From TV Guide Online.
They've stayed close pals since playing Cmdr. Will Riker and Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis haven't seen much of each other lately (he lives in London; she lives in Los Angeles). They're together again, thanks to Enterprise, and we were in Sirtis' dressing room to witness the nutty reunion.
TV Guide: Did you two ever think you'd be back in Starfleet uniforms?
Marina Sirtis: Certainly not after the box-office response to Star Trek: Nemesis! I'm glad I still fit in mine, but I don't know why they gave me that. [She points to an extremely padded bra hanging with her costume]. Padding I certainly don't need. But I do need some help in the anti-gravity department! [Laughs] Did you know that Jonathan is in better shape [now] than he was in Nemesis? They had to take in his costume!
Jonathan Frakes: Only in my ass. Like, what's with that? I'm turning into Brent Spiner [Data]. Have you ever seen Brent's ass? He ain't got one!
Sirtis: It's true! During Next Gen the cast used to have a contest: the search for Brent's ass! [They laugh hysterically. Marina lights a cigarette.]
Frakes: You're smoking. Good. [Frakes lights up, too.]
Sirtis: I'm only smoking because I knew we'd be smoking together, then I'm going to quit when this episode is over. I only smoke in Europe. [She takes a long drag.]
Frakes: Yeah! Europe! [He takes a long drag.]
TVG: Uh, sorry to ruin the moment here... but back to business. What are your thoughts on the Enterprise finale?
Sirtis: I was surprised when they said this was the last episode of the series.
Frakes: I was surprised when they said this was the last episode and that we could be in it — it's not our show! But I love it. It's a real Star Trek script. It feels like real sci-fi.
Sirtis: They wouldn't give me the whole script because they thought I'd post it on the Internet. Rick Berman just told me the idea. He didn't even tell me Jonathan was in it.
Frakes: Really? That's the first thing Rick said to me. "It's going to be you and Marina... Is that OK?"
Sirtis: You mean I'm here with your permission? I guess Patrick Stewart [Captain Picard] was too busy... [Laughs]. I get no respect around here, and with good reason. When Rick called to offer me the job, he didn't tell me it was a secret, so the first thing I did was post the news on my website. When I got home that day, my phone was red with all the messages from people at Paramount screaming, "What the hell are you doing?!" I'm like, why didn't you tell me it was a secret? I blabbed when Brent agreed to do his three-parter on Enterprise. It's not like I'm some new actress they've never met before. They know that I'm "The Mouth."
TVG: Are you surprised Troi and Riker come aboard Enterprise without the use of time travel?
Frakes: Yeah. I just hope the audience understands what's going on — that this is picking up on one of our Next Gen episodes.
Sirtis: Oh, the viewers are verrrry smart. Wait a minute... this is connected to one of our episodes? Really? Which one?
Frakes: "The Pegasus." It was like first, second, third season...
TVG: Uh, actually it was the seventh season.
Sirtis: I can't remember any of it, and I'm blaming it on my hormones.
Frakes: Terry O'Quinn from Lost was in it; he was my boss. It was a really good episode.
Sirtis: Oh, I remember now. Yes, Terry O'Quinn! A lot of cool people were on Next Gen. Remember when Kirsten Dunst played my sister? And Teri Hatcher was on our show.
Frakes: So was Ashley Judd, but now she won't admit it. [They crack up.]
Sirtis: What's weird about this Enterprise episode is that Troi and Riker got married in Nemesis but now we have to go back to before they were even dating. It's set around the time when they were fighting the relationship, rather than giving in to it.
Frakes: It is strange. As I read the script, I kept having to remind myself that Nemesis hadn't happened yet. When this takes place, you were going out with Worf at the time.
Sirtis: Oh, god, that's right! [She's so thrown by this that she drops her cigarette in her lap and quickly jumps up to keep from being burned.] Oh, please don't tell Michael Dorn that I nearly set fire to myself at the mere memory of dating Worf! Looking back, that Troi-Worf romance was a horrible story. They only did it because Dorny was going around the Trek conventions saying, "I think Troi and Worf should have a relationship." How awful!
TVG: Don't you think it's weird that you guys are such a big part of the Enterprise finale? There seem to be some hurt feelings around here.
Sirtis: They don't have a great last scene like we did on the Next Gen finale. We had that poker scene where we all said goodbye. That was a real farewell.
Frakes: I think the Enterprise ending is really nice for Scott Bakula. Archer is deified in this script. He's put right up there with Kirk and Picard. I like it.
Sirtis: It's like the actors each get their goodbye scenes with [Riker] instead of with each other. They individually come to see him, and he does his little bonding and counseling thing, which makes no damn sense because Troi is the counselor! But I'm not bitter or anything.
Frakes: Remember how emotional our last scene was on Next Gen?
Sirtis: Dorny was weeping like a baby, despite the fact that we were starting a Star Trek movie in three days. I don't know these Enterprise actors that well. I know some of the boys from running into them at conventions, but I think they're a little disappointed that the series is not running its course.
Frakes: More than disappointed.
Sirtis: Except they're still really young. They're now at the age we were when we started Next Gen.
TVG: But they've achieved nowhere near the fame your cast did.
Sirtis: We were an ensemble but we each had the chance to make an individual impact, I think because we did not have a big star.
Frakes: Enterprise had a big star in Bakula. On our show, LeVar Burton [Geordi La Forge] was the only one America had heard of.
Sirtis: Yes, LeVar was our star.
Frakes: Our cast was magic. It really was.
Sirtis: We went through so many highs and lows in each other's lives. Of all the Star Trek casts, I think we're the only ones who are still friends. Really close friends. And I don't mean we see each other once a year. We're still in each other's faces constantly. Dorn is my best friend. LeVar is here on the lot today and just popped in to say hi. I can see Gates McFadden's [Beverly Crusher] house from my house. Then there's Brent and, of course, Patrick... Oooh! Jonathan, have you noticed that Patrick's new girlfriend, Lisa Dillon, has a bit of a Judi Dench quality about her work? She has that same sparkle! But as far as the friendship of the Next Gen cast, I think it was Jonathan who got the ball rolling. He walked into the makeup trailer on that very first day like this giant ball of energy. He got us all laughing and we just couldn't stop.
Frakes: We were all so giddy — and relieved — to have a job.
Sirtis: I remember worrying that we were all going to get fired because we could not get serious on the set. And we're still laughing 18 years later. I think we're always going to be in each other's lives. In fact, I know it.
TVG: But will you ever play these characters again?
Sirtis: Oh, yes! Absolutely we will! [She gives Frakes a wink.]
Frakes: You mean you haven't heard?
Sirtis: Jonathan and I are planning our own sitcom.
Frakes: It's called "The Rikers in Space." We'll be kinda like Ozzie and Harriet.
Sirtis: Only we'll live with our wacky Uncle Data and our dog, Worf.
Frakes: It's gonna run for years!
— by Michael Logan