Jeri Ryan’s Seven of Nine was supposed to have a large role in Star Trek: Nemesis.
Jeri Ryan was going to have a major role in Star Trek: Nemesis, returning to her role as Seven of Nine. Ryan, who cites a fear of never being able to break away from Star Trek, turned down not just the film role but also a walk-on cameo. Her reasoning? She didn’t want to miss time on Boston Public (not to be confused with Boston Legal; the William Shatner lead show).
By Ryan’s own words, it seemed the role she was to play in the film was going to be a large one, indicating that her filming would take a few months to complete. This certainly makes it obvious that the folks at Paramount were aware of Ryan’s popularity thanks to Star Trek: Voyager, and wanted to inject her into the film. Even if it didn’t make any sense, as Ryan’s character had never met the crew of The Enterprise before the events of the film.
Granted, her meeting them could’ve been the point of the film, but that’s not known.
According to Trekmovie, Ryan was clear about wanting to break away from her Star Trek notoriety.
"When I got off [Voyager] I was very very lucky to step right into a David Kelley show [Boston Public]. That was when they were shooting [Star Trek: Nemesis] Paramount called Rick Berman and said “put Jeri Ryan in the movie” which is very nice and flattering and Rick called and said “do you want to be in the movie?” And I was like “hmmmm.” I just did four years in a catsuit and I just got on a David Kelley show, which was my one chance to break out of Star Trek, which was still frankly a fear that I wasn’t going to be able to escape that and do something else. You have very little outs in a TV series contract, so I didn’t want my first step once David Kelley made this role for me to be “Hey, could you let off for a couple months to do Star Trek.”"
She also believed she didn’t fit in with the crew as a character, going on to say;
"I told them if there was a reason for this character to appear in the story, then absolutely. If there was a good story reason, then absolutely, but she never interacted with any of the characters on [Star Trek: The Next Generation], she’s never met them. Why would she be there? They would be plugging her in just to plug her in. It was just odd. So it wasn’t the right thing to do…They understood, but then he was like “Do you want to do a cameo at the wedding?” And I was like “no, if I don’t want to be in the movie, why would I want to do a cameo.”"
The movie ended up having a Voyager cameo, after all, Kate Mulgrew, who was returned as Kathryn Janeway, an admirable at this point in the story.
Ryan should’ve taken the role, all things considered. While it’s her right to navigate her career the way she wants, turning down a lucrative role just to be taken more seriously as an actress is a bit foolish. Many actors have found great success steering into the genres that made them famous. From Karl Urban to Zoe Saldana, numerous careers have been springboarded because they didn’t shy away from being typed-cast.
Since the end of Boston Public, she’s had one major roll on a series, Body of Proof, which only lasted 42 episodes. While it’s unlikely that Nemesis would’ve led to her becoming the next big star, she certainly cost her self in the long run by not giving it a fair shot. Plus, she eventually returned to Star Trek anyway.
So really, what was the point?