A ‘Trek’ Green Girl Lands Her Next Role

Rachel Nichols and Chris Pine

Paramount Rachel Nichols and Chris Pine in a scene from "Star Trek (2009)."

The green girl has her next role. Rachel Nichols, who played the Orion Starfleet Cadet, Gaila, in “Star Trek (2009),” will star in the upcoming drama-thriller “Dark Night of the Soul,” according to the Hollywood trade site Deadline. According to the site, Nichols will play “a brilliant scientist who gets trapped in her car after a terrible crash. Isolated and struggling to survive, her survival is essential because she holds the key to cure a pandemic ravaging the world.”

Production will begin this fall, Deadline reports, in upstate New York. SJ Creazzo will write and direct the film. His most recent film was “Skipping Stones,” which, according to the Internet Movie Database, co-starred “Star Trek” veterans Chase Masterson and Daniel Hugh Kelly. Masterson, according to Memory Alpha, played Leeta, the Bajoran Dabo girl in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and reprised the role (as Admiral Leeta) for “Star Trek Online. Memory Alpha reports that she also went green, like Nichols, to play a green girl, the Orion character Xela, in the “Star Trek” fan film “Of Gods and Men.” Kelly, according to Memory Alpha, co-starred in “Star Trek: Insurrection” as Sojef, leader of the Ba’ku.

Nichols Has Starred in Such Genre Projects as ‘Star Trek (2009),’ ‘Continuum,’ ‘Titans,’ and ‘Demigod’ 

Internet Movie Database lists 50 films and television credits for Nichols. She first appeared as “Model at Bar” in “Autumn in New York,” followed by roles in such projects as “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd,” “The Amityville Horror,” “Alias” (produced by J.J. Abrams, who later tapped her for “Star Trek [2009]”), “G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra,” “Criminal Minds,” “Conan the Barbarian,” “Continuum,” “Chicago Fire,” “The Librarians” (including one episode that was directed by Jonathan Frakes and co-starred fellow “Trek” actors Rebecca Romijn, John Larroquette, and Lindy Booth), “The Man in the High Castle,” and “A Million Little Things.” IMDB also notes that she’s wrapped the upcoming film “The Last Will and Testament of Charle Abernathy,” which co-stars Bob Gunton, who, according to Memory Alpha, played Captain Benjamin Maxwell in the fourth-season “Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Wounded.”

Nichols’ role in “Star Trek (2009)” was brief but memorable. As detailed by Memory Alpha, “In 2258, Cadet Gaila had a sexual encounter with Cadet James T. Kirk. She told Kirk that she thought that she loved him, to which Kirk replied, ‘That is so weird.’ Their moment was interrupted when Uhura returned early from her work in the long-range sensor lab. Gaila, having promised Uhura she would stop bringing men back to the dorm, attempted to hide Kirk under her bed, but Uhura discovered him and kicked him out.” Later, Gaila was among the cadets who gathered at a hearing that addressed Kirk’s alleged cheating on the Kobayashi Maru scenario. As Memory Alpha states, “The process was interrupted by a distress call from Vulcan, which necessitated a fleet of Federation starships to be put together at the last minute. Many cadets, including Gaila, were called into service for what was believed to be a mission of analysis and assistance. Gaila was very excited about the starship to which she was assigned.”

Nichols’ Green Makeup Smeared onto Chris Pine’s Face During Their ‘Trek’ Kissing Scene

Rachel Nichols

ParamountRachel Nichols as Gaila in “Star Trek (2009)”

In 2013, the official “Star Trek” site, StarTrek.com, interviewed Nichols about her then-current projects, “Continuum” and the movie “Raze.” During the conversation, she spoke about her experience on “Star Trek (2009),” especially the makeup that transformed her into a red-headed, green-skinned Orion.

“It was a lengthy process to get me that green, especially for the sexy bedroom scene with Kirk (Chris Pine) and Uhura,” she told StarTrek.com. “I think hair and makeup was five or six hours, and then you’re kind of sticky all day. Then, when Kirk and I would kiss, we’d pull away and Chris Pine’s face would be green and my makeup would have wiped off on his face. Mindy Hall, who did the makeup on the show, who’s extraordinary and who I adore, she definitely had her work cut out for her. And Chris was a very good sport.

“So it was one of those things where I thought to myself, ‘I have the best of both worlds. I get to be in the new ‘Star Trek.’ I get to make out with Chris Pine. I get to be directed by J.J. Abrams. And I get to be completely green, so I’m completely memorable, but I highly doubt anyone will ever stop me on the street and say, “Oh, you’re the green girl!”’Nichols continued. “I knew that wasn’t going to happen. So I just knew it was going to be a really cool role.”