Most moviegoers and television viewers think of Leslie Hope as an actor, which makes sense since the Internet Movie Database lists 110 credits for her between the years 1983 and 2019, including “Knot’s Landing,” “Love Streams,” “War and Remembrance,” “SeaQuest 2032,” “Talk Radio,” “The Outer Limits,” “Line of Fire,” “The River” [in which she co-starred with “Star Trek (2009)” and “Star Trek into Darkness” actor Bruce Greenwood], “The Mentalist,” “NCIS,” “Suits,” and “Lie Exposed.” The Canadian native’s highest-profile acting outings, arguably, are “24,” in which she played Teri Bauer, the doomed wife of CTU agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), and the “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” episode, “Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night.” According to Memory Alpha, the sixth-season episode of “Deep Space Nine” cast her as Kira Meru, the mother of Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor).
Starting in 2008, however, Hope pursued a second career as a director and has called the shots on such projects as “My Neighbor’s Secret,” “Murdoch Mysteries,” “The Order,” “Lost in Space” (which earned her a 2020 Directors Guild of Canada Awards Nomination in Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Family Series category), “Snowpiercer,” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Her most recent directorial effort to air was the “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” episode, “Ghosts of Illyria,” which premiered on May 19, 2022, on Paramount+. It was the third episode of the show’s freshman season.
The ‘Ghosts of Illyria’ Trailer
Memory Alpha described Hope’s “Deep Space Nine” character, Kira Meru, as follows: “Kira Meru was a female Bajoran refugee during the Occupation of Bajor in the 24th century. She was one of a few women who were held on Terok Nor as comfort women for the Cardassian forces. She was married to Kira Taban and, with him, had three children: Colonel Kira Nerys of the Bajoran Militia, Kira Pohl, and Kira Reon.”
“Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night” premiered on March 28, 1998, according to Memory Alpha. Now, more than 24 years later, Hope has returned to the “Star Trek” franchise as a director with “Ghosts of Illyria.” The official logline for the “Strange New Worlds” episode, as issued by CBS and Paramount+, reads, “The U.S.S. Enterprise encounters a contagion that ravages the ship. One by one, the entire crew is incapacitated except for Number One, Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn), who must now confront a secret she’s been hiding as she races to find a cure.”
The ‘Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night’ Trailer
Hope, in a 2012 interview with the site Talk Nerdy with Us, explained that her shift from acting to directing was a long time coming. “I’ve been acting for 30 years, so there’s not a lot of opportunity for me as an actor to do things I haven’t done before…,” she said. “Generally, I do prefer directing. It challenges me in different ways than acting does. It allows me to think about the big picture. When I’m acting I still think about the big picture. It can be frustrating as an actor to think about something like, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if the walls were yellow?’ and that not matter, but as a director, I can think, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if the walls were yellow?’ and then have them painted yellow. I really find directing a better fit for my personality.”
A biography on her official website adds, “As a former actor, she prides herself in speaking the language of character and performance. Her time developing new material with writers means she understands the significance of the spoken word, but she is passionate about a precise and resonant visual and asks that the pictures ‘speak’ as much as the text. Leslie remains excited and open to all filmmaking possibilities regardless of budget or genre and her passion is in the subversive, the funny, the unexpected, the beautiful, the strange, the human.”
The Internet Movie Database notes that from 2005 to 2015, Hope was married to cinematographer, producer, and director Adam Kane. Among his many credits, according to IMDB, are episodes of “Heroes” (with Zachary Quinto, Greg Grunberg, Cristine Rose, and Santiago Cabrera), “Being Human” (with Sam Witwer), “Falling Skies” (with Doug Jones), “Supergirl” (with Glenn Morshower), “Prodigal Son,” “Fantasy Island,” and the “Star Trek: Discovery” episode, “Battle at the Binary Stars.”
According to Hope’s biography page on her official site, she recently formed Parallila Pictures with Tina Vacalopoulos, and “their new company is committed to making films as seen through the eyes of female filmmakers.” The Parallila Pictures slate of features includes “Snow Man,” based on the novel by Carolyn Chute, which would be Hope’s first feature as a director.