Winona Ryder vs. Tyler Perry In the Battle of the Star Trek Cameos


Many will approach the new Star Trek reboot in a state of intense anticipation, eager for each of the franchise's beloved characters to be reintroduced on-screen. Me? I mostly cared about Winona Ryder and Tyler Perry. So how did their unlikely Star Trek cameos stack up against each other? Let's see!

Character Played

Ryder: Amanda Grayson, human mother to Spock (Zachary Quinto). It is here that we are obliged to point out that Ryder is six years older than Quinto.

Perry: Admiral Richard Barnett, the Federation hardass who's first glimpsed weighing Kirk's punishment after the young cadet cheats during the famous Kobayashi Maru test.

Amount of Scenes

Ryder: Two, though a scene from the trailer where Ryder is glimpsed giving birth to Spock has been cut from the finished film. Of the scenes that remain, Ryder has dialogue in exactly one of them and is aged up twenty years in both.

Perry: Two that we know of, although it's entirely possible that Perry played several other characters in disguise (including the suspicious Madealien, a loud, bewigged creature whose homespun aphorisms cause Uhura to rededicate herself to a life of spirituality).

Audience Reaction

Ryder: In our screening, Ryder's first appearance was met with stone-cold silence...

Perry: ...whereas Perry's introduction was greeted by warm, knowing chuckles.

Level of Miscasting

Ryder: Without a "birth of Spock" scene to justify her still-youthful presence, it's mystifying why Ryder has been cast in a role that could have been done by a more age-appropriate actor -- and one without Ryder's unique, extracurricular star baggage.

Perry: Though this is a rare role for Perry in a film he didn't direct, he fits right in and takes part in two of the movie's most pivotal, rousing scenes.

WINNER: Perry. Though this is certainly going to be Ryder's biggest movie in, like, ever, Perry's cameo fits neatly into his career trajectory. In the future, it's easy to see the mini-mogul making decisions that can affect the whole galaxy. We'll just cross our fingers that he doesn't exile WGA-friendly writers to a far-flung ice planet.


  • Tyler Perry did not direct Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

  • Old No.7 says:

    The props department would like to have a word with Wynona about some missing set items.

  • JudgeFudge says:

    I just checked on Tyler Perry's Forthcoming projects. Why Did I Get Married Too anyone?

  • Hatjuggler says:

    I didn't really react to Ryder in the film because I was a little taken off guard by her appearance. I wondered 1) Is THAT Winona Ryder???? b) Why would they cast her as Spock's mom when she's clearly about his age????? c) Why would a formerly huge star play such a small role? I was confused.

  • Robert says:

    I didn't react to Ryder's appearance simply because I did not know that it was her! To me that is a tribute to her acting ability - I am glad that I did not know in advance she was to play that role. I can imagine no one else doing it .. and regret a bit that she was killed off.

  • Ding says:

    ..a very mean comment.

  • cski says:

    Who is Tyler Perry and why does anyone care what Winona Ryder is doing? She obviously wanted to participate, and I think both actors should be honored that they got a part at all. Shatner didn't even get a walk-on. Geez...tough crowd here. I really don't know who Tyler Perry is. Sorry. He doesn't look familiar. Now, Chris Pike I recognized. Don't kinow what his name is, but it was a GREAT movie.
    Kudos to JJ.