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[VIDEO] TMS at WinterCon: Star Trek Alum Nichelle Nichols and TNA’s Maria Kanellis on Women Who Kick Butt

Over the weekend, The Mary Sue had the chance to check out the sights and sounds of WinterCon, the annual comic and sci-fi expo taking place in New York. There were plenty of guests on the scene including the cast from Mad Max: Road Warrior; Star Wars alums Peter Mayhew, Mike Quinn, Garrock Hagon and Jack Klaff; The Walking Dead’s Austin Amelio and Khary Peyton, Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols and more.

One of the people I was most excited to meet was Nichelle Nichols from the original Star Trek series because, well, you know why. Aside from her starring role as Lt. Uhura and inspiring generations of young black girls, she also helped recruit them into NASA. Plus, she even received a pep talk from Dr. Martin Luthr King Jr. when she contemplated leaving the show.

These days, Nichols can be seen giving back to the community as a founding celebrity for StarPower, a philanthropic endeavor which funds a variety of charities. She most recently appeared in The White Orchid, a noir mystery produced by Humphrey Bogart’s estate. But this past weekend, we spoke about her early influences as well as her advice for today’s youth. Needless to say, it was an honor.

I also had the pleasure of speaking with Maria Kanellis, a wrestler who is currently kicking butt and taking names on TNA’s Impact Wrestling. Since first appearing in the WWE as a Raw Diva Search contestant in 2004, she has evolved from the bubbly backstage interviewer/in-ring competitor to former TNA Knockout commissioner and division champion (albeit she coerced her opponent to lay down for the pin). But I have no doubts that her tours in Ring of Honor and New Pro Japan Wrestling managing her real-life husband Mike Bennett helped improve her mic skills and develop a fully-rounded character.

At the con, I spoke with her about her badass role in TNA and why she thinks women’s wrestling is finally getting its much-deserved spotlight. Impact Wrestling airs Thursday nights on Pop.

(image via screencap)

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