When Star Trek: Deep Space Nine debuted in 1993, few people could have guessed that it would succeed by taking the Trek legacy in a darker and more morally complicated direction than what fans had previously been used to. Even so, it turns out that one star of the series was ready to turn the show down for a crazy reason. Nana Visitor, who played Major Kira on the drama, recently revealed that the advice of her manager led her to, initially, turn down the part. According to Visitor, her manager said:
You will kill your career if you do this job. Turn it down.
Damn. That is some super blunt advice from Nana Visitor's manager, and we're lucky she ended up not taking it. It might seem hard to believe now, but, at the time, doing a syndicated science fiction TV show did not add much prestige to one's acting resume, even with that show being third in the line of the popular Star Trek franchise. TV in general was still largely looked at as a jumping off point for eventually getting to work in movies, so the idea of potentially having a long-running career playing a TV alien (especially) was seen as something that would only end up hurting Visitor's chances of moving away from that type of work down the line. Her manager, obviously, thought that DS9 would have her pigeonholed.
Visitor went on in her chat with Variety to say that if it weren't for DS9 co-creator Rick Berman calling her to talk about the show and her part on it that she wouldn't have taken the leap.
By the end of the call, he had convinced me that I did want to be a part of it whether it impacted the rest of my career or not. When I read the script, I thought, 'That's a man's role. That's not for me.' Yet it was all I wanted to do. I hated every part that I had to play where I was chastising a husband or getting upset about the carpet. And I did a lot of those. Any time I could get my teeth into something, that was my flow state. That's why I was an actor. Major Kira was like Disneyland for an actor.
If you want to relive the glory that was Major Kira and the whole of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the series is streaming on Netflix and CBS All Access. For what you can watch on TV in the coming weeks, head over to our midseason premiere guide, and be sure to check out The Cord Cutter Podcast for all the info you need on streaming in the new year!