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17 April 2014
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Interviews | Jeri Ryan
Silver suits and high heels


The infamous Seven of Nine costume

Picture I had enough input as to, you know, tweaking things and, ĎAre you OK with wearing high heels?í and, ĎDo you mind that itís tight?í Things like that. They were wonderful. They were very open with the design sketches, they showed me as soon as I was cast what the design idea was to make sure I was comfortable with it.

I know that the producer and Bob Blackman, who designed the costume, have gotten a lot of flak about the fact the character wears high heels. Number one, all the female characters wear heels, they all wear boots with heels. Number two, if youíre going to walk around with a body stocking, I want to see you pad around in flats, itís not happening. That wasnít a character choice, necessarily but you donít design the costume to have the shoes shot, necessarily. It just created a better line for the overall character.

Initially, I would stay in the costume much longer than I ended up staying in it, because it takes about twenty minutes to get into. Someone has to dress me and undress me. Itís a production break if I have to get out of the costume to use the rest room or something,. It grinds to a halt unless they can shoot something without me, which typically they canít, if itís a scene that Iím in. So, in the interest of being a team player, the first season, I would not take rest room breaks, I just didnít drink anything on set, which is not the healthiest thing to do.

As time progressed, I finally learned that you just heed the call of nature and take breaks when you need to take breaks. And finally it got to the point where, they would just let me get out of it after every take. When I wasnít in the shot, I didnít just wear it to wear it, because it was very uncomfortable. It looks very simple, it looks just like a leotard, but it really was a feat of engineering on Bob Blackmanís part to design this costume.

Thereís a corset, one-piece undergarment. Itís constricting and itís not comfortable. You canít really bend, you canít really sit comfortably in it. So I would get out of it between takes.

I donít know that I would leap at the opportunity to wear another really, really uncomfortable costume thatís not normal clothing, but if itís a great character, of course, Iíd be willing to do that. You do whatever it takes to play a wonderful, rich role as an actor. The overt sexiness of the costume, I had no problem with. I have no problem with it, because of the way the character was written. If she was written the way everybody thought she was going to be, when they saw pictures of her initially, then, yeah, I would have had a big problem playing that character. That was not something I had any interest in doing. But she was brilliant. Sheís a brilliant character, she was strong, she was a wonderful role model for young women, and I have no problem with it. We have intelligent women in every physical form, in real life, so why shouldnít we see that depicted on television.


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