Article / interview and photo above by Jason Setnyk. Submitted photos below.
Cornwall Ontario — Live long and prosper Cornwall trekkies. A Star Trek actress is beaming into Cornwall to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Gene Roddenberry’s iconic science fiction franchise at the next Cornwall and Area Pop Event.
The second annual CAPE takes place on April 23rd and 24th 2016 at the Benson Centre.
The first celebrity announcement for CAPE is actress and singer Noelle Hannibal who appeared in the film “Star Trek First Contact”. She portrayed the first female Vulcan on Earth in the 1996 movie. The plot of the eighth film has Captain Jean Luc Picard and the Enterprise crew go back in time to defeat the Borg who want to stop Zefram Cochran’s first test of the warp engine and Humans first contact with Vulcans.
Noelle Hannibal has also appeared in the television series “Star Trek: Voyager” as a Taresian woman and in the television show “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” as part of the Sisterhood of Jhe (a cult formed by an all-female race of fierce flesh eating warrior demons).
Originally from Los Angeles, Noelle made her professional theatre debut playing Chrissy in Hair, then moved to Ireland to tour the country starring in Lock Up Your Daughters (as Hilaret). Her other Los Angeles theatre credits include: Chicago (Velma), Gypsy (Mazeppa) and Miss Saigon (Gigi).
Her Montreal theatre credits include South Park (Sheila), Gefilte Fish Chronicles: The Musical (Basha), The Virgin Courtesan (Arielle), Rent (Mimi), Merton of the Movies (Countess) and Chess (Florence).
Noelle currently resides in Montreal where she performs regularly in concerts, cabarets and musical theatre productions.
Five Questions with Star Trek and Buffy the Vampire Actress Noelle Hannibal.
1 – Star Trek celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2016. What does the franchise mean to you? What was it like working on the film “Star Trek First Contact” and on “Star Trek: Voyager”. Any interesting stories working along side The Next Generation and Voyager crews?
I grew up in Los Angeles watching Star Trek with my Montreal born mom who attended McGill University with William Shatner. I have to admit, I was definitely more of a Star Wars kind of girl. I started getting into The Next Generation, though and that is still my favourite Star Trek series. The first time I worked on anything Star Trek was as a Stand In for Terry Farrell (Dax) on Deep Space Nine. I went to an open call for First Contact and swear I got the job because I was the only girl who knew the Vulcan salute. The First Contact cast was phenomenal. I truly enjoyed my week working with them, though I was disappointed Wil Wheaton wasn’t in the film (though I know some Star Trek fans may not agree with me) I have since had the opportunity to meet Wil at various conventions and we have bonded over our great love for our LA Kings. It has been fun reuniting with everyone at cons (Comic conventions).
2 – You appeared in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, a television show that shows women as strong and independent. Do you think that the characters in that show are a good role model for women? Are there any issues of sexism or inequality that women face in the world of theatre? What values do you think people can learn from a television show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
I think any tv show or film that shows women as strong and independent is fantastic. The female characters on Buffy are some of the finest, in my opinion. My most recent favourite female character was Charlize Theron’s in Mad Max. She was awesome! Sadly, there are always going to be issues of sexism and inequality in the film industry. At least it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. In my experience, theatre is a little different. I was thrilled this year to see women dominate the Tony Awards and make history. I just do the best I can, put in the work and hope that I can book jobs based on my talent. As far as values, there are many things people can learn from a show like Buffy or many other shows. Tucked away inside clever dialogue are great lessons about life, death, friendship, finding your true self and learning to let go.
3- You have appeared in theatre productions and musicals? Which do you prefer and why?
I love both film and the theatre. They are such vastly different mediums. But theatre has always been my first love. There is nothing quite like the energy on opening night, when you get a great laugh or move someone to tears. In theatre, every show is different. There are no retakes or do-overs. If you flub a line, you flub a line. Theatre is perfect in it’s imperfection.
4 – What was your favourite acting role and why? What was the most challenging part about that role/playing that character?
I love transforming into different characters. A few years back, I had the opportunity to do South Park as a live musical production. I played Kyle’s mom, Sheila (The B#tch). It was incredibly fun and rewarding. Plus, I got to sing “Blame Canada”! Haha! I have also had the opportunity to do the musical Rent twice, playing two different characters. The first time, I played Maureen, a role originated by Idina Menzel (Frozen). Maureen is definitely more my casting, physically and vocally. The second time I did Rent was a year and a half ago as a fundraiser to raise money for my best friend whose husband passed away suddenly leaving her with two young children and no life insurance. Rent was the first show my best friend and I saw together on Broadway. It was also the last thing her late husband was listening to in his car the day he died. She got to choose which role I played and she chose the Mimi, the 19 year old, HIV positive, heroine addicted, Latina S&M dancer who is supposed to be petite. I’m just under 6′ and not 19 (but not far off, haha!). Mimi was challenging vocally for me. It’s the hardest I’ve ever had to work on my voice for a show. I also had to become much more comfortable in my own skin than I think I really was. Mimi’s got moves. On film, I would have to say my favourite was Buffy.
Mainly because I was a huge fan before I booked the job. I got to go to fight school in preparations and got killed multiple times on screen (I played several different demons) I have some great memories from my time on Buffy. What a great, great cast.
5 – Have you attended a lot of events like Comic-Con? What is it like meeting fans? Please share some of your experiences and insights.
I have attended many, many cons over the years. I love meeting the fans. It’s my favourite part! I’m pretty down to earth and I really enjoy getting to know them. I try my best to remember their names year after year. But I also love meeting the other guests. Everyone is a fan of someone, right? I have to admit, I’ve geeked out a couple of times. I’m told by the fans on my Facebook page that they love seeing my posts/pictures when I’m at a con because I look like any other fan. My recent favourite was some impromptu singing John Barrowman and I did in Ottawa. The videos are up on my YouTube channel.
Thank you for the interview Noelle Hannibal and live long and prosper.
Fundraiser for CAPE: The CAPE New Years Eve Party takes place Thursday, December 31st, 2015 at the Agora Centre. The event features live music by the Lost Boyz and Spare Partz. The party starts at 8pm. Tickets are available now from band members or at Fantasy Realm (227 Pitt Street, Cornwall). Tickets for couples are $60 or individual tickets are $30 each. Costumes are optional, but people are encouraged to dress up. This is a licensed event and 19+.