Nichelle Nichols has been so busy the past couple of years, she said she had no idea what show she was auditioning for that led to a recurring role on the NBC hit series "Heroes.” Nor did she know former cast mate George Takei (Sulu on "Star Trek”) had guest-starred on the show. Then it took some trekkers to tell her she had landed the part.
Nichols, who played communications officer Lt. Uhura on the original "Star Trek,” said she was between filming movies when her agent told her she had an interview to go to in Los Angeles. She protested since it fell on the same day she was leaving to shoot a film in Denver. But her manager convinced her she would have plenty of time to catch her plane. After taping a "lovely scene” as a grandmother, she hurriedly left for Denver, she said in a recent phone interview. "A couple of days after I was in Denver, fans came up to me and said, ‘You're going to be in "Heroes”!' And I'm going, ‘What? What?' I called my agent when I got home, because the hotel had a message for me from my agent. And he said, ‘Well, guess what?' And I said, ‘Yeah, I'm in "Heroes.”' He said, ‘How the hell did you know? Nobody is supposed to know that!' I said, ‘Ask a trekker anywhere,'” Nichols said, laughing. Nichols will get a chance to meet Oklahoma trekkers at Tulsa's annual Trek Expo today and Sunday. Q:At your age, 75, a lot of people think about slowing down. What about you? A:I'm just getting started. One thing is I don't mind anybody else telling my age, but I don't use numbers, and maybe that's one thing. Because I don't think about it. Q:What would you like to do in the future? A:I had done a one-woman (stage) show in which I become 12 legendary black women entertainers. We really are about to reproduce that again, so I am in the middle of rewriting it. And then I have another book to write to complete the trilogy of the adventures of Saturna. Q:Have you started work on that? A:Yes. That, and I have a couple of movies to do. So I guess you can just say I'm gonna keep on keeping on. Q:There's a lot of overlap between "Heroes” and "Star Trek,” because of you and George Takei having roles on the show, the frequent mentions of "Star Trek” on the show and now Zachary Quinto (Sylar on "Heroes”) is going to be in the new movie. A:He's playing Spock.
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Trek Expo 2008•What: Science fiction, fantasy and media convention featuring guest speakers and celebrities, autograph signing, vendors and charity memorabilia auctions. •When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. •Where: John Q. Hammons Union Multipurpose Activity Center, 6836 S Mingo Road, Tulsa. •Guests: Adam Baldwin, Nichelle Nichols, Linda Park, Walter Koenig, Helen Slater, Wil Wheaton, Dean Stockwell, Keith Birdsong and other celebrities and industry insiders. •Information: trekexpo.net, e-mail email@example.com or call (918) 369-0650.