Star Trek: The Next Generation star wants to return in Picard spin-off – but NOT a Tarantino movie
For 178 episodes over seven years of TV plus a clutch of feature films, Marina Sirtis became a sci-fi superstar as Star Trek: The Next Generation's half-Betazoid empath Deanna Troi.
After a few guest spots in Voyager, Deanna was last seen in the 2005 finale of Star Trek: Enterprise, but the return of Patrick Stewart as Jean Luc-Picard in upcoming spin-off Picard opens up the possibility that Troi could return too.
"I'm excited," Marina – currently acting in West End play Dark Sublime– told Digital Spy about the eagerly-awaited Picard. "I'm excited to see Patrick as Picard again because I think he was bloody brilliant in that character.
"If they ask me, I would love to be in it. But I have to be honest, the phone hasn't rung yet, so I'm not holding my breath.
"But I'd love to do it – as long as I don't have to wear that spacesuit again, because I've put on a bit of weight since then, and I don't fancy going to the fat farm to lose it all again!"
Picard will hit screens 17 years after the last Next Generation movie Nemesis and 25 years after TNG stopped airing on telly, but Sirtis is confident it will avoid the pitfalls faced by some long-awaited TV comebacks.
"Times have changed," she said. "When Gene Roddenberry, God rest him, was still around, one thing he insisted on was that there would be no conflict within the cast. Of course, that is anathema to actors because you go, 'What?! What do you mean no conflict?' Because conflict is drama."
She continued: "I think what will be different with Patrick's show is that that will not be the case. It's not going to be all hearts and flowers like TNG was. I think there's probably going to be a little more conflict.
"When Patrick told us that he was resuscitating the role, he did mention that he wouldn't be interested in doing it if it was a carbon copy. What interested him was that he wanted it to be more of a reflection of society as it is now."
When Star Trek: Nemesis flopped in 2002 (total box office of just over $43 million, compared to First Contact's $92 million), it put what felt like a premature end to the TNG cast on the big screen.
That crew had three-and-a-half movies over eight years, compared with the original cast's six-and-a-half films over 15 years, so did Sirtis feel short changed?
"It's show *business* and Nemesis didn't make enough money, end of story," she said. "That's why we didn't make any more. I think Paramount felt that we'd run our course and that was that. Mind you we did seven years [of television] and [the original crew] only did three, so there is that."
One potential Trek film that's still being talked about is the untitled Quentin Tarantino project, but don't expect Sirtis to appear in that, or even to shell out to see it at the movies.
"Please God it never happens!" she said. "No! I'm not a big fan, so I would not like that at all. I'm just going to leave it at that, and let you fill in the gaps."
But as CBS ramps up the TV Trek projects, there's the tantalising prospect of other spinoffs centred around other TNG mainstays. So what about the possibility of Star Trek: Worf, Star Trek: Troi or... er... Star Trek: Wesley?
"To be honest, I don't think there's ever going to be a Troi spinoff," Sirtis said. "I don't think that's going to happen.
"The reason I'd love to do it is not just because I'd like to resuscitate Troi, because actually I've played her. As far as an acting challenge goes, it's not one, really. I've played her for so long.
"But I'd just love to work with my mates again, because that was the best time of my life."
And if a new Trek movie recasts a younger Troi? "I think Mila Kunis would make a good Deanna Troi," she said.
"I think she's a lovely actress. She's got the right kind of look, and that wouldn't be too much of a stretch for her to play that part."
Marina Sirtis stars in Dark Sublime which plays at Trafalgar Studios from Tuesday, June 25 to Saturday, August 3.