During the first season, a director insisted again and again that Nichols do something out of character. He pushed and yelled and bullied. She would not give in, though she was upset and shuddering. Kelley, always neutral, brushed by her, and, Nichols recalls “with that eternal cigarette hanging out of his mouth, [he said,] ‘His problem is he doesn’t understand the character, he doesn’t know who you are. Just stick to your friggin’ guns, Nichelle.’ And I stood there gaping with tears in my eyes…bcause I knew that was what I was supposed to be doing.” Finally, she was called to Roddenberry’s office to answer the director’s complaints. He settled the question. Indeed, she would do anything an actress was called upon to do, but the director was asking her to do something that Uhura would not do. Roddenberry confirmed that she was perfectly right. “It was De who knew I was in real trouble. It was the first season.” She remembers it well. “Stick to your friggin’ guns, Nichelle.