Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Jeri Ryan

The dreamy Borg turned Leverage star shares her picks

by | January 12, 2010 | Comments

Jeri Ryan

There’s a good chance you’re already familiar with Jeri Ryan, even if her name isn’t immediately familiar. Fans of the Fox television show Boston Public knew her as attorney-turned-high school teacher Ronnie Cooke, and Ryan maintained recurring roles on other popular shows such as The O.C. and Boston Legal. But she is perhaps best known for her work as the Borg “Seven of Nine” on Star Trek: Voyager. In fact, Ryan’s role in the sci-fi series propelled her to the height of geek fandom, as the former Miss Illinois’ smoldering screen presence succeeded in melting the hearts of many a Voyager fan.

Earlier this year, Ryan began a stint on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as defense attorney Patrice La Rue, and beginning tomorrow, she will appear in an extended guest starring role on the TNT show Leverage. Lucky for us, she took some time out of her busy schedule to speak with RT about her Five Favorite Films, working in TV vs. working in film, and how she feels about escargot. Read on for the full interview!

Sophie’s Choice (1982,
81% Tomatometer)

Sophie's Choice
That’s my favorite. The rest are in no particular older. Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline and one of the most horrifically gut-wrenching scenes ever in anything. But their performances were just off the charts insane.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982, 98% Tomatometer)

ET The Extraterrestrial
I’ve probably now seen it with my son about a hundred times and I cry every single time. Every time.

Toy Story (1995, 100% Tomatometer)

Toy Story
I just think it’s brilliant. Everything about it is brilliant.

The Wizard of Oz (1939,
100% Tomatometer)

The Wizard of Ozt
What’s not to love about The Wizard of Oz? This many years later, it still holds up.

You Can Count On Me (2000, 95% Tomatometer)

You Can Count On Me

Just the performances of Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo are just amazing. I loved that movie. It’s such a simple, quiet story, but it’s just so good. The characters were so good. The performances were so good. If I threw a sixth one in there, it’d be the original Willy Wonka. Gene Wilder is brilliant.

Next, Jeri Ryan talks about her new role on Leverage and love for escargot.

RT: So you’re joining the cast of Leverage. What attracted you to the show?

Jeri Ryan: What I loved most about the show is the tone of the show. I love that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s got all the action you could want. It’s got all the character moments you could want. It’s got real, tender, emotional beats. But it’s light-hearted, it’s a great pace, and it’s sort of fun, sort of taper-y; it’s a heist film every week. It’s so much fun and I love that it’s light-hearted and not heavy-handed. I just love the tone.

So one of the descriptions of your character is “a two-fisted, street-wise con artist.” What do they mean by two-fisted?

JR: Ball buster. That’s what they mean. She’s tough. The best description that John Rogers gave me of the character is “Sophie was the quintessential European grafter and she worked in the art world. Tara (Jeri Ryan) is the one running out of the exploding building with a suitcase full of bloody cash. That’s Tara.” I went, “Ok! I got it. That makes perfect sense.”

Do you find that there’s a big difference for you working in TV versus movies?

JR: Oh dear god, yes. The pace is completely different. On television, you’re shooting anywhere between six and eight pages a day of a script. A feature film, you’re shooting about two, maybe two and a half, three at the absolute most. You’re working on one scene all day, the same scene. So if you’re used to the pace of television, that’s a little mind numbing.

So do you find that you’re enjoying television more?

JR: Yeah. {laughs} That was where I cut my teeth for a camera on television. So that’s the pace that I was used to. That’s the pace that I was always used to. So when I went into film, that’s a hard adjustment to make. And I know vice versa, for film people to come into television, it’s a shock to their systems because they’re used to having so much more time to work on things and do twenty takes of each shot and do forty-five shots of one scene. You don’t have that luxury in television. I’m much more comfortable with the pace of keeping things moving.

How is the restaurant going? What’s your favorite thing on the menu at your husband’s (chef Christophe Eme) restaurant (Ortolan in Los Angeles)?

JR: One is escargot. That I won’t let him take off the menu. He’s had that on since we opened because his escargot is not the typical escargot with garlic butter and puff pastry, which is delicious, but he uses chorizo and tomato concasse’ and it’s served in a highball glass. It’s amazing. So unique and so delicious. My son even eats it. You get a fifteen year old American kid eating snails, you’re in good shape.

When are we going to get a show about Jeri Ryan the chef?

JR: Seriously! Talk to some writers!

You can catch Jeri Ryan in Leverage on Wednesdays on TNT at 10:00 PM.
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