Alice Krige on playing the Borg Queen

From Alice Krige’s March 1997 interview with Starlog.

On the Borg Queen costume and makeup:

“I also decided not to drink anything because, around tea time on the first day I spent in the suit, I had to go to the bathroom badly. It took me 45 minutes to get out, then 45 minutes to get me back in it, and the whole crew sat there with their hands folded while I peed. It was a disturbing enough experience for me not to want to do that again, so I didn’t drink very much after that.”

“Finally…I put in the lenses and looked up, and I felt at first a surge of power because what I saw was so frightening, then I was overwhelmed with gratitude for what they had all done, and how well it had been conceived. I certainly wanted to try to accomplish a character that was at once attractive and repulsive and frightening, yet you were obliged to look at her.”

On how the Borg Queen compares to a queen bee or ant:

“The queen ant’s function, mainly, is to reproduce. That’s what she’s there for. The Borg Queen doesn’t reproduce. She just consumes. She just colonizes. She just takes what she needs. The analogy stopped being useful at that point. What animates her is different. What animates her is the acquisition and exercise of power.”

On her relationship to Data:

“[Brent Spiner] said, ‘It seems to me that what is motivating her is revenge.’ She wanted to hurt Jean-Luc for not falling in love with her. But I ultimately decided that wasn’t the case. At the very end of ‘Best of Both Worlds, Part II,’ the key to Picard’s escape from the Borg was really Data. That got me thinking. She’s not really mad at Data; she’s fascinated by him…She cannot get the encryption codes from him in the way she has dealt with everyone else. She must get his cooperation. So, she does it through sexuality and by tempting him with flesh.”

And finally:

She is evil. She is absolutely evil. 

It’s actually very rare that I would say something like that about a character I’ve played. I generally tend to take the character’s point-of-view, but the Borg Queen is a being without compassion. There is a wonderful Judaic saying which says that evil is judgment without compassion. Things like kindness and compassion, which humanity holds so dear, mean nothing to her and are of no use to this creature. She may use them, but she’ll use them only as tools. They will be part of doing whatever is necessary to acquire power, which is what drives her.

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