Spotlight: Roxann Dawson

Happy Birthday, Roxann Dawson! (September 11)

Roxann has made a unique and indelible mark on the Trek franchise, as the actor who played the complex, smart, kick-ass character of B’Elanna Torres as well as a director of many Enterprise episodes (and so many other awesome shows since). 

It’s important to note that in all of Star Trek, there have been very few women episode directors. Roxann is one of only two of the actresses (the other being Gates) to get to direct any episodes, and she ended up with 10 Enterprise and 2 Voyager episodes to her name.

Roxann on B’Elanna

I thought that they never forgot about B’Elanna. If you look at her, from her first episode through all her transitions, internally, as a couple with Tom, as a member of the crew, it was great. She grew, she changed. She wasn’t perfect. She failed and recovered. I never felt like they left her on the sidelines. I think she continued to change and grow through all seven seasons.

And on directing generally:

It is more fulfilling because it involves more of the pieces of the pie, I guess. When you’re acting you’re just working on that one little piece. And as a director I have control over a lot more. For a control freak like me, it’s a lot better.

And finally, on Enterprise specifically:

So helping create something that had already been established was a great deal of fun, especially when it came to working with the cast. They treated me with a lot of respect because they knew I had done it for seven years and that I ‘got it.’ It was a very, very generous group of actors on Enterprise and all trying to find their characters, knowing that they were part of the franchise, but still looking to find their own voices, as we did on Voyager. It was neat for me to have that understanding and to look at them and go, ‘I know what your days are like. I know what you’re feeling right now and what you’re going through.’ I think that insight allowed me to better communicate with them. Again, they were all very nice, generous actors as well as people and I enjoyed getting to know them.

(image via Trekcore)

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