Jennifer Lien Prodigy On-Line Chat

Jennifer Lien (Kes) was a guest in Prodigy Chat on May 23, 1996. The chat log has been edited to remove superfluous questions.

Moderator: Good evening and welcome to tonight's chat session with actress Jennifer Lien. Jennifer, as you probably know, stars on STAR TREK: VOYAGER as Kes, the inquisitive young revolutionary Ocampa who helps her lover, Neelix, run the officer's mess aboard the USS Voyager...WITH GREAT PLEASURE FOLKS... HERE'S JENNIFER LIEN!!!!

Jennifer Lien: Hello this is Jennifer Lien and thanks for having me on Prodigy... hi!

Moderator: Welcome, Jennifer...

Moderator: It's great to have you here... Let's get to the questions!

Question: Hi Jennifer! This is great having you online. Congratulations on a great season. Were you happy with the way the show went this year? What were the highlights for you?
Jennifer Lien: Thank you so much...glad to be online. It was a wonderful season. I enjoyed it tremendously. Highlights? Growing fondness for everyone...the whole crew. It just keeps getting better as far as the atmosphere. I think a lot of the guest stars are highlights of the year. Going on location to shoot the cliffhanger, the season's opening... are all highlights.

Q: Since your character has such a short you think the character might die before you, the actress, tires of portraying her?
JL: I can't imagine getting tired of portraying her at this point. But the character might die. You know? While the show is still... I don't know. I can't imagine myself becoming tired of portraying the character.

Q: How many weeks ahead of air time do you guys film? Are the shows written and revised right up to the time you go before the cameras -- or are they done a little bit before then? Any idea on storylines for next season?
JL: I believe that they come up with the stories and the idea ahead of time. But there are always changes.

Q: What kinds of practical jokes transpire behind the scenes of VOYAGER?
JL: Just in-the-moment jokes... things that usually pertain to conversation. It's hard to say in particular.

Q: What are your feelings on the show moving to 9 o'clock on Wednesdays in the fall? Is most of the cast happy with the move or is change always something you have to adjust to?
JL: I think it's mainly positive overall feeling with UPN and the group overall. We hope that the kids will still stay up and watch. It might be late for kids to watch but... you know, it's really not that late. Hopefully it will be a great time for all of us. We feel very positive about it.

Q: How many hours of makeup do you go through before filming each morning?
JL: It depends on how everything is going : the wig, wardrobe... usually we're given about three hours.

Q: How much fan mail do you get and do you answer most of it personally? BTW all my friends think I look like you...which is very flattering because I think you are very beautiful : )
JL: Thanks! fan mail... I get some every now and then, and I used to answer it in the beginning of the first season myself... but it took a long time and it didn't get returned as quick. It was better to have someone help me with it so it can be returned properly and answered quickly.

Q: Jennifer, is Kes going to undergo any changes in the next season or two?
JL: Any changes? I'm sure there will be changes but I don't know what they will be.

Q: How many auditions did you have to do for Voyager or did they hire you after your first?
JL: I did a few of them.

Q: Do you feel that Neelix is essential to the character of Kes?
JL: I think that in some ways yes. In many good ways.

Q: Which cast members joke around the most on the set (what types of things do they do)? What kinds of things do you guys do to pass the time between takes?
JL: Everybody jokes around. Everybody! In between takes we talk, rehearse, joke around... you know.

Moderator: Did you know that Jennifer Lien starred on ANOTHER WORLD? She landed a role on the show at age 16 (playing misfit orphan Hannah)...

Q: Does Neelix [Ethan Phillips] really cook?
JL: Well, during the scenes they're real vegetables... it's real food and there's really stuff there to cook with. But take after take it's hard to keep cooking. So yeah, but no!

Q: Do Kes' ears affect your hearing while you are wearing them? And do you ever forget they are on?
JL: I've gotten used to them, but there are times when I feel them... and I know they're on my head... as for my hearing, not really.

Q: Do you think Tom and Kes's relationship will grow into anything or will she stay with Neelix?
JL: I think the relationship has the possibility of being developed, but romantically it's Neelix.

Q: Tell us a little bit about the filming schedule on Star Trek. Is it long hours?
JL: It varies depending on the character's particular story with the episode.

Q: What are some of your hobbies when you're not working?
JL: Reading, going to movies, plays, going out with friends, traveling...

Q: Do you like going to Star Trek conventions?
JL: I have enjoyed them, yes.

Q: I know you play trombone, what kind of music do you like to play? And is that any way a fan can get a recording of you playing?
JL: I don't play anything in particular. I don't record. It's just for fun. I'm not a musician... I just play around.

Q: What is it like working with Kate Mulgrew?
JL: She's phenomenal... she's excellent...

Moderator: Jennifer can be heard on Adam Sandler's comedy album (he of Saturday Night Live fame)... She's also been heard as a guest voice on THE CRITIC... Speaking of which...

Q: What voices have you done for "The Critic?" Any other voice-over work?
JL: I did the first season opener and then I've done the Adam Sandler album. I just finished doing a voice for the Lion King... and I did Baby Blood and an episode of Duckman.

Moderator: For BABY BLOOD, Jennifer dubbed lines in the English version of the French Miramax film...

Q: When you were a kid were you a fan of the original series?
JL: I was familiar with it.

Q: How is doing a series for UPN different than working for one of the larger networks like NBC or ABC?
JL: Well I don't know. All I know is that working for UPN is very exciting.

Q: How often do you tune in to Star Trek: Voyager? Do you sit down and watch it on TV like the rest of us?
JL: When I can, I do.

Q: What kind of voice work did you do on Adam Sandler's album? Did you have fun doing it?
JL: I played the valedictorian on the album. And it was a lot of fun.

Q: Ms. Lien? I would like to know your top 5 favorite episodes of Voyager, and your 2 favorite people to work with, besides Ethan Phillips.
JL: I could never name a top five they all require so much work... I could never narrow it down to five. I have fun doing every one of them and everyone has their moments in every episode.

Q: How old are you Jennifer?
JL: In real life? I'm 21.

Q: Have you been in any other films on or off the big screen?
JL: No.

Q: Do you have regrets you weren't a part of Another World last night when they swept so many awards at the Daytime Emmys? Do you miss those days?
JL: I have no regrets and congratulations to them!!

Q: your character eventually going to have a child?
JL: That's a possibility.... who knows??

Q: Ms. Lien, have you always wanted to be an actress?
JL: Yes! It's definitely what I like to do.

Q: Ms. Lien, how does your experience working on Voyager compare to any expectations you may have had about the project?
JL: Hmmm... I'm in an incredible situation. I didn't think it could be as great an experience as it is. I didn't really have a lot of expectations because I didn't really know what was going to happen. I've been very, very lucky and it's pretty incredible... it's a good place to be.

Q: Are you worried about your career? The Ocompa live only 9 years. The Next Generation lasted for 7. If Voyager lasts as long, the Kes character will be an old woman.
JL: Maybe...

Q: Is your character going to show signs of aging soon? Some of the other Ocampa looked pretty old and I'm wondering if they'll make you look middle aged in the 4th or 5th season.
JL: I'm sure the character will mature. Specifically, the possibilities are pretty ... there's a wide range of possibilities as to how the character could age. I don't know if that will be pursued through makeup or through the stories. I don't know how it will be handled.

Q: When I watch Star Trek Voyager, I never get the feeling that the ship is making any progress getting to Earth. Do you know if this will change in the future?
JL: Well it's making progress but, you know, there's a lot of places to get lost before we make it back!

Q: What other tv or movies have you done beside Voyager?
JL: I did a show called Phenom, I did Another World, and that's about far.

Q: Do you think Kes considers The Doctor a father-like figure?
JL: I think there are other elements besides just that.

Q: What do you think needs improvement on Voyager, and what do you think is working well?
JL: I think everything is working well, I do. That's probably the challenge of having a show with thirty years behind it. It all works well. You can't focus on all the issues with the same value and the same time otherwise it wouldn't be a drama and a story. It all comes together and in doing so, it grows and it will continue.

Moderator: Our thanks to Jennifer Lien for sharing some time with us tonight. Continued success to you Jennifer!

JL: Thanks for your questions and thanks for having me online. Have a good evening...goodnight!!