[x] Gates McFadden on the role of women in Star Trek (1993)
DORN: The funniest story is from the first year. I didn’t know any of these guys very well, and they have a gym they built—
GATES: —Oh god. [covers her face with a shawl]
DORN: At paramount… and I went into the gym and I was looking at the equipment and a couple of things, and I walked by in this room—they have this little window. And I walked by and I went, “What.” And I went back there and it was her—dancing—in a room—by herself. And she was doing interpretive dancing.
FRAKES: Oh, man I never heard this story!
DORN: And I’m looking and she’s going [exaggerates dancing].
FRAKES: —If only we had the cellphone then.
DORN: And she and I laugh about that, and every time you know I said, “What were you doing?” And she goes, “I was doing a dance to SPRING.”
GATES: NO I DID NOT—NO I DID NOT!
DORN: There was a cartoon by Jules Feiffer that was always in the New York Times, and one of his characters was this woman—this dancer that does a dance for all the political shit that’s going on. And I looked and I went, “Oh my god.”
GATES: I remember you looked and said, “What. The. Hell are you doing.” That’s what you said.
[The three of them are having a side conversation]
FRAKES: She commits—she was interpreting.
GATES: Oh, shut up!
[Dorn and Frakes wordlessly start a routine—with great timing]
FRAKES: She interpreted both the child and the mother—I respect that.
You’re such a bear! — Gates McFadden
MARINA SIRTIS: Well, you have to remember that we were shooting a show about the 24th century in the 20th century, so you have to bear that in mind. My thing was because to be honest, I don’t know about Gates’ experience with the producers, but I never got an acting note—ever. I would get a call from the producer, “Did you change your lipstick? Did you do something different with your hair?” For “The Boys” in the office it was all about how I look, I knew that from the get-go. So being that as I am very “woman’s libby” as we used to call it in my day, I wanted to portray that you could be an attractive woman and still be a strong person. So for me it was really important that there was someone in the position of power and authority and obviously respect who also cared about her appearance. Because that is me—that’s me, I care about my appearance, but I also care more about society, politics and the world, so I don’t think the two are exclusive, and that’s what I wanted to show.
GATES McFADDEN: Um, I just basically wanted to look good… Actually, as most of you probably know I got let go because I was a feminist. So, second season I wasn’t there because I disagreed with the writer, I felt he was writing the character of Crusher—I had said to him, “I raised this kid on my own; he might be obnoxious about it, but he has saved the ship about 6 times. And there has to be some of those genes that are Beverly Crushers, so why is it every time anything with any wisdom is said it’s a male character who talks to him.” And it’s only me that is only about the mother, which believe me mothering is like that’s number one, just love him—no problem with that. Because I thought that had not been really portrayed on a TV show. I have a son and we have whole other disconnect sometimes where it’s just talking about things, and it’s not to do with, “oh you’re a mom, and you’re my son.” Basically we disagreed, I was asked to you know, go, I certainly did it, and I wasn’t trying to be strident. I was used to working in theatre departments where everybody respected everybody and you basically did talk about things. You can talk about script things that didn’t mean you were going to get your way. It’s like what happens right now in rehearsals, I could be directing something and I can have four actors saying completely different things, and really arguing about it. I don’t take it personally, it’s like they’re arguing for their character—that makes sense to me. Anyway, I did just really want to look good but it didn’t work out.Marina Sirtis & Gates McFadden, on doing a 24th Century show in the 20th Century, and the reason Gates was fired in the second season. (Spoiler Alert: the producer was then fired and Gates was asked to come back (fan letters et al.) [watch here]
I felt that there was a built-in contradiction in a character that we’d said was like Mozart in his appreciation of higher mathematics and physics, yet was just on the same career path as any Starfleet cadet. I didn’t get it – if Wes is truly special and gifted, what the hell is he doing at the Helm? It seemed like he was only going to the Academy to live up to the memory of his father and the expectations of Picard, not because it was his best destiny.
"Journey’s End" also seemed like an opportunity to see someone walk away from Starfleet with their head held high and just say "It’s cool, but not for me." I was tired of everyone in the 24th century saying, "All I want to do is wear the uniform and serve on a starship." Hey, it’s cool, but it’s not for everyone. So I pushed to have Wes realize his destiny was elsewhere and have him walk away.
— Ron Moore on Journey’s End
I’m starting to see where Wesley got his fashion tips from
There was a period of time where I was almost getting indignant about the fact that both Marina and I had done fencing — I’ve done stage combat, karate, aikido, all sorts of things like that — and whenever there was anything to do that was action-oriented, it was always the male characters who were getting it. If there was ever a fight or something, Beverly was supposed to like, take a frying pan over someone’s head. And I thought, this is ridiculous. The female astronauts now know how to do everything that the male astronauts know how to do. And that’s the way it needs to be.
10 DAYS OF TNG
05. favorite female character → beverly crusher