At the Star Trek: Picard press junket, StarTrek.com joined the cast and creatives in several roundtable interviews to talk all things Trek. In the first of several sessions, Michelle Hurd and Evan Evagora shared how they prepared to enter the universe when they were first cast in the role.
Evagora, who plays the Romulan Elnor, shared a story from his youth. “I used to watch it with my mom and my sisters growing up around the TV. Mom would be ironing, we'd all be sitting on the floor. I don't think I watched TNG though to begin with. I think my first [was] The Search for Spock. For some reason that movie has really stuck in my head, as opposed to The Wrath of Khan. I don't know, Mom used to watch everything out of order. She's a big sci-fi fan.”
Hurd, who plays Raffi, spoke about the franchise’s enduring legacy of inclusion and progressiveness. “I'm biracial. My father is Black, and he was an actor back in the day. And it was really important in our household that we would watch things that were inclusive, so that we could see ourselves represented, as opposed to excluded. [Star Trek] was one of the shows that our family would happily sit down and watch. When I got this job [on Picard], that's the first thing I remembered— sitting with my mom and dad, and my two sisters, and watching the show, not only because of Uhura, but the fact that it was telling the stories of people who were Others, the people who were pushed away. “
“It was all about inclusion and exclusion,” she added, talking about how those themes are still relevant in Star Trek: Picard. “It's about immigration, basically. It's about, how do we all live in this galaxy together? And why do we still have to try to take things from each other, and fight each other? Why? Is that just human nature? It's not even human. Alien nature. What is that? [Working on Picard] just really brought me back to understanding that Star Trek is more than just a show. It's a place where we can all be seen and represented, and it makes me so proud to be a part of it.”
They also both teased a little about their specific characters. Hurd talked about how Raffi, “Worked with Picard back in the day, but after Next Generation. She has a very complicated relationship with him, an even more complicated relationship with the Federation. She is a security analyst, a hacking genius. She's very sarcastic. She is haunted by decisions that she made in the past. She relies on some vices. But I like to clarify that, because it's not just like she's just getting drunk or stoned. She is trying to greet the day, like we all have. I’m sure [we all] know people who struggle, and they struggle for a real reason. It's a real demon. And it's been a real gift to sort of explore that, and give light to that. That's who she is.”
Evagora also dropped a few teases about Elnor as well. “He was raised by a sect of warrior nuns. What makes him interesting is that he is the only male in this sect. He is an expert in hand-to-hand combat, pretty good with a sword. I've got pointy ears. And judging by what the internet's been calling me, I'm known as ‘Space Legolas.’"
Are you excited to meet Raffi and Elnor? Can’t wait to hear more from Hurd and Evagora? We’re excited to learn more about both the characters and these new members of the Star Trek acting family as the show goes on.
Check back for more stories from the Star Trek: Picard junket, with information from the cast and creatives, including Sir Patrick Stewart.
Star Trek: Picard will premiere exclusively on January 23 on CBS All Access in the United States, in Canada on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and OTT service Crave, and on January 24 Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories.