This episode of Star Trek aired in 1998, and was set in the 1950’s. Why are we still dealing with identical scenarios? Why are the same racism, police violence, and systemic injustices at play in 2014?
After Star Trek, I was with the top agencies, but producers and directors did not know what to do with me. Everybody told me to stay in Hollywood. This was the place they said I could have a big career. What they failed to mention was that no one would quite know what to do with me.
How many roles are there for actors with accents or foreign looks? I knew I was not about to displace the Florence Henderson types as the mother on shows like The Brady Bunch. If there is an exotic woman it’s always a terrorist role. The American audience’s limited expectations cause Hollywood’s trepidation, and, like an albatross, they limit the textural realism that today’s writer and director can create.
Persis Khambatta (Ilia in Star Trek: The Motion Picture) in the last interview she did before her death in August 1998. From the Star Trek Communicator December 1998 issue.