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Rebecca Wood returns in season 7 as the vicious Cardassian, Betras. Ms. Wood will also be portraying a surprise character this season -- someone very different than her other Hidden Frontier roles -- so stay tuned in the coming weeks for the surprising revelation of the popular character she will be bringing back to life!

Recently, we hosted a forum where fellow community members could submit their questions to Rebecca Wood, who plays Betras and Vindenpawl -- two of HF's most satisfyingly-evil villains.

Here are Rebecca's answers to selected fans' questions:

Ari Mistral asks:
Are you involved in any other acting projects now besides HF?

Nope. Technically, I have "quit" acting, and am, at the moment, studying law. My last job was on a Welsh Soap Opera for kids called "Rownd a Rownd", in North Wales (hey, it's necessary to pay the bills.). It was fun being on a set where people spoke only Welsh; alas, my character was Canadian, so I didn't get to try out my language skills on camera...

I was also in a pilot in New Jersey (set in the Civil War era, but also involving ghosts/werewolves/zombies ...my character was a lesbian who eventually got killed by a zombie runaway slave ...well, that's TV for you.). In fact, I think one of my episodes of that was shot directly after an HF episode, so I still had grey in my ears from Betras when I flew to Jersey... but it hasn't been picked up, so I'm just auditioning at the moment, for things that interest me.

Jeff Hayes asks:
How did you become involved in Hidden Frontier?

I was living in Marina Del Rey at the time and saw an audition notice for the character of S'Tal in a trade paper. I submitted, but I did not get the role. *boohoo* But I got Betras which was more suited to me, I think.

What were your initial thoughts when you arrived for the first day of your first shoot?

I was actually relieved that the HF people were real, and down-to-earth, as I had grown tired of the pretentiousness that so often occurs on and off set in the business. I am quite a shy person and it was a relief to be able to feel comfortable, and not have to trot out my credentials and listen to name-dropping every five seconds. Plus there was Adam, who I thought was the sweetest person I'd ever met. I still do.

What previous exposure did you have to Star Trek Fan Productions before working with the crew on HF?

None whatsoever. My fiance (at the time) had dressed up as Spock one halloween... that was the closest I'd ever gotten. Seriously...I didn't know these things existed! When I got into HF I had just moved to LA; I'm more of a stage actress, and had been working for years at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival--so really I walked into HF completely a tabula rasa. Heh.

Of the two characters you play on Hidden Frontier, which is your favorite and why?

I love them both for different reasons. If I had a choice I'd only play Vindenpawl simply because the makeup for Betras is NOT at all fun to remove! But I love that I can let out the stops with Betras and be as crazy as I am. Vindenpawl is more poised, which is a challenge as I'm used to playing the out-there, Amazon types. She's restrained, she's refined, and yet powerful. I like the edge to her, though.there is a similarity to both characters in that they both are obsessed with their own culture and people, and they both think they are completely in the right. Betras had no thought of doing "evil" deeds until she was imprisoned, which drove her to thoughts of revenge. Both characters think they are acting in the best interests for their people. Both consider themselves martyrs to their individual causes (well, Betras *used* to...). I love playing characters who are driven and have personal obsessions; It makes them faceted, makes it interesting to try to understand where they're coming from.

If you could write a scene for yourself as your favorite character, what might you like to do and what might you like to say?

Oh geez. I don't think I could write a scene for Vindenpawl...unless it was an abdication speech or something. though, come to think of it, the only way Vindenpawl would ever give up the "throne" is if she were about to go on a suicide mission for her people, as she saw it, or something like that.

Betras...well...heh. I would probably, if I could, write a scene with her alone, in her prison cell, going mad... all the things that must have happened before she snapped; The arguing with the cell walls that what she did made perfect sense, that what she did was right...then eventually actually seeing the people she was arguing with; it would be my own personal tribute to Sirius Black.

John Whiting asks:
Jeff has asked what your exposure to Star Trek Fan Films was prior to Hidden Frontier. Mine is, what was your exposure to Star Trek itself prior to Hidden Frontier?

Oh...well...erm...heh! I watched it with my parents when I was a kid, 'cause they loved it (my Mom especially), but when Spock died, I lost interest. Then I watched some of it with Patrick Stewart because I worship the ground he walks on...but couldn't follow the intricacies of it anymore; so it became a game with myself to find the Shakespeare quotes (he said he tried to insert Shakespeare into every episode.).

And then...well...when he left, so did I.

I auditioned for HF out of a remembered love for Vulcans (or, rather, Spock), but didn't get that character anyway. So when I started doing my research to find out what the heck "Cardassians" were, I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting these races all are.
Moentran asks:
Is there a scheduled scene of Vindenpawl and Betras together?

Not that I know of. I wish they'd let one of them kill off the other; I'd love to do a murder scene with myself.

No, seriously though; someone did write an amusing scene where both characters found common ground...but...that's in a spoof that may never see the light of day. It was brilliant, though...

Given that ST series like their villans to die in the last episodes, how would you like Betras/Vindenpawl to bite the dust, given a choice?

Oh...I guess I already answered that...heh! If they couldn't kill each other, I'd say poison. Since we have so much shooting, why not something more...devious? I see Betras getting poisoned; the realization before she died that she had been betrayed would be...interesting. Also, since she's a creature of immediate physical action, poison would never occur to her. Vindenpawl is more the Borgia type - in control and sly.

Who are your role models in acting?

Cate Blanchett. without pause. Erm...who else? Cherry Jones--you may not have heard of her--she has had a stunning Broadway career and done a few films, but can still lead a normal life. If I could choose a career, it would be hers.

Also for someone up-and-coming who is making all the right moves, I'd say Elijah Wood. It's not just that he has a cool last name (heh), he has remained a down-to-earth person and not gotten stupid with fame.

Then of course there's Johnny Depp. I had to throw him in here just because he's the quirky, crazy kind of actor I love--you can never tell what he's going to do next, and he doesn't take roles unless they are weird enough or dark enough to interest him.

Sabarwolf asks:
If given the chance to meet Vindenpaul or Betras (or both), what would you ask them?

Hm. Well that's a hard one, because there's so much of me in those characters, they aren't much of a mystery to me. I've made up personal histories for them; I'm thorough when I play a role.

I don't think I'd want to meet Betras. Period. ( I should add here that I *have* met her; she’s based on a man who was head of my drama dept. at the Juilliard school. But I name no names.)

I think I'd try to ask something of Vindenpawl that would shake her poise, as I'd like to see her caught off guard.

What do you think of the rather positive reception you've recieved from the HF community?

Oh I think the HF community is welcoming and pretty enthusiastic overall. It's fantastic---I love being a part of it. I hope it keeps up, even after season 7.
Solak asks:
You have mentioned that in both your HF characters, you are cast against type. While that can be fun for an actor (I know: been there, done that, bought the costume), what kind of Star Trek character would you have written for yourself if given that chance?

Well, I'd say vulnerable. There are a lot of strong characters on this show, and not many naive ones. I guess it's hard to have naive or vulnerable characters when they're in a military-esque situation like a ship! My favorite characters to play are ones that show their human doubts, weaknesses, and quirks; I like to play really quirky characters, probably because I have always been...different.

Another version of that: What existing role in any actual TV show or Movie would you most like to play if someone were remaking that production?

Oooh, I like this question! Well, my dream role used to be Anna Karenina. Now it's Tonks in Harry Potter; clumsy, in love but hiding it, didn't fit in at home or anywhere else, found success at a job where she changes her appearance fluidly, so therefore never has to remain herself - how many weaknesses can that hide? Yeah, she's fascinating. Or if someone were remaking Lord of the Rings, I'd love to be Arwen, as she has such a heartbreaking choice to make. I love that.
We'd like to thank Rebecca for her candid answers, and you, the fans, for submitting such great questions! Look for more interviews with the cast featuring your questions in future editions of the newsletter, and in future updates on the site!
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