Nana Visitor played Major Kira for seven seasons on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Nana Visitor has talked before about the negative feedback she received from women during her time portraying Major Kira on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She was told she shouldn’t be angry or tough, yet, that is exactly what the role required. Major Kira had gone through hell and back. She’d watched her people being brutalized and killed, her planet being overtaken by the Cardassians, and had fought her way out of captivity. Anger is a natural response, but the production team listened to the negative feedback, and during the second season, she was called into the office. But it wasn’t just for portrayal of the character.
In an interview with Trekmovie, Visitor said she was told she needed to be softened and that she walked like John Wayne. Apparently, viewers took issue with her confident stride which led the producers to want to make some changes. Not wanting to get fired, Visitor offered a suggestion.
Nana Visitor decided to wear heels in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Since her walk was one of the objections, Visitor suggested that the team put her in heels then she wouldn’t be able to walk the way that seemed to be offending people. The actress goes on to say that felt like she was telling the producers to make her antelope with a moving explanation.
"Make me an antelope, make me have hooves, and then the lion can feel like he can catch me.’ That’s what it meant to me. And then I had to struggle with ‘Okay, I made myself an antelope here. Now how do I keep doing this character?’ And that’s when I thought about Ginger Rogers. Put me in heels, put me in anything you want, I will still be this woman."
Kira’s costume might have changed, but the tone of her character did not. Nor should she have. To have softened her to the point where she was no longer intimidating would have been stealing the essence of the character. How could anyone go through such atrocities as she had and not be changed, hardened, even? Fortunately, Major Kira remained the strong, confident, determined second-in-command of Deep Space Nine…even in high heels.