What did Linda Park learn from growing up in the Star Trek universe?

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Rick Yaeger: Hey everyone. It’s Rick Yaeger here with one question interviews. The show where I ask famous people curious questions. My guest today is Linda Park who is seen on TV in “Crash,” “Women’s Murder Club,” and “Raines,” but will always have a home on the USS Enterprise as “Hoshi Sato.”

Welcome to the show, Linda. Thank you so much for being my guest today.

Linda Park: Thank you for having me, Rick.

Rick: What have you been up to because I mentioned Enterprise, but can you believe that was nine years ago?

Linda: Oh my gosh. I think it was…

Rick: Well nine years since it went off the air.

Linda: Well, yeah. I can’t even believe that. I did a convention last year in Germany with some other people. I couldn’t believe that I first met them when I was 21 years old [laughter].

Rick: You kind of got that part almost right out of acting school. You got…

Linda: I got back the same time I got a play at San Jose Repertory Theatre, Cyrano de Bergerac. I was seriously contemplating doing the play, and my agents said, “Are you crazy? Do you realize?” I’m very glad I chose to do “Star Trek” instead.

Rick: [laughs] I am sure the play would’ve been great, but you know…

Linda: Yeah. I was young.

Rick: How is that like for any actor, joining something that is that huge? It’s like this perpetual motion machine of popular culture.

Linda: It’s like having a super well-known ultimatum, like if you went to Harvard. You feel like, even though you don’t go there anymore, you still feel this kind of — because that’s Harvard. In itself, it’s iconic as well — that you feel part of this family.

With “Star Trek,” I definitely feel that it’s been a slow process for me to finally absorb the bigness, of it all. In the beginning it was too much me. I went into denial a little bit, and tried to not admit this big thing that I had become part of.

I am so grateful to it because, I’ll do a whole bunch of different kind of work, and I have done, and have worked nonstop since then.

My grandchildren and my great grandchildren — I am pretty sure — they’re going to remember me for having their own little grandma action figure, or being Uhura’s predecessor in the lineage of “Star Trek.” This is something that I can give to grandchildren.

They’ll be like, “Whatever, you were on ‘The Mentalist’ or you did a show with Dennis Hopper, you did,” whatever, [inaudible 03:03], but they’re going to remember “Star Trek.”

Of course, they’ll remember Dennis Hopper, but it won’t be as strong as “Star Trek,” especially now that the franchise is reinvigorated with JJ Abrams.

Rick: How do you feel about being “Hoshi Sato,” for the rest of your life?

Linda: Well, there are wonderful things about being “Hoshi Sato,” of having such a loyal fan base that will follow you and they want to know what your projects are.

They want to believe in everything that you do. It’s wonderful to have that kind of support from fans, and that kind of loyalty that’s very rare.

The problem with being “Hoshi Sato,” to an extent, for the rest of my life, is that I shot that when I was young. I was learning on the job. I was on camera very little.

My first job out to LA had been “Jurassic Park.” I was in LA for a couple of weeks and I got this part in “Jurassic Park” and it was a one day thing as Laura Dern’s assistant. I was frightened that when I came out and there were all these like crew, I forgot my one line. I forgot my one line. That’s sort of my thing.

At the end of the day, Sam Neill made everybody clap for me and say, because he knew that I was straight out of drama school. It was ironic. Then last year, I ended up shooting a pilot with him, 14 years later, 13 years later. I didn’t tell him. I didn’t remind him of that, though.

That was the newbie place I was coming from when I started the show, where I was nervous about everything that I was learning how to be in front of a camera, I was learning how to deal with jitters on set, while it was being recorded.

I was learning as I went. There are good things about that, but there are sometimes I look back and I was like, “Oh, gosh.” It’s good to start working right away and I mean, it’s also not good to start working right away.

Because it’s out there, especially when it’s not a pilot, but when it’s part of a big franchise like that. It’s not going to go hideaway in some vault somewhere, no one will ever see it. Everyone’s going to see it.

Rick: But it did play into your character. Your character was very fresh as well. If each character contributed an emotion to the next, hers was kind of her, I don’t want to say her lack of confidence.

Linda: I talk about that a lot, because you’re exactly right about that. I felt going into it, everyone had a place on the clock of what they were contributing in terms of, representing some aspect of humanity-of human range of emotions.

Mine was to bring this idea of being a student myself and who she was, a teacher that had never been in space. The idea of that original feeling of “Star Trek,” of going into space and not knowing what to expect and being a novice.

Not being sure of one self. How do you do this? How do you deal with talking to aliens? How do you deal with being scared of going at warp speed? I wanted to explore if the Vulcan is at 10 I wanted to be at one.

Do you know what I mean? If it’s the most enlightened, I wanted to be most human on the dial, the most emotional, the most self-doubting, the most young, in that sense. It helped because it mirrored what was happening in real life on set.

It was mirroring what was happening with the character. I did bring a lot of that into the script. They started writing “Hoshi” that way for me, because you can only bring who you are. Once you get the job you have to be your own essence, or part of that essence that they like.

Rick: The show needed to have that element. Because how many “Star Trek” shows had preceded it? You had the “Original,” you had “Next Generation,” you had “Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager.” Four other series had this same kind of sandbox.

Yet this one was the one, where all of the characters had to be new to the sandbox. The audience wasn’t new to it, but the characters were. You need to have that one character that is wide-eyed and freaked out, so that you get that this is the first time that somebody’s gone, into a transporter.

They don’t know if they’re going to get to the other side OK. That’s the charm of Enterprise for me. I’m one of those people that didn’t see it when it first aired. I don’t know what I was watching that day [laughs], but I wasn’t watching it.

Now I am discovering it. I’m dreading the day I get to the 4th season, because I know it’s coming to an end and that’s it.

Linda: The 4th season is the best season.

Rick: That’s what I’ve been told, and I have skipped around. I have peaked at the back of the book. It’s a great series and others will be like me and seeing it and thinking, wow, I wish I’d been there when it was on to have supported it.

Linda: It was on a network that was not knowing who they were anymore, and how we even belonged on their network. UPN was primarily African-American programming, except for “Star Trek.” There were a lot of things. We did the best we could which is all you can ever do.

Rick: 10 years later you’ve been playing a lot more confident and no nonsense characters, since then.

Linda: Yeah. I feel I went the total opposite direction. I thought, OK. I want to be allowed to go into my full power, because I had been kind of playing the more child-like one. I was wanting to become a woman myself.

I was starting to get into my mid early ’20s. All right, I want to start playing women. The project right after that was my favorite by far, and it was sad that it didn’t go for a second season.

It was with Jeff Goldblum and that’s fun, because that’s on “Hulu” and I always wished the people would have watched, that show.

Rick: That was, “Raines?”

Linda: That was “Raines” and you can find it on “Hulu” now and go back and watch it. I recommend people do, because it’s Graham Yost as well who did “Justified.”

Rick: Oh good.

Linda: He was such a joy to work with. Everyone he brought on to the project, a lot of people who are from “The Shield” and I was obsessed with that show during that time. It was kind of an homage to LA, “Film Noir Style,” even though it was present day.

It was a lot of like, “The Maltese Falcon” and then kind of present day Jim Thompson. Inspired by “The Long Goodbye,” “Do you know” with Eliot Gould?

Rick: Yep.

Linda: We filmed in his apartment there at the very top of the hill. That was one of the murder scenes in “The Pilot.” Frank Dearbot directed “The Pilot.” It was a dream. After “Star Trek” it was a complete different.

I got to be a cop and kind of improv things and be a tomboy and one of the boys and kind of a tough little Korean girl. It was so much fun. Jeff Goldblum, he’s so much fun to work with — Unpredictable, but wonderful in that way. Then it didn’t end.

That’s the sad thing about the way television has been moving. Don’t get attached too quickly, because you never know if you’re pilot’s going to get picked up, if the show is going to go another season. It’s much harder for shows to stay on air, than it ever was before.

Rick: How long does a show have to find its audience now? It doesn’t seem like it’s very long. You used to seem like you would get a season and then they’d re-evaluate it.

Now it seems like, the networks want to get five episodes and if you haven’t found your footing, we got to pull you out before you wreck us all.


Linda: Yeah. That’s definitely been kind of the room, to grow into your pace of the show is shorter and shorter and shorter now, where it’s kind of that immediately take.

The good thing is that there are networks who like shows like, “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men”– They were allowed to for a while. It wasn’t until their second season, people started watching. If you look at the huge success of those shows, there’s something to be said about allowing that.

Rick: They also had the bright idea of putting those previous seasons on “Netflix,” to give people a chance to binge watch it and get hooked.

Linda: Well, “Netflix” is smart about the binge watching, because now like with “House of Cards,” they released the entire “Orange New Black,” the entire season so people can watch it at their own pace and they don’t fall off the wagon.

Because sometimes in television what happens, is you get into the show and then you’re not able to watch a couple episodes, and you fall off the wagon.

Rick: Right. Well I’m going to get to the random element of the show. As you know the show is called, “One Question Interviews.”

I have almost a thousand, different questions ranging from the profane to the profound. I’ll choose one at random and you’ll answer it seriously or in a funny voice, if you like, and everyone goes home happy. Cool?

Linda: Yep. Sounds cool.

Rick: OK. Here’s the stack I’ve grabbed. You tell me when to stop.

Linda: When’s when?

Rick: When? OK. Do you want the bottom to the top or the top to the bottom?

Linda: The one that you’re holding in your bottom hand.

Rick: This one?

Linda: Yep.

Rick: OK. This is good. If you could spend a day with any of your heroes, who would it be and how would you spend that day?

Linda: Oh my gosh. Of all the heroes. Do they have to be dead or alive or does it matter?

Rick: I don’t want to restrict you with that.

Linda: All right. That sounds good.

Rick: I want to find out who your hero is, even if it’s long since.

Linda: Honestly this may be cheesy. I’d like to go on a long walk in the woods with the Dalai Lama, and then I would like us to go to the French Laundry and have the seafood menu, for lunch.

Rick: Excellent. Well a long walk would get you the spiritual and the insight, because he’s such a wise person, and he says so many amazing things. They are kind of global comments that apply to everyone.

If you went for a walk with him, those comments would be specific to you. He would find out about you, and where you’re at in your life and what you need to hear.

Linda: Yeah. I feel that would be the ultimate kind of, the best therapy you would ever pay for.

Rick: Exactly.


Linda: Is a day with the Dalai Lama.

Rick: And finish it up with some great food.

Linda: Yeah, some great food and some jokes with a Lama.

Rick: Jokes with a Lama. That’s great. Thank you so much. That’s a stupendous answer. Thanks for coming on the show. Everyone, check out Linda on lindapark.net. I want to ask you about urbnharvest.com before we go as well.

Linda: It’s a new kind of video content that I’m producing. I’ve got about seven or eight different episodes. It’s a hobby and passion of mine, which is agrarian living within the city. I have chickens. I have a garden. I compost. I make my own cheese. I make my own nut milks. I kind of do everything.

I try to do everything from scratch as best I can or learn how to. I always had dreams growing up of being like “Little House on the Prairie,” and going out to get milk from the cows and knit my own clothes and all of that.

As an adult, I’ve found that I don’t want to leave the city, but I see this great community of people who are bringing some of those traditions, into the city.

I want to develop content for, not only to showcase and highlight people I know who are doing that in the city. Like my friend who grew up in New York, he goes to Texas and he hunts and he brought back all different cuts of venison.

He went to Italy to find a thousand year old sourdough starter, and he makes bread. I have friends who make beer.

I wanted to start making fun stylish cool content that’s not very hippyish, but it’s very modern and accessible. That is entertainment, but is also information on how you could do simple things. Like not pay $10 to go get sprouted quinoa, but you can sprout it yourself at home.

Everyone knows how to make nut milk now, but you never thought about taking the fiber that’s left over and dehydrating it, and making nut flour with that, instead of buying it from Bob’s Red Mill.

It has posts and beautiful photography, but the big thing that I’m trying to develop and get all — so far I’ve had three different directors come and work on it — but not have one kind of style, necessarily, but have all different guest directors who have a passion for this, to tell a story or tell a recipe.

That’s what Urbn Harvests are. We’re almost done with the site. It should be out by next month. By the time…

Rick: By the time this drops…

Linda: It will be out there, and you will be able to see videos of urban harvesting.

Rick: Yes, check out urbnharvest.com.

Linda: That’s “urbn” with an N. U-R-B-N

Rick: U-R-B-N. It’s right there, and I’ll get it right. [laughs] And lindapark.net. All four seasons of “Star Trek: Enterprise” are on “Netflix.” “Raines” was on “Hulu?”

Linda: “Raines” is available on “Hulu.”

Rick: Check that out.

Linda: “Crash.” If you never saw “Crash” on “Starz,” that’s available on DVD.

Rick: Also, follow Linda on Twitter at…

Linda: RealLindaPark.

Rick:RealLindaPark. She’s not verified, but we’ll take care of that right now. She is now officially verified by video. Watch out, there’s a big logo coming right at your head. It’s already there.

[laughs] If you’re not there already, go to onequestioninterviews.com, where I’ll have a transcript of this interview, along with links to all the cool stuff that we’ve talked about.

I’ll spell “urbn harvest” correctly, and all that.

Everybody, this is Rick Yaeger for One Question Interviews. Thank you so much for watching. Subscribe to the show in the iTunes podcast directory, so you don’t miss out on the next episode. Thanks, everyone. Bye-bye.

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