"I don't know what I'm teaching, but I think I've had enough of the technical stuff," laments the actress, who spent four years spewing facts and figures as Voyager's crack engineer, Seven of Nine. "English would be a nice subject to teach, perhaps history. Social studies maybe."
This much Ryan does know about schoolmistress Ronnie Cooke, who first appears during Public's second season premiere Oct. 22: She's an old friend of Harry Senate (Nicky Katt), and she's trouble. "Her teaching methods are somewhat unorthodox, and that puts her at odds with some of the administration," explains the former Army brat. "She's a corporate attorney who is very wealthy and not a credentialed teacher... so she's coming from a very different background. If she wants the kids in her class to read a certain book, she sees nothing wrong with going out and buying the book for all of [them]."
The anti-Miss Brooks also sees no point in concealing her sex appeal, which Ryan hints "is probably going to be played up a bit." Of course, it's safe to assume she won't be wearing anything that accentuates her va-va-voluptuousness like Seven of Nine's skintight body stocking — and that's fine by her. "I'm going to be in real clothes," she cheers. "I don't have the corset and the catsuit and rubber glued to my face and the same hairstyle every day. It's great."Still, male high schoolers everywhere will agree that, in a sci-fi jumper or not, there's something out-of-this-world about Ryan playing a teacher. As it is, this particular Beantown school district already employs what is arguably the most extraordinarily attractive faculty in the history of academia. What's up with that? "It's called dramatic license," argues Ryan. "It's called heightened reality."