Majel Barrett on Lwaxana

I often hear disagreement between fans who really loved Lwaxana Troi’s earlier “Auntie Mame” episodes and those who prefer her later episodes where her character had more depth. I think early Lwaxana is tons of fun, but I also think it’s good that the creators eventually decided to show her undergoing and surviving serious life challenges.

So I was interested in this article in the January 1995 issue of Starlog, in which we get to hear what Majel Barrett herself thought about Lwaxana’s character and how she grew over time.

On “Menage a Troi”:

“That was lovely…I got to do a little more, but Lwaxana was still a very one-dimensional character. Still, it started the character branching out. I mean, I liked her as one-dimensional, but it was just off the top of my head. It wasn’t until the next four that the character really took root to me.”

On “Dark Page”:

“I had a hard time learning the script because I couldn’t get past certain scenes – it was total breakdown. Powerful, strong…I find that some people say it was the best. I find it very difficult to talk about that show, because it was so real.”

On her favourite episode (interview happened after “The Forsaken”, before “Fascination”):

“The last four were most memorable…Each one is the best and most enjoyable in its own way. One was fanciful, one was heavy and serious, one was tragic. They were all so entirely different, and they all brought new emotion and depth into the character, and that’s what I enjoyed. It’s the building of the character, the way they did it.”

On Lwaxana as a whole character:

“I see Lwaxana as totally off-the-wall, with a total disregard for everything…But, she does have memories. She is a whole person, and things do get through to her. She’s an extremely sensitive person. It’s just that it takes something to get through to that sensitivity, then she lets loose with all of that, too. She can’t hold anything back, even the tragedy, the tears, the warmth.”

On being a role model for older women:

“I get yelled at from across parking lots at markets – ‘You’ve done more for women over 40 than anything that has ever happened in the United States!’ I wasn’t aware of that, but I guess that’s the way women over 40 feel! She’s a woman who’s just beginning to live, and goes out and proves it with wild abandon. She enjoys a no-holds-barred attitude, which I admire tremendously. I love her for it!”

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