McFadden Gained Interest in Space From Star TrekBy Michelle
October 23, 2005 - 3:32 PM
Gates McFadden appeared this weekend at the Armageddon Pulp Culture Expo in New Zealand, where she spoke about conventions, her interest in space science and her work as a choreographer.
"I like to travel and see new places and it is nice to realise I have something in common with so many other people," McFadden told The New Zealand Herald. "Making good connections with people - strangers, really - from other countries is wonderful and surreal." She said that she was happy to meet people who appreciated the work she had done, but added, that it seemed surreal to her "because some fans treat me strangely [as] they are in awe having seen my face as big as a car on a movie screen, or speaking to them in their living room every day."
Though she played Beverly Crusher for six of seven seasons on The Next Generation and in four feature films, McFadden has been less involved in fan culture and appearances than many of her co-stars. Some fans, she said, were quite demanding or critical but most "are curious, funny and respectful fans and collectors, and very caring and kind."
McFadden noted that many fans were "interested in space travel as I am" and "imagining what is out there in the universe", prompting the interviewer to ask whether she had always been a sci fi fan. "When I was young, I was always studying dance...the only science fiction I knew was The Twilight Zone," she admitted. "Historical rather than futuristic was my preference. But during my first year in the space suit, I met many astronauts and fell in love with the space programme." She said she was struck by astronauts' comments about seeing the Earth from above and no longer seeing boundaries, just a single unified planet.
"They felt comforted by the knowledge they were but a minuscule part of existence, not the centre of the universe, but a small part of it. Almost a sense of belonging and responsibility at the same time, coupled with an enormous sense of wonder," she explained. She is interested in the Mars missions and watched the space shuttle lift off, but she believes that many Star Trek fans share the sense of the astronauts: "Many are intensely interested in promoting tolerance and understanding rather than aggression."
McFadden's first credited role since Star Trek: Nemesis will be in the Cuba Gooding Jr. film Dirty, written and directed by Chris Fisher, about two former gang members turned policeman and a scandal within the LAPD. The Internet Movie Database states that the film is in post-production.
To read about McFadden's perceptions of the fantasy film Labyrinth and more, see the original interview at The New Zealand Herald.