Rebecca Romijn: From Model to Star Trek’s Number One

By Ross Bonaime | 6 months ago

Rebecca Romijn Star Trek Discovery

For now four decades, model-turned-actress Rebecca Romijn has had a remarkable career, playing iconic superheroes, sci-fi favorites, and appeared in many great comedic television shows and movies. Romijn hasn’t stopped working as an actress since the late 90s, only increasing her resume full of impressive roles.

Here’s what Rebecca Romijn has been up to recently.

Model to Actress

Rebecca Romijn Friends

In 1991, Rebecca Romijn started her modeling career, quickly becoming an international success. Romijn would appear on the covers of magazines like GQ, Sports Illustrated, and Esquire, and appear in the advertising campaigns for such major brands as Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria’s Secret, Miller Lite, and J. Crew. 

Rebecca Romijn’s first acting job was in an episode of Friends in 1997, where she played Cheryl, Ross’ new girlfriend who has a filthy apartment that Ross can’t overlook. The next year, Romijn would not only make her film debut in the Norm Macdonald comedy Dirty Work, she would also host MTV’s House of Style, which focused on the world of fashion and supermodels.

Rebecca Romijn Just Shoot Me

Before moving on to her most famous role, Rebecca Romijn also would appear as herself in the 1999 comedy, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and began a recurring role on the NBC sitcom, Just Shoot Me!


Rebecca Romijn X-Men

In 2000, Rebecca Romijn received her first major role in the superhero film X-Men. Romijn played the shape-shifting Mystique, who was one of Magneto’s cadre of supervillain sidekicks. Romijn would continue to play the character in 2003’s X2, and 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. While Jennifer Lawrence would take over the character in 2011’s X-Men: First Class, Romijn did make a cameo in the film as well.

As Mystique, Rebecca Romijn wore little more than blue makeup and strategically placed prosthetics. Romijn said that it took her about eight or nine hours per day to get in costume for the first X-Men movie, and though the process took less time for the second film, it was still an arduous experience, taking four women to fully get Romijn ready for filming.

Other Roles

Rebecca Romijn Femme Fatale

Soon after her debut as Mystique in X-Men, Rebecca Romijn was cast in her first starring role in Brian De Palma’s 2002 film Femme Fatale. While the film was considered a failure due to low box office and bad reviews, Femme Fatale has earned a cult following over the years. Roger Ebert gave the film four stars, and while he said that Romijn wasn’t necessarily a great actress, she was great as a Hitchcockian heroine in Femme Fatale.

In 2004, Rebecca Romijn would play another Marvel character, this time playing Joan in The Punisher. A few years later, Romijn would receive her own TV series, Pepper Dennis on The WB, but the series only lasted one season, one of the casualties of the merger between The WB and UPN to form The CW. The show would be the last to premiere on The WB.

Shift to Television

Rebecca Romijn Ugly Betty

After the cancellation of Pepper Dennis, Rebecca Romijn continued focusing on television work. In 2007, she would join the main cast of Ugly Betty as the transgender former editor-in-chief of the show’s Hudson magazine. In the show’s third season, Romijn became just a recurring character, which coincided with her pregnancy. In 2008, Romijn and her second husband, Jerry O’Connell, would welcome twin girls into the world.

Rebecca Romijn joined another short-lived show in 2009, with the ABC series Eastwick. Romijn was part of the main cast in the Adult Swim cop show parody, NTSF:SD:SUV::, before receiving a lead role in 2013’s TNT series, King & Maxwell. Like Romijn’s other starring television roles, however, the show only lasted a few months before its cancellation.

Success in Television

Rebecca Romijn The Librarians

With a few failed shows under her belt, Rebecca Romijn found television success as the host Skin Wars, a body painting reality competition series on the Game Show Network. Considering her extensive time being covered in blue paint, Romijn was a natural fit for the show, and Skin Wars lasted for three seasons.

Rebecca Romijn would also finally find a series that lasted more than one season with her as star, in the TNT series The Librarians. The show was a spin-off of The Librarian film series, and The Librarians aired for four seasons, even receiving several tie-in novels.

Lois Lane The Death of Superman

Since The Librarians concluded, Rebecca Romijn has appeared on such shows as Adventure Time, Key & Peele, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, in addition to voicing Lois Lane in several animated DC films, including The Death of Superman, Batman: Hush, and Reign of the Supermen.

Number One

Number One Star Trek Discovery

In recent years, Rebecca Romijn has found even more success in television, becoming an integral part of the Star Trek universe. In 2018, Romijn revealed she would be playing the character of Number One in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery. The character was originally played by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s wife, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, and had appeared in the Star Trek pilot in 1966. Romijn stated that she was “honored to play such an iconic character.”

Despite only appearing in a handful of episodes in Star Trek: Discovery, it’s clear that Star Trek has big plans for Rebecca Romijn’s Number One. Already, Romijn has portrayed Number One on two episodes of the anthology series Star Trek: Short Treks, and she has been confirmed to reprise the role for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, alongside Anson Mount’s Pike and Ethan Peck’s Spock. 

Star Trek Strange New Worlds

Over the decades, Rebecca Romijn has become one of the few models to spin that career into a lineup of major acting roles. Since the 2000s, Romijn has played multiple infamous superhero characters, like Mystique and Lois Lane, starred in many television series and films, and now, become an integral part of the future of Star Trek’s television plans. 

After a few rough starts and stops on television, Rebecca Romijn looks like she’s going to become a major television star going forward, with a central role on Star Trek: New Worlds. Even though Romijn has already played some great characters in her career, it seems like she still has plenty more fantastic opportunities coming in the near future.