Because many TV stars are such a regular part of viewers' lives, there are often times when fans aren't necessarily capable of handling celeb interactions in the most respectful ways. Not everyone fully grasps that actors are not always like the character they play on television, and one Star Trek fan learned all this the hard way when he decided to ask The Next Generation star Marina Sirtis the wrong question, and ended up getting punched and chewed out for it.
The story came from Marina Sirtis herself, who recalled a bad exchange she experienced with a Star Trek fan while attending a convention. Sirtis, who is confirmed to return for Picard Season 2, talked about the shameful incident in an interview with Express, with the interaction presumably going down sometime after 2013, given the context of the situation. In her words:
I have actually punched a fan before. I think I may be the only cast member ever in Star Trek to actually punch a fan. I was at a convention and I was signing autographs. Patrick [Stewart] was at the next table and of course, his line was around the building twice. I was going for a loo break and I walked past this fella and he stopped me. He said, 'Why did they make you look so ugly on NCIS?' So I punched him in the arm. Then I yelled at him for about ten minutes. I said to him, 'Do you have a girlfriend? No, of course you don't have a girlfriend because you don't know how to talk to women. How ridiculous.' I just went off on him. Poor fella. I saw him shrink in front of my eyes.
I have no doubt whatever dude Marina Sirtis went off on felt extremely small in that moment, since that's certainly not the kind of reaction one would expect from Star Trek: The Next Generation's Counselor Troi. Granted, the question was truly awful in all respects, but the half-Betazoid half-human was always one to be deeply in tune with others' emotions and had empathic abilities that could allow her to occasionally move beyond insults.
Marina Sirtis is obviously 100% human, though, and definitely doesn't have time to talk NCIS appearances if the only thing someone is commenting on is her looks. Before all hope in humanity is lost, however, Sirtis went on to say how the majority of her interactions with fans often turn out splendidly enough, but still floated a warning out to the universe that others shouldn't approach her with the expectation of meeting the character she plays on television.
Generally, there are better meetings than that one. But don't cross me. If I see something I always say something. I'm not afraid of confrontation at all. In fact, I love confrontation. It gives me a thrill. It gets the adrenaline going. People think I'm Deanna Troi. I'm not. I'm literally the opposite of Deanna Troi. People say to me, 'What do you have in common?' And I say, 'We are the same height and that's about it.'
Speaking as a fan, it's a little disappointing to hear that Marina Sirtis isn't a lot like Deanna Troi, but it's also understandable. It'd be hard for anyone to have the immense amount of patience that Counselor Troi exerted on Star Trek: The Next Generation. And I don't even think Troi would've stood for that ghastly comment, so good on Sirtis for sticking up for herself!
Star Trek: The Next Generation is available to stream on Paramount+ and other major streaming platforms. Keep an eye on what's next for Star Trek here at CinemaBlend, and get psyched for what's on the horizon by peeping out the beautiful Star Trek: Prodigy trailer.