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Why Una Chin-Riley From Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Looks So Familiar

"Strange New Worlds," a direct spin-off of "Star Trek: Discovery," follows Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and his crew as they explore the cosmos aboard the USS Enterprise. One of the leading characters in the series is Una Chin-Riley, aka Number One, the second in command only behind Pike. Her history might be sordid, but her dedication to Starfleet and her crew is beyond doubt.

She probably looks a bit familiar too, because the actor behind Number One has racked up 60 acting credits over the past two decades, a good number of which are leading roles. For the uninitiated, Una Chin-Riley is portrayed by Rebecca Romijn (pronounced like "romaine"), who's appeared in everything from TV shows to action films and video games to DC animated films. There's a lot to cover in Romijn's incredible career, but here is a fraction of the highlights for which she is most well-known.

The X-Men franchise cemented Romijn as a star

Her acting career started in the 1980s, but after a single music video project, Rebecca Romijn took a decade hiatus. Eventually, she made her way back to the trade and in the early 2000s, ascended almost instantaneously into the public consciousness. While she worked on a number of productions, the primary reason she became such a key figure in Hollywood was due to her time in Fox's "X-Men" franchise as the deadly blue shape-shifter Mystique, aka Raven Darkholme (yes, that's literally her real name). That's right — long before Jennifer Lawrence ever donned the body paint, the role belonged to Romijn, who was featured prominently in all three films of the original trilogy alongside other prolific actors such as Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Hugh Jackman.

Mystique was considered, not least by herself, to be the right-hand woman of Magneto (McKellen), an aggressive leader in the mutant civil rights movement. She broke basically every law ever written into existence, as well as a distressing number of bones (not hers, if that wasn't obvious), in his name. Depending on who's talking, Romijn's turn as the magical assassin is considered to be either a phenomenal portrayal or a base over-sexualization. Regardless, the role afforded Romijn a healthy dose of celebrity credit, which she cashed in with incredible efficiency.

Romijn starred in Femme Fatale, an erotic thriller

At the height of her fame, Rebecca Romijn starred in a number of projects, many of which occurred between installments of "X-Men." Many of the films she created during this era, such as "Rollerball," "Godsend," and "The Con Artist," were not well received. Her biggest role during this time was in 2002's "Femme Fatale," where she appeared alongside Antonio Banderas. The story follows Laure Ash (Romijn), a diamond thief desperately trying to start a new life. There are multiple cuts of this particular film, and depending on which one is viewed, most of the story is just a dream. Yeah ... it wasn't considered a cool twist back then either.

It is perhaps unfair to say that the only reason anyone saw "Femme Fatale" was to see Romijn in various sexually charged situations, many instances of which were prominently featured in the trailers, but it would also be equally unfair to suggest the film attempted to hook viewers with literally anything else. After all, those same trailers described the project as an "erotic thriller."

Romijn stirred up controversy by starring in Ugly Betty

In the latter half of the 2000s, just after the initial "X-Men" trilogy wrapped, Rebecca Romijn began work on a string of consecutive television productions. Some, like "Pepper Dennis" and "Eastwick," saw her with top billing, but they didn't last beyond the first season. In this era, her most notable TV show was the ABC sitcom "Ugly Betty," which follows Betty Suarez (America Ferrera), a young woman with zero fashion sense, as she works for a high-fashion magazine.

Romijn portrayed Alexis Meade, the transgender daughter of disapproving business mogul Bradford Meade (Alan Dale), in 33 episodes, after the character faked her own death and underwent gender-affirmation surgery. Alexis spends most of the series plotting revenge against her father and wrestling her brother, Daniel (Eric Mabius), for control of his company, Meade Publications, before ultimately leaving New York to move to Paris.

Romijn led the charge in The Librarians

2013 saw the beginning of Rebecca Romijn's longest-running television series to date. Based on a trilogy of films from the 2000s that starred Noah Wyle in a role that totally wasn't a reskinned Indiana Jones, "The Librarians" is a fantasy adventure series about a secret organization that protects the world from magical artifacts ... and magical artifacts from the world. In the series, Romijn portrayed Colonel Eve Baird, formerly of NATO's Anti-Terrorist Unit. Eve is in training to become the next Guardian, aka bodyguard of the Librarian.

"The Librarians" ran for five years and ended in 2018. In an interview with Showbiz Junkies, Romijn stated that she believes the property is important because it filled a gap in media at the time. "There are so many fantastic shows on cable now; they're so smart and they have these amazing comic book characters and they're dark, and they're actually the kinds of shows that I love watching," she said. "But this hits a different tone that doesn't really exist. ... I'd like to think that we're a great family show."

Love Locks is a love story with Romijn and her actual husband

In 2017, Rebecca Romijn fulfilled every actor couple's dream by starring in a romantic drama across from her real-world husband, Jerry O'Connell. The film, "Love Locks," follows Lindsey Wilson (Romijn) and a chance encounter with her first love, Jack Burrow (O'Connell), 20 years after they broke up. In the time between, both have gone about their lives, Jack managing a hotel in Paris and Lindsey running an art magazine in New York. It's pseudo-cynical in that gushingly sweet way that only Hallmark films can pull off, so it's a really good thing that "Love Locks" is a Hallmark film.

As a character, Lindsey offers few surprises, and the ending of the movie is exactly what you'd expect: they rekindle their love, with Lindsey moving to Paris. The only genuine twist here is that, in a society in which male actors are all too often paired with distressingly younger female leads, Romijn is older than O'Connell. That alone is wholesome enough to merit a Hallmark film.

Romijn devoted her life to the devil in Satanic Panic

Rebecca Romijn is no stranger to horror. In 2011, she starred in "Possessing Piper Rose" as a mother who is aggressively opposed to her newly adopted daughter being influenced by maladaptive spirits, but her coolest venture into the genre came later, in 2019. In the film "Satanic Panic" Samantha Croft (Hayley Griffith) unwittingly delivers pizza to a witch's coven that just so happens to need a virgin to sacrifice to their mighty lord Satan.

The coven is led by Danica Ross (Romijn), who wants to summon a demon named Baphomet. "Satanic Panic" is a parody of the horror genre, but it's still gory and intense and Danica gets decapitated — but not before slashing her own daughter's throat. There's totally comedy in there, though ... somewhere.

If her track record is indicative of the future, Rebecca Romijn will continue to accrue notable projects and roles with the same vigor that Kevin Feige produces Marvel movies. Hey, maybe there's crossover potential there.