Penny Johnson Jerald almost passed on Star Trek: Deep Space Nien
Penny Johnson Jerald is a Star Trek alum, having appeared on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Kasidy Yates, and later Kasidy Yates-Sisko. It’s one of the bigger, non-starring roles that Trek has featured. Yates’ entire run revolved around an amazing arc that saw her evolve from smuggler to the wife of Benjamin Sisko and a respected member of the Deep Space Nine community.
It’s a role that launched Johnson Jerald’s career and helped her maintain a firm spot in Hollywood for decades following the end of the show. Yet, the current Orville actress was going to pass on the project originally.
It wasn’t until her manager-husband, Gralin Jerald, convinced her to take the role. Johnson Jerald told Heavy.com;
"I didn’t want to do it at first because I was not a Trekkie. I didn’t even understand what that was until my husband, who is also my manager, said, ‘No, you’re going to do this because this is Star Trek.’ He’s a diehard Trekkie."
Penny Johnson Jerald may not have gotten The Orville without Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Johnson Jerald is a wonderful actress and her work on not just Deep Space Nine but The Orville is some really impressive work. Yet, I’d wager a guess that had she not appeared on Deep Space Nine, she wouldn’t be on The Orville.
It’s not because she’s not a viable talent, it’s simply because part of the appeal of landing her in the first place was part of capturing that Trek magic. The entire purpose of The Orville was to be a love letter to the Trek of old, with many of that franchise’s biggest names or most important crew members lending a hand on The Orville.
Johnson Jerald may have landed the role if she was never in DS9, but it’s also just as likely that, in this fictional alternate universe, whoever landed the role of Kasidy Yates instead would’ve been on the Orville in Johnson Jerald’s stead.
Thankfully we don’t have to think about a Johnson Jerald-less DS9 or Orville.