Jonathan Frakes Was A Nervous Wreck Returning As Riker For Star Trek: Picard


While we still have a few months to go before it officially debuts, the excitement and anticipation surrounding Star Trek: Picard has hit an all-time high, thanks in part to a brand new trailer that premiered at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, giving fans a new glimpse at the upcoming CBS All Access series.

The video, which has since racked up well over 5 million views across a handful of YouTube channels, showed off a few familiar faces, including former Borg drone Seven of Nine, and the universe’s only surviving Soong-type android, Data. Of course, it’s already been confirmed Marina Sirtis will be returning as Deanna Troi, and that Jonathan Frakes is directing a few episodes, as well as reprising his role as William Riker.

Ever since Star Trek: The Next Generation went off the air, Frakes has kept busy as a director, having worked on a handful of TV series over the past decade, including Burn Notice, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Orville. That being said, it looks like he has been doing less work in front of the camera, with most of his acting roles taking the form of voiceovers.

As a result, it seems he was a bit afraid when it came time to reprise his part as Riker for Star Trek: Picard. As reports, Frakes admitted that he was nervous about acting alongside Patrick Steward and other castmates during a talk he gave at Fan Expo Canada.

“I hadn’t acted in a long, long, long time,” Frakes said. “I hadn’t played Riker in 18 years, and I’ve been very fortunate to be busy directing. I acted briefly in a movie in Winnipeg about 10 years ago. And I had a major anxiety attack because, for whatever reason, I’d forgotten to act. I forgot how to act. I was not a pretty picture for a few hours. I got my s–t together and ended up doing fine.

“I had just directed two episodes of Picard with Sir Patrick and, as I said, his acting muscle was well-toned. And Marina (Sirtis) had just closed having starred in a play in the West End in London. So, I knew she was going to be in good form. So, I was a nervous wreck. It ended up going very well. But don’t let anybody tell you it’s like getting back on a bike. That’s bulls–t. That’s acting bulls–t.”

It’s not entirely clear how big of a role William Riker will play in the new series, but we’re incredibly excited to see some of our favorite characters from the franchise back on the small screen. We’re hoping CBS will announce a proper premiere date for Star Trek: Picard very soon as well, so be sure to keep checking back for more updates and announcements as they come down the pipeline.