Still Fighting for Freedom
“It’s interesting everytime we leave and come back for another season,” says Nana Visitor. “The first time it seemed like we had a month off. And then it seemed like two weeks. Now it seems like it was just a weekend. You just get right back into the rhythm and into hating Dukat and looking forward to lunch and being on the Paramount lot. It’s a rhythm that I’ve gotten into immediately.”
That rhythm was evident earlier today, when Visitor and Marc Alaimo squared off in Sisko’s former office. “It was Dukat at his most offensive. Things are heating up very much on the station, and I’m interested myself to see where it’s going to go between the two of us.” That mounting tension is so real, one wonders if Nana Visitor has a hard time separating Marc Alaimo the actor from the evil Cardassian he so wonderfully portrays. “It always has been hard for me,” she confesses. “I’ve found through the seasons that I’ve treated Marc badly, because every time I’ve seen him, he’s made up like a Cardassian, and all the prejudices hit me right away of what my character thinks of Dukat. But this season, probably because things are emotionally very sensitive in the scenes, we’re dealing with more layers than just one. We’ve been fooling around and talking about scenes and actually having more of what we have on weekends than we usually have on the set.”
If it seems that Visitor takes her character’s trials and tribulations very seriously, you’re right. In fact, this entire multipart storyline, of which A Time to Stand is only a part, is very real and somewhat unsettling to her. “I think it’s very exciting,” she says. “It’s walking a very fine line in terms of what the occupation is. It’s a different kind of occupation from the Cardassian one. It’s going to take a very sophisticated audience member – and that’s all that watches our show – to get it, to understand how insidious this kind of occupation is and how it can affect people. They’re going to have to stick with it and keep on it, because I think a lot of things are going to be upsetting. I know they are to me, I have to say that.
“It’s hard not to take it personally as I’m in my uniform as Kira,” Visitor continues. “It’s really hard not to take all of this personally with Dukat sitting in the Captain’s chair. To have him summon me. To have him say, ‘I haven’t told you that you could go yet.’ I’m a puppet on his string, and that’s really frustrating at the moment. So it’s not fun to film, but I think it’s ultimately gonna be fun to watch and see develop.”
(Heaps of thanks to Helene’ for transcribing this article!)