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Janet Kidder – Interview
[00:00:00] Jeff: Hello listeners, a sport our country today on the show with we have the fantastic Janet Kitter.
How’s it going? Miss Kitter.
Janet Kidder: Very, very well. Thank you. How are you Jeff?
Jeff: Doing very well. Thank you so much for spending your time. Talking with me. I’m a big fan of your work, especially recently with discovery.
Janet Kidder: Okay. Well, I’m really glad to be a part of your podcast, so I’m thankful to.
Jeff: So, when did you know you wanted to be an actor?
Janet Kidder: knew I wanted to be an actor when I was, I believe I was seven and I was on the set of Superman one with my aunt Margo Kidder. And I realized that I wanted to wear cool clothes like she did, and just kind of have as much fun as she was clearly having in her job. And that was that was the moment where I made the decision.
Jeff: Holy crap. You’re on the on the set of the first movie of Superman, that that’s a classic of massive proportion, but what’s it like to be on that set? How old were you
Janet Kidder: approximately? I was seven. It was it wasn’t everything that you can expect being on such a, you know Big [00:01:00] budget exciting project like that.
The atmosphere was electric. You know, the energy was just magical. It was, it was every little child’s dream, I think, to be on to be on a set like that. And it was, you know, it was in London, which is where I I grew up. So, you know, it was close to home. Just fantastic. So
Jeff: when you’re watching the movie, you saw it later on, are you able to enjoy the movie as just a regular fan?
Or do you notice, you know, do you see it more as like, almost like a family video video?
Janet Kidder: Yes. Oh no. I love the movies. I think they’re, I think they’re great. It was a, it was always, always one of our favorite movies to watch.
Jeff: So. You’re you’re you’re on Margo Kidder. What, what advice did she give you about the industry when you told her, or that you were interested in getting into it?
Was there anything about the craft or the it as a business that kind of stuck with
Janet Kidder: you? My ad, you can ask anyone that she’s ever worked with. Certainly I’m up here [00:02:00] in Canada that The one thing my aunt was known for was her, you know, consumer professionalism. And that’s something that she instilled in me from the very beginning.
How important it was to make sure that you treat everybody on set with equal respect.
Jeff: Nope. I think you froze. I’m sorry. I’m pretty sure you froze. Oh, did I? Yeah, and that’s okay. If you can just repeat what you said, you froze for about five seconds there. 10
Janet Kidder: seconds. Oh, okay. I was saying that she always made it very important to let me know how to, you know, that, to treat everybody as equals whether it was a PA or a producer.
We’re all in this together when we’re all just people doing our jobs. And so that’s certainly something that I walk onto set with every day. And just to be professional, turn up on time, know your lines, sand, where you’re meant to stand and do what you’re asked to do. And stand up for the little guys.
That’s what she taught me.
Jeff: So you attended [00:03:00] the university of British Columbia. What was it about that university that, that you decided that was your destination?
Janet Kidder: Well, I lived, I was raised in the United Kingdom and when I was 18 Because my father still lived in Vancouver. I always had this sort of, you know, very cool thing to be able to say, I’m going to live in Canada for a year.
And so when I got to Vancouver, I just decided to look into the theater course at UBC. It wasn’t actually a decision based on the, the university itself or even the program itself. It was more just my location and this is where I found myself and they had a great. A great course there. So I, so I I took it
Jeff: well, that’s how we feel in the United States right now.
We all wish we could go to Canada.
a little less over the last couple of weeks, but for a while, we’ve all been wishing we could head into Canada. So what did, [00:04:00] and about the craft of acting while at the university of British Columbia and was that. Did you go there for acting or did you have a different major and you like minor in acting and.
Janet Kidder: But no, I went in there and I specifically took the the theater arts course. And I had just finished my a levels in England. So I had sort of been up to my eyeballs in academics and I really wanted to actually do more of a sort of what am I going to say? A practical based theater, of course, but because it was a university, it was actually also, you know, I had to take English and philosophy and all the other courses, and I decided after the first year, That I wanted to do something more practical.
So I left UBC and I went to studio 58, which was a, you know, a designated theater arts course at a college Lingara college, not far from where I lived. So I transferred schools.
Jeff: So in taking other classes, like English philosophy or anything like that, does that help you [00:05:00] understand the craft of acting or your roles better or that just kind of ancillary and didn’t really do that?
Janet Kidder: It didn’t really do much. Like I was ready just to concentrate on acting. You know, I, I, I, I’d done lots of academics and I just wanted to really dive into the world of acting. So they, they didn’t help me. The other courses now I found them actually distracting, which is why I left.
Jeff: So you ended up, you said studio 58.
It was called. Yeah. Yeah.
Janet Kidder: It’s a theater arts program at a college here. And that’s all about. You know, it’s about acting, you take courses in mosque and, you know, movement and voice, and you learn how to build sets and do lighting. So it’s sort of a, an all over general idea of, of what it’s like to be in the theater.
Jeff: So in your opinion, how much of being a successful actor is basically almost pure born talent and how much can be learned?
Janet Kidder: I’m [00:06:00] teaching acting right now. And so I do believe that you can learn things, but I also do believe that. You either have something or you don’t, you can learn the mechanics, you can learn tricks and you can learn exercises how to, how to bring a character to life, perhaps how to delve into a scene more deeply than you initially thought possible.
So maybe it’s not 50 50, but maybe it’s like. 60 40 talent to to work. I don’t know. I don’t want to go out there and put myself out there saying something and people go, wow. But you know, you have to put the work in, but also it comes from somewhere inside of you. And either you can connect with that stuff or you can’t.
Jeff: No, no, it’s perfectly. And I do understand why you wouldn’t wanna put yourself out there and be like 40, 60 be like, Oh, what am I paying for?
So are you feel comfortable [00:07:00] saying where you’re teaching acting at the moment? Oh
Janet Kidder: yeah, absolutely. I’m teaching acting at the Vancouver acting school and and it’s really great. It’s my first foray into that into that world. As a teacher, I was very nervous. I’ve only been teaching there for six months.
Something like that and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. It feels so nice to be able to give something back rather than just be so, you know, self sort of absorbed in this business, which you, you have to be to an extent. So I’m finding it very fulfilling.
Jeff: Are you able to tell which students have that kind of like that spark and they’re gonna be like stars or, or is it, you know, you never really know.
No, you could,
Janet Kidder: you know, you can tell that students that, that. Have it and students that are going to take, you know, a lot of work to kind of find out who they are. And I think that maybe that’s, that’s the key to a, to a teacher is trying to trying to make people aware of where they might hold, hold themselves back and try and give them, you know, the space to sort of [00:08:00] learn about themselves and experience different aspects of themselves that maybe they.
Would never do otherwise.
Jeff: For, for my day job, I actually, I’m going to teach high school teacher for my day job. I teach at a therapeutic high school in Rhode Island. And what kind of advice could you give me from as a teacher about how to deal with students who. Maybe are struggling like that.
Janet Kidder: Yeah. I think it’s really hard.
I don’t know how that would work in a high school setting. I mean, the thing about an acting class is that I get to say to them, listen, you know, this is a safe space. This is, this is if you’re going to break down and you know, if you’re going to hit against walls and then break down, here’s a real good place to do it because that’s what we’re here for.
We’re here to explore human behavior. I don’t know how that would go down in high school. But I don’t, you know, I’m of the, I tend to be more gentle than, than not. I find that, that the kids seem to respond better to that. But I also do try and [00:09:00] challenge them and nudge them gently, but firmly sometimes.
Jeff: No, I think that’s perfect. I think sometimes. Especially the teachers that I’ve been around, it seemed like they were afraid to push students and get to that level of not quite frustration, but, you know, touch up, push up against that level of frustration. And I think that’s where progress. Yeah, I think so too.
And concern myself with teachers who are like, well, they’re going to get upset about it. It’s like, yeah, that’s okay. Let them work through it.
Janet Kidder: Sometimes they’re not going to move forward until they get really uncomfortable. And so I always try and make sure that at least with one class in my course, that there’s that day where everyone’s a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit frustrated because then wonderful things tend to come from that
Jeff: definitely sounds, I mean, and you’ve had a very.
Extensive career. Well, one of your most prominent roles was on a show called Tom stone, and I’m gonna totally butcher the name of your character. It was corporal and Marina Del Luiz. Luzio dilutes Lucy, sorry. I’m a horrible, I’m really bad at that. [00:10:00] And on the show you played, basically you were there, your character was kind of like the foil to Tom stone.
So what was that experience
Janet Kidder: like? It was really wonderful. It was really it was great. I mean, I lived in, in Calgary there for the two years that we shot and I’d never really spent time there before. It was great to be Such an integral part of a show because then you and your immediate crew become so tight in sort of it feels like your baby, you know?
And so I think we all really, really enjoyed it. I got to work with a dear friend of mine, Stuart Margolin on that show. So it was a really, it w it was a treasured experience for me. We had a lot, a lot of laughs, a lot of fun doing that show.
Jeff: It looks like that the chemistry between your, your characters were.
Clear on, on screen. And I do always wonder how practice is that chemistry?
Janet Kidder: I mean, sorry to interrupt Jeff. You know, when you go into, when you go into a role like that, they’re going to screen test you for that [00:11:00] specific reason. They screen test for Marina dilute CEO’s and for Tom stones or something like that, to see where the chemistry really lies.
And and so I guess they like what they saw. I mean, you can’t. Can’t really manufacture that kind of chemistry. Although, you know, there are times where I’ve heard lead actors just hate each other, but you might never know from watching them. But we had a really great rapport, Chris and I, we really enjoyed working together.
And so hopefully that’s what comes across, you know,
Jeff: I mean, I don’t know if you may know the answer to this or not, but do you, like, where does chemistry come from? Like, is it just a way, like a timing thing? Is it a way of how you compliment each other as actors? W where does that kind of resonate from?
Janet Kidder: guess it must, you know, it must have something to do with the energy that you each give off. And the other one you know, it’s like, I really enjoy that person’s energy. And so then you give something back really genuinely. And if you’re both. Open and, you know, welcoming [00:12:00] of the other person’s energy.
Then I think that, you know, that’s where that’s where electricity happens. That’s where chemistry happens, you know, I think,
Jeff: Oh, absolutely. I want to know I’ve never been an actor and thank God for that. I probably would be bad at it. I mean, I, as an actor, I would assume you kind of have to be. Kind of exposed sort of like emotionally exposed and I’ve never been able to get think that comfortable of comfortable to be that, to expose myself in that kind of emotional way.
Janet Kidder: Oh yeah. Yeah. And you do. And I mean, that’s part of the, it’s part of the challenge and as part of the, the, you know, the joy and the excitement is to kind of lay yourself out there, obviously in a safe. In a safe way, but that’s where the magic happens is when you’re most vulnerable and most open often. So I just love it.
I think it’s really, really exciting.
Jeff: Well, I, I always envy those who, who can do it. And it’s one of those things that in your head, you always in your pretend, your head. [00:13:00] I wish I wish I could act in that role and whatnot, but you realize that in reality, I’d be horrible at it. So the show, Tom stone I was reading up a lot on it because I don’t think it’s available in the States, unfortunately.
And I know it was credited but I mean, I’ve read a lot of played those credit as being a distinct departure from a lot of the standard television in Canada that I kind of had a more United American field and Nancy’s feel to it as chord. It’s kind of, I heard it was like kinda like a Magnum PI kind of style and.
At the time when you were making it, did you realize you’re making something definitely kind of special and different than what was available in Canada at the time?
Janet Kidder: Well, it felt really, it felt really exciting and really fun. And, and, you know, with myself and, and Chris Martin and Stewart Margolin, the energy and the chemistry was really great.
I liked the ideas that we you know, dealt with. It was sort of more like white color. And it was just, you know, I really, I really got into all the stories. And [00:14:00] so I think it was just really nicely written. There were a core group of writers, so there was the same sort of energy throughout the episodes.
And so we could all grow together and yeah, I felt like it was, I felt like it was something special. It’s a shame. It didn’t go on for longer.
Jeff: Yeah, I find it interesting that I’ve talked to other actors on this podcast and I find that it’s interesting listening to. The re the relationship between the actors and the writing staff that sometimes are good relationships and there’s this kind of connection and interaction and an exchange of ideas.
Sometimes there’s not was on Tom stone. Was it kind of was it the, kind of like that interaction or was it very much, they’re doing their show, they’re writing it and you’re kind of just taking.
Janet Kidder: It depended on each episode and who had written it, to be honest, there were some writers that were more, you know attached to their ideas and their way of telling the story than others.
We would always be able to sit around and have like a, a table read and a discussion about it and, you know, give input. [00:15:00] And let’s say that some were more eager to take it on than others. So I think it’s a really individual. Aspect to, you know, how much creative input you can have. It depends on the individual writer.
So it was a mix, I think, with Tom stone and
Jeff: I, I can’t help, but think that when there’s true collaboration, it was absolutely probably felt better. I would imagine. Or.
Janet Kidder: Yeah. Like, you know, when you’re doing something as a team, then you all have a stake in it. So you all have a sort of a mutual you know, need of one another and respect for one another.
So it just creates a much more, I think, dynamic work ethic.
Jeff: Yeah. And then in 2002, you got nominated for a Gemini award for, for the role. And I can try saying the name of it because I told him, I said, okay, are you talking about, yes, indeed. So how did that feel? Like, did you feel going forward, does that give you an extra bolt of confidence that when you’re making your decision as an act, as an actor that you know, you’re making the right moves and you’ve proven yourself as a success.
Janet Kidder: I mean, it’s just nice to be [00:16:00] acknowledged. It’s nice to be acknowledged in a category, you know, among a strong actresses who I certainly respected and enjoyed their work and yeah, it’s it, it’s a definite, you know, it gives you a good sort of. Self-confidence boost that you’re doing it all right.
You know, you’re making, you’re making pretty good choices and there’s clearly something happening. Something is jelling that, that people think enough of you to nominate you for an award.
Jeff: It, because acting on some level is very Insular, I guess, because it’s you doing it, you know, you’re performing yourself with your ability.
Is it hard to build that confidence with yourself that you’re making the decision early on? Like, does that ever, is that a struggle or do you, because your success, you have the confidence knowing, or you wouldn’t have been as assess without that confidence starting? Well,
Janet Kidder: I missed never, ever, ever for one second question what I wanted to do.
So the passion and the sort of dedication to this. Was [00:17:00] something that was always just incredibly strong in me. And so I, and I know, I always knew that I was putting in the work and that I, you know, I thought I was doing pretty, pretty well and I just needed to keep going and keep going. I think that.
You have to love this and you have to, you have to love it to your core and be good at it, to be able to even get into a position where you’d ever be nominated for anything. So it’s like you have to have your own sort of confidence that brings you to the, to that point. And then when you’re recognized by others for what you’re doing, then it just kind of, you know, it’s like the icing on the cake.
You know, talk about co I don’t re I don’t often watch what I do because I’m probably going to just knock it. You know, I’d be my own worst critic. And so not respect, maybe I, you know, I’m still working with my confidence. But I trust myself in terms of what I’m doing. I trust that I, you know, I leave it there.
I leave it all on the table and I, and I walk away. And [00:18:00] so I guess that confidence, maybe I’m, maybe I’m not confident because I don’t want to walk, you know, I get pretty good feedback. So I leave it to others too, to kind of let me know if I’m on the right track, I guess.
Jeff: No, I can, I can get, I get that. On the side I do.
But my, the podcasts that I do and I love doing the podcast, but I will admit I don’t listen to my own episodes. I can’t, I pick apart my voice. I’m like, Oh, that sounded, why, why did I plug? Why did I stutter?
Janet Kidder: It’s not worth it. It’s not worth watching it. As long as I feel like on the day I did what I wanted to do, then I really can.
We much happier just walking away from it.
Jeff: I agree with you a hundred percent. So how did you get involved with star Trek discovery? Well,
Janet Kidder: it was just another audition, you know, I didn’t know that it was star Trek because they hold their cards very close to, you know it was just a, a great audition for this really strong female character.
And I guess they liked my audition and then they hired me and then I found out it was star
Jeff: Trek. [00:19:00] Did he know you’re playing a
Janet Kidder: villain? Oh, yeah. Well, she was, I knew I was playing a very strong woman that didn’t take any shit from anybody. Certainly. So and yes, she, I think in the audition I was contemplating poisoning somebody very high up.
So yeah, I knew that. I knew that it was a bad girl. Well,
Jeff: I mean, you’ve had a lot of experience with Saifai programming. You were in continuum or a final conflict. You were in fringe to those roles and dealing with, I guess I’m sure a lot of technical jargon help you when doing, when you’re working in star Trek.
Janet Kidder: Yeah, I mean, to be honest, you know, I take each each gig as just like a whole separate, separate entity. I mean, working on arrow and seeing how they did all that, you know, all the technical stuff possibly helped me to prepare for star Trek, but star Trek is, is on as a level, all of its own. So it was like a whole brand new experience.
But yeah, I guess the, the. Openness of my mind to be able to accept all the, the [00:20:00] Saifai you know, ideas was put in place by all the work I’ve done before, but, but the star Trek was it was just a whole new world. It’s fantastic.
Jeff: Well, I assume that the level of green screen for star Trek is probably at a level not seen in the lobby, other shows as well.
Is it hard to act in the green screen? And you know, I guess you had the character with the dots on their faces and you had to do the, you know, the motion capture stuff. Yeah. You
Janet Kidder: know, green screen is always really challenging because I mean, when you see the episode and it’s like, we’re looking at, you know, I don’t know how many ships blasting each other out of the sky in front of it.
That’s a, that’s a difficult thing to, to try and conjure when you’re, when you’re sitting there looking at an empty screen. But you know, again, I guess if we believe we’re seeing it, then you’re going to believe I’m seeing it. And so that’s, you know, it’s all part of the, it’s all part of the art.
Jeff: And a lot of, I won’t say an assumption, a lot of acting has to [00:21:00] do when you’re playing against somebody else, watching the facial features of that individual, you know, for reactions.
But with all that latex makeup, a lot of the actors have, do you lose a little bit of that ability to kind of play off them or at least play off their reactions?
Janet Kidder: Well, I mean, yeah, to be honest for me, I was the one that had most of the makeup on when I was talking with, although, when I was talking with Saroo you know, the captain he’s been doing this for such a long time, Doug is such a professional that, you know, it’s almost like.
You’re looking at someone without makeup, but the, you know, I got the majority of my scene was with her dead fare and he wasn’t wearing any prosthetics. So I didn’t find it that challenging to connect. No. Is
Jeff: it challenging for you to act underneath that level of makeup and whatnot as well?
Because once again, you’re also limited in your own facial movements a little bit.
Janet Kidder: Yeah. It was really challenging at first because my mouth was particularly [00:22:00] Compromised in the, you know, in the makeup, we had to have several tests makeup tests to try and alter the, the mouth so that I actually could articulate more.
Cause I found that quite difficult. But once you get used to your limitations in the makeup, then I learned to really relax and have more fun. And obviously, you know, a lot of the focus was going to be in my eyes because they were. They were real. And so you just have to learn how to sort of manipulate this, this mask.
I actually found it a fantastic experience as an actor to, to be working behind such a mask, really freeing in certain ways. And. And really, you know, restricting and other ways. So to try and find that, that balance so that you don’t look like a talking head was, you know, it was challenging at first, but, but I think [00:23:00] that it’s like, it’s almost like, you know, when you put on a pair of ice skates or roller skates, and at first you’re just like, Oh God, how do you, how do you can these?
And then once you get used to them, you’re like, Oh yeah, it’s just an extension of my foot. So that’s kind of. What I think it felt like with the makeup,
Jeff: you mean you’re a performance of a siren was fantastic. I mean, you, you were, you were bad-ass you had a, there’s a steeliness of the character that just works.
I mean, it, it was subtle but strong.
Janet Kidder: Yeah, that was great. I’m glad, I’m glad you thought that. I thought so, too.
Jeff: What, what, what did in preparing for the role? What did it, what did they tell you? Especially the writers about the character to get you into like the Headspace of this character.
Janet Kidder: I have to admit that I bought a lot of, Oh, Syrah to the table with me.
You know, the history of the show, the history of her race of people also, you know, really gave me so many clues in terms of who this, who this character was. [00:24:00] And I. I think that they just liked what I did, you know, it wasn’t, we didn’t have a great deal of discussion about it. It’s sort of, that’s how I, that’s how I felt the character was from, from the get-go.
So I had, I had their full support in in creating this really, you know, sort of understated villain.
Jeff: Now as you alluded to she, the characters in Orion, who like you said, is very famous in the franchise of species, did you go back and watch episodes with the, the Ryan’s in it and try to figure out either going forward, the type are against type in.
Janet Kidder: didn’t do that much. If I’m honest, like I was more focused on. Because she’s in such a position of power within the species that I wanted to know more about what got them here, what got Oh, Syrah to this position. And then that would help me to color her as a character. I didn’t look to [00:25:00] individual green people to.
To help me if I’m honest, just the race, generally, the struggle that they had had and where they came from. That’s what helped me. Yeah. Th th
Jeff: there’s there’s actually was a wonderful line that Syrah state in a discovery. I’ll just say as for, for the listeners You say it as a Syrah, my ancestors knew that power is virtue and there’s no nobility in suffering.
You do what it takes to get what you need, or you don’t. That’s such a, to me, it was such a fantastic line and you delivered it perfectly. So how did, so did that line when you read that line, like what, how did that. Further inform you about who this person was going to be a Syrah. Yeah,
Janet Kidder: absolutely. It did.
You know, I mean, she really, she really felt strongly about what she was doing and she felt, you know, it didn’t just come from she wasn’t doing it on a whim. Like th you know, this, these ancestors, this is like history that’s embedded in this world. And so. I think that she took, you know, took power from her people and from their struggle.
And [00:26:00] that’s what got her, where she is. Maybe she took it to a level that they would not have been thrilled by, but, you know, she was to, to put her people on the map in a real and genuine, in a genuine way and give them power.
Jeff: W were you able to, with a touch with a line like that, able to empathize with her a little bit, like, you know, I hear a lot of actors state that they have to kind of like love their character or at least feel that their character, in some ways the hero of their story on, on, on some way.
W what was the line like that able for a way for you to connect with your character when you heard a line like
Janet Kidder: that? Absolutely. You know, and there are sort of, you know, I had, I have a lot of empathy for Oh, Syrah. I think that she’s a phenomenal character. I know that she did things, her methods were, you know, not not always appreciated, but you know, she wasn’t just like a.
Nasty person. She had [00:27:00] definite ideas and was, was wanting to, you know, progress her people. And so all of those lines have hinted to things like that. And you know, her, her willingness to. To adopt the, you know, the agreement where she would, where she would commit to ending slavery. She really wanted to move forward.
And I feel that she did what she did because she felt that she had no choice at the time.
Jeff: So, so you think that scene when she’s talking to Admiral Vance, do you think, so you think she was being Look honest about ending or merging the Emerald chain with the Federation thing. That was an honest attempt to, and, and the, and the fighting in your opinion.
Janet Kidder: I do. I think it was an honest attempt to forge some kind of, you know, union moving forward, but obviously she was not prepared to take herself out of the picture. So, you know, a union, but very much including her and not solely on her terms because she acquiesced and [00:28:00] she, you know, she made concessions for the Federation, but I believe it was a genuine attempt to.
To move forward in a whole new way. She needed them. They needed her. And I think that she thought that it could happen, but, but never. For one second without her.
Jeff: I’ll sorry, I’m going to say it. So really the star Trek discovery crew really kind of screwed everything up. It,
Janet Kidder: they really did. I mean, the thing is, you know, the, the Admiral Vance was like, no, you, you basically can’t. Be a part of this. And so there was going to be no way forward, unfortunately, but I think that from what I’ve heard, people really wanted that to work. And so, yeah, I’m going to have to lay that at the feet of the crew of discovery for,
Jeff: I agree with you a hundred percent. Cause I remember watching the episodes, thinking myself. You know, if the crew just sits down and shuts up, they would’ve had an, a peace deal and rotini would have been involved. Everyone’s happy. No one [00:29:00] dies.
Janet Kidder: You do a star Trek from then
Jeff: on. That is true. It was bad. For the NRO chain, like it’s great for the audience.
So you’re also are trained and skilled in TaeKwonDo, gymnastics, and also dance. Did you. Did you want to incorporate those elements of yourself more into your character, have more opportunities to show off those abilities?
Janet Kidder: A lot of those stunts by myself at the, at the end, I didn’t, you know, I’d got, I did not do all of them by any means, but I certainly asked to be a part of the stunt journey and they allowed me to do, to do a lot of it.
So yeah, I like to, you know, if there’s an opportunity for me to be able to bring in my gymnastics and you know, my sort of minimal martial arts experience, then then I really want to, because it’s so much more fun.
Jeff: And I totally think Syrah got cheated. I mean, I feel like Syrah needed to be in so many more episodes then I turned out to be, yeah,
Janet Kidder: I think there could have been a, I think there could have been much more fun to be [00:30:00] had with those Syrah.
Jeff: I think so. Cause I mean, like I said, it was a well, a very well done villain and I think a villain that in a very few episodes. Proved to be a memorable one that I think had a lot more to build
Janet Kidder: upon. Yeah. Well, I mean, yeah, because if you think about it, it was only really in a couple of episodes. And the episode eight and episode 11 where it just little snippets, all.
So, I mean, I would love to have had a, sort of a longer buildup, you know, to get to know her a little bit throughout and seeing what she had done in the past to kind of paint a picture of her before we met her.
Jeff: I, I agree so much. And I think another great insight we had to the character was the story told by, I guess I think the camera’s name is Orelio played by Kenneth Mitchell which Syrah is almost described like in a very, like, almost nurturing, nurturing way that she helped them a lot.
I kind of felt that made her mostly and only humanized her more, but it always again, made her a character that you could empathize with a lot.
[00:31:00] Janet Kidder: Yeah. I think that, I mean, maybe they were nervous of that because how do you. How do you create, you know, w who in the end is to, it’s going, gonna try and take everybody down.
I don’t know how much loyalty and empathy we want people to have for them, but I do think that, you know, the character, the character was just so was just so wonderful. I think, I think that you could have gone in a number of ways and, and and a more dramatic death would have been something that I would have.
Jeff: Yeah. I mean, like, yeah, I definitely felt that more. Sorry I was totally needed. And I think once again, a different ending would have been fantastic. But cause I, I think like when you had that insight into a Raley’s character with the interaction with, or, sorry, I felt that it just had to be explored more like what kind of person does which cyber does, but yet has this great well of apparently Timothy for this other person.
Janet Kidder: Yeah. I think it would have been a really nice thing for me as an actor to be able to have that as well, and to really be able [00:32:00] to round the character off more because I think certainly with villains, they, you know, they can be so di two dimensional that lead brief opportunities I had to, to actually, you know, let my guard down with a Reltio were wonderful for me.
Just as an actor, just to be able to kind of, you know, beef the character up. So I would have, I would have loved to have seen more O Syrah in, in that kind of way.
Jeff: Yeah. There’s definitely more story to be told. I mean, maybe they’ll do a a group of novels about herself to, to fill in those gaps, but yeah, I, I really think that That the moment where you finally learn about a cider in a way that increased how interesting the character it was, they killed you off, unfortunately.
Janet Kidder: Well, I mean, if they hadn’t killed me, I would have taken over, I guess, so, so no, their, their hands were tied, but I kind of wanted to be shot out into space. And so we didn’t really know, you know, what happened to Oh, Syrah, because then there’s some opportunities there maybe in the future. I don’t know.
[00:33:00] Jeff: Yeah. I mean, I guess, I mean, we can assume a Syrah is dead, but once again, because we were under that kind of makeup, is there a chance you’re going to come back to the franchise as other
Janet Kidder: characters? Oh, I would, I would love it. Let’s see. Let’s fingers crossed.
Jeff: Once again, if anyone producers from Scotia, discoveries are listening, we dedicated more roles.
Janet Kidder: I didn’t tell them. I did tell them very, I was very adamant about it and very enthusiastic at the time, but, you know, I I’d love to come back. So, you know, whatever, however I needed to look next time, I would be willing to do it. Yeah.
Jeff: And, and I think the fans would love to have you back. And the one thing about star Trek fans is that they’re extremely.
Dedicated. I mean, they’re the most legendary how dedicated they are to their characters and their shows. Did, was there a point when you realized just how powerful their fan base that is, or how much of a help that you’ve entered that kind of fandom?
Janet Kidder: Well, I’m realizing it since the show [00:34:00] aired and suddenly it’s like, Whoa, you know, there’s, there’s there’s a lot there’s a lot of response to, Oh, Syrah. There’s a lot of discussions about Asyra, there’s, there’s a lot of press requests and you know, all sorts of fun things. I think when you’re doing the show, I certainly.
I certainly learnt, you know, that star Trek really is like this magical world and that I hoped the fans would, would, you know, clean onto a clean on. That’s really funny. I hope the fans would really like Syrah. Because I did feel a bit of a duty to you know, give him something good because they, they have, you know, they should expect nothing less from, from this franchise.
So, but you know, now I really am realizing how, you know, How important that part of this whole thing is, and I’m, I’m kind of thrilled by the response I’m getting from, from the people that have watched it.
[00:35:00] Jeff: I wonder if the writers and producers are surprised by just how well, like a Syrah was of the character.
I wonder if that took them as by
Janet Kidder: surprise too. I hope so. You know, I’ve got out there going, Oh my goodness. Yeah, we fucked up, what are we going to do you have to do something? Yeah, I mean, I’m, I’m, I couldn’t be happier with the, with the enormous positive response to this character, and I’m really happy with her too.
Like I thought that she was, I really liked her. So I’m glad that people are feeling similarly about it and making noise about it.
Jeff: And I’m pretty sure Syrah had an identical twin sister. I’m pretty sure somewhere in the universe,
Janet Kidder: right. That never got to do these things. Cause those Syrah was so in charge.
Maybe she even kept her in jail somewhere. You never know.
Jeff: I think that’s definitely a thing. I think once again, if everyone’s listening Syrah has in cannon, a twin sister, identical twins. [00:36:00] Yeah.
Janet Kidder: I mean, you know, we’ll just get the fans to, to write in and, and push all these things and, and, you know, let’s see what happens, such a wonderful production to be a part of such a, an incredible energy on set, especially working with Jonathan Frakes.
It was just, it was something I could do every day forever. It was just wonderful.
Jeff: Hashtag was Syrah twin.
Have you been doing the virtual conventions right now during the COVID
Janet Kidder: time? I’m starting, I’m doing one next Saturday. And that’s the first one thus far. And then I’m hoping to go to Las Vegas in August to do the big star Trek convention there. So hopefully that will go ahead as planned. We’ll have to see, I know it’s already been canceled, like, you know, or postponed several times.
So fingers crossed. We’ll all be vaccinated by then. And, and or most of us, and we can do it, even if it’s on a smaller scale.
Jeff: Do you want to plug [00:37:00] the virtual convention? That you’re a part of?
Janet Kidder: Sure. Just give me a moment, Jeff too. No worries. I am like. I have no social media life. It’s it’s a real choice for me.
It’s a, it’s a, you know, a conscious decision to not have any social media, but so that means that I’m not really up to date with all this. So hang on a second. I’m just trying to
Jeff: find it’s, it’s probably healthier that you don’t
Janet Kidder: well, it is, for me, it really is. Here we go. So the virtual con is with it’s with cool waters production, and it’s the women of star Trek, I believe. And. It is myself. And I’m sorry, Jeff, that this is taking me awhile.
Jeff: Well, we’ll, we’ll actually, I’ll put in for an edit and we’ll see what seemed like you had it right in [00:38:00] front of you the whole time.
Janet Kidder: perfect. Here it is. Okay. Here it is. Ladies of Trek it’s Cool water productions hashtag in-house slash con and hashtag ladies of Trek Trek in capital letters at cool waters productions, and it’s myself and Rachel anchor real.
Jeff: On the
Janet Kidder: show someone’s back. Okay. And it’s yeah, in-house con presents ladies of the star Trek universe and that’s that?
That’s it. Cool. We’ll to productions.
Jeff: Very cool. And you also have you’re also appearing in a, in a, in the third season of two-sentence horror story. Is that correct? An episode called Elliot? Yes, I did. Do you play now when you play mysterious janitor, can you tell our listeners a little bit about two sentence, hardest stories?
Janet Kidder: Yeah. What an interesting interesting show that was, it’s a really cool kind of idea. My character is, you know, a very supportive person who may have another agenda. [00:39:00] You know, that that will come to see it’s a very short little little episode as they all are. But yeah. Interesting. It’s a, it’s a really sort of another, another, not your run of the mill good person character.
Is there behind the janitor?
Jeff: Well, I mean, it sounds like a very interesting episode because it has to do with a bullied. Trans masculine person named Elliot. Who’s been dealing with issues of bullying and intolerance. So it just sounds like a very important episode in was that part of the reasons why you’d wanted that role, because it does deal with some kind of topical.
Very yeah, I
Janet Kidder: really liked this. I like the premise of the show. It does tackle with. You know, it tackles every day issues that are happening right now and sort of, you know, very relevant topics. And so I liked being a part of that. And also the character was just, you know, again, it was, was pretty fun to do.
And yeah, I like the people involved, so I just felt like, it just felt like one of those, you know what’s the word I’m looking for Jeff, [00:40:00] like Not honorable, not irrelevant. Yeah. Like a relevant sort of a socially, you know re responsible thing to be a part of, if that makes sense.
Jeff: Oh, I agree.
A hundred percent. And I was just thinking to myself that Sergeant discovery is also. A very socially relevant show. So you’re, I mean, once again, it seems like you’re gravitating towards shows that do have importance beyond just entertainment value. Yeah, I
Janet Kidder: think, and I mean, I think that’s also a, you know, a sort of a signal of the times, and there’s so much more being written about stuff like that, you know?
That it’s, it’s more fun to be able to be a part of something that you think it actually has a bigger message than just sort of, you know, the, the right here and now.
Jeff: Oh, I agree with you a hundred percent. What other problems projects are you
Janet Kidder: working on at the moment I’m working on charmed, which is I don’t know if you call it Saifai but it is, you know, it’s like three young, which sisters.
My wife loves
Jeff: the show.
Janet Kidder: I don’t know anything about it, except that I worked with Rupert on [00:41:00] a man in the high castle. So I know that he’s, he’s on the show, but I don’t know much more about it, except that it’s the three, the three, which sisters And that’s the only con there’s a couple of things up in the air at the moment.
But you know, with COVID and everything, it’s sort of, everything’s being left to the last minute right now. So I’m not going to talk about anything else, but yeah, I’m working on charmed right now
Jeff: is the episodes you’re in already released or is this before the season after?
Janet Kidder: I don’t know. I don’t know if season three has even begun I’m I’m so like I said, I sort of keep myself very much out of the loop.
I go to work last, I come home. Well,
Jeff: I’ll ask my wife. I said, she, she loves that show charm. She watched, did you like the original from the nineties? And she loves the remake as well. Right.
Janet Kidder: See, I remember the original from the nineties a little bit, because I remember the, you know, the actresses, but but yeah, that’s very limited knowledge at this point.
Jeff: No, there’s definitely no worries, but I just want to thank you so much for joining me on the show. [00:42:00] Fantastic guests. And I love talking to his battle. Syrah,
Janet Kidder: me too. I could talk about a Syrah a lot. So when her twin arrives, let’s talk again. I,
Jeff: I definitely would want that. And once again, hashtag Oh, Syrah twin.
Goddammit. Thank you.