interview earth: final conflict Taken from TV Zone #132

Melinda Deines

Earth: Final Conflict's new girl
just wants to have fun

Melinda Deines and E:FC star Robert Leeshock

Also in this issue's New Season coverage: interviews with stars from Sheena, First Wave, Queen of Swords, The Immortal and Star Trek: Voyager

  New Season
 

Ever since its second season, Earth: Final Conflict has made a practice of adding one new face a year to its regular cast of characters. This fall, the show’s fourth season heralds the arrival of J Street, a sassy cyber-genius whose clothes sense and computer skills are nearly as hip as those of her fellow computer hacker friend Augur. Much to the surprise of this 21st Century free sprit, she becomes a key player in the Resistance’s fight against the Taelons.

‘She’s a lot of fun,” says Canadian-born actress Melinda Deines, who plays the show’s party girl-turned-Resistance ally. “I think Street brings a certain playfulness to the series that perhaps hasn’t been seen before. However, the fact that she likes to enjoy herself is also a bit of a weakness because at times she doesn’t realize how serious things are. In fact, it’s somewhat sobering for her when she discovers that there is an underground Resistance movement at war with the Taelons. Deep down, I think she has known about it all along but preferred to ignore it and just have a good time.

 

“Street uses all her hacking skills for her own entertainment, but she’s also very intelligent, useful and resourceful. That’s why Liam [Robert Leeshock] and Renee [Jayne Heitmeyer] keep coming back to her. She’s eager to help them in any way possible as long as what she is being asked to do doesn’t go against her own code of ethics.

"Of course, her morals are somewhat off-kilter because, again, she doesn’t fully understand what’s going on beyond her own little world. It takes some doing on the part of Liam and Renee to convince Street that the things they want her to do will impact everyone’s survival including her own. Eventually, it becomes clear to her that if she wants to preserve her lifestyle she’ll have to help stop the Taelons.”

J Street: hipper than thou
 

Street Walker

Unlike some jobs, Deines only had to audition twice for her role on Earth: Final Conflict. She credits one of the show’s writers, George Geiger, for helping her land the part. “I had the opportunity to speak with George after my first reading and he gave me much more insight into what they were looking for,” says the actress. “When I went back in the second time it was between me and another girl. I guess they liked what I did because here I am.”

One of the first things that needed to be done once Deines had been cast was come up with a look for her character. “I think the wardrobe department had an even better time than I did picking out Street’s clothes,” she laughs.

“Except for Richard Chevolleau [Augur], I definitely have the most ‘interesting’ wardrobe out of anyone on the show. Some of the stuff my character wears is so hip you’d probably never dare go out of your house dressed like her in real life. "Oh, I also get to wear a wig. My real hair is actually a medium brown but the producers thought red hair would be bolder and edgier for Street so I said, ‘Sure, let’s go for it’. ”

Street Diversion

Earth: Final Conflict writers use Augur to introduce Street into the series. He asks her for help on a job he is doing for Liam (Robert Leeshock) and Renee (Jayne Heitmeyer). “My character appears sporadically in the first five episodes of the season, and then after that becomes a regular fixture,” notes the actress. “Initially, her relationship with Liam and Renee is very businesslike. Street thinks, ‘Jeez, these guys are a bunch of stuffed shirts. They’re so uptight.’

"She’s constantly bugging them to stop taking life so seriously and to loosen up, but that’s before they make her fully aware of what’s happening with the Taelons. They help her mature as a person and while doing so become a bit more lighthearted when they’re around her. The relationship among them is really a work-in-progress for all of us, including the writers. They have lots of different ideas on where to take the characters and I can’t wait to see what direction they decide to go in..."

Steven Eramo

 

Melinda Deines talks more - about working with Robert Leeshock, reading with Da'an and roller-blading on camera - in TV Zone #132

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