot of young people who just need to be shown some ropes. They need information on how to be a pro."

The complete article, which also quotes Piller's writing partner Lloyd Segan, is at Zap2It.

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