Star Trek royalty Marina Sirtis spills the Earl Grey on Deanna Troi, fighting for her voice, and why she left L.A. for London in To Boldly Ask…
This episode of To Boldly Ask… is a little bit different. When it comes to answering difficult questions, Marina Sirtis needs no urging. The London-born Betazoid shares with veteran Star Trek correspondent Ian Spelling the commonalities between football and fandom, her return to the serene ship’s counselor Deanna Troi in Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks, and how her difficult upbringing shaped her approach to life.
They come no bolder than Marina Sirtis. Join us as we celebrate her unapologetically outspoken style with 14 fiery quotes that demand to be shared!
1. Marina Sirtis is not Deanna Troi
Sure, this is kinda obvious. She’s an actor, we get that, but the extent to which Marina Sirtis is not Deanna Troi cannot be overstated.
“The only thing that Deanna and Marina have in common is we’re the same height. That’s it. We are total opposites. She’s kind of non-judgmental, and I am mean and judgmental. She’s very tactful – I’m not. I opened my mouth and put my size 10s in with alarming regularity. The challenge in playing Deanna was keeping Marina out.”
2. Maria Sirtis is not Method
“I’m not a method actress. I have my own method. I learn my lines, I hit my marks, and I try not to bump into the furniture. And if it was good enough for Spencer Tracy, it’s good enough for me.”
3. Maria Sirtis is VERY Cockney
“People that only know me from the show, when they meet me, their mouths are hanging on their knees, because they’re like, ‘Oh my God, you’re a Cockney.’ And they say, ‘Why didn’t you talk like that on the show?’ I said, ‘Because I would have to come with subtitles.’”
4. Marina Sirtis Had a Complicated Relationship with Her Mum
“When I said to my mum, ‘Mum, I’m going to be an actress.’ What she heard was, ‘Mum, I’m going to be a prostitute.’”
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5. But She’s Made Her Peace With It
“I was in therapy for a while. And the first thing that came out of my mouth was, ‘I know this is all about my mother.’ But she has made me who I am. And I like who I am. And I am strong because I have to be strong otherwise I would have been engulfed.”
6. Marina Sirtis Doesn’t Care About Her Haters
“You know what, if you don’t like my opinions, you can turn me off. And I do have to say at this point, all you people who send me a lot of hate, I don’t read it. And if you actually think that I care what total strangers think of me, then you are delusional.
“People have always spoken about me behind my back because I was a rebellious Greek girl in North London and so all the neighbors always talked about me behind my back. It was one of the banes of my mother’s existence, that I was the bad girl in the neighborhood.”
7. Really, She Doesn’t Care At All
“I don’t care what people say about me, the people that I love, love me back. And that’s all that matters. The rest is just noise and you can just go eff off.”
8. Marina Sirtis Will Not Be Silenced
“I lived in a house where I didn’t have an opinion. Or my opinion didn’t count. So I grew a voice. I grew a voice, and I will never ever let that voice be quieted. Because I earned it.”
9. Marina Sirtis Puts Money Where Her Mouth Is
To the horror of those who prefer the stars of their favorite shows to pursue an enlightened, progressive agenda exclusively on alien worlds, Marina Sirtis has been an outspoken critic of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, leaving access to abortion for individual states to decide.
Not only that, but Sirtis made a decision to take a hit to stand by her principles: she refuses to attend any convention in a state that restricts a woman’s access to abortion.
“I lived in America for 35 years, more than half my life, and I’m an American citizen, so I have an opinion, and I’m allowed to have an opinion. The minute the Dodds ruling came down, I knew I would never set foot in a State that had banned abortion. I will not even change planes in a State that’s banned abortion. I will not even buy a cup of coffee in those States. I will not be complicit.”
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10. Seriously, She’s Done With It
“No man has the right to tell me what I can and can’t do with my body. There are six white people in Washington, who are not elected, who are appointed who are going against the wishes of 70 percent of the American public, not only with the abortion issue but with a gun issue. That is not democracy, that’s authoritarianism.”
11. Marina Sirtis Celebrates British Telly
“I love British television because it’s female-driven. It’s about women [by] mainly female producers, directors, [and] writers, and that is the main difference between American TV and British TV. I worked in America for 35 years. I’ve only worked with two female directors in all that time.”
12. Marina Sirtis is a Drag Icon
“Deanna’s an icon now. And you know how I know that? The drag queens are doing Deanna.”
13. Marina Sirtis Has Two Mottos
“I have two mottos that I live my life by. The first one is: evil triumphs when good men stay silent. The other one, which I live in my day-to-day life by, is: bitches get shit done.”
14. Marina Sirtis is Glad to be Back in London
“I don’t think I ever really fit in in Los Angeles. I fit in as much as I love shopping at Gucci. That part I fit in, right? Well, I did when Tom Ford was designing let’s put it that way. But Americans aren’t like me. They’re not loud and obnoxious. They don’t like confrontation. I love confrontation. It gets my adrenaline going. It gets me all fired up, [and] gets my juices flowing. But I found Americans try to avoid a fight. Maybe this is part of the leftovers of being a football hooligan when I was young, but I love the fights. And so I never really felt that I fit in in LA. I wasn’t the right fit for it.
“Oh blimey, football, sausages, Greggs’ sausage rolls. I am in heaven.”
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James Hoare is editor of The Companion. He has been “working in publishing” since the early 1990s when he made his own Doctor Who fanzine to sell in the school playground.You can find him on Twitter @JDHoare