Interview: Michelle Hurd On Her Stuntwork And Raffi’s “Evolution” In ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 3

In addition to our deep dive with Star Trek: Picard showrunner Terry Matalas, TrekMovie had a quick purple carpet chat with series star Michelle Hurd on Star Trek Day. The actress offered up some insights into what’s new for Raffi Musiker in season 3.

In Las Vegas, Gates McFadden was praising your stunt choreography, so is this a hint that Raffi is going to be getting into a bit more action in season 3 of Picard?

It’s interesting because when she said that, I literally was like, “Gulp!” Because I don’t know if we’re allowed to talk about any of that. But I will say, what Gates was referring to is a true event that happened while we were filming. I think that’s all I can say.

Do you like to do your own stunts?

Not only on Star Trek, but in general, I enjoy doing my own stunts. I’m a black belt in martial arts, and I love stunt stuff. And you know, at a certain point you won’t be able to do it anymore, so I do them as much as I can. So I pretty much do all my stunts.

We recently spoke to Terry…

Oh! I love Terry Matalas! I love him.

He talked about how for season 3 he moved Raffi in a new direction.


Raffi in the Star Trek Day trailer

Do you see it as a reinvention or an evolution of the character?

Evolution. Absolutely, not reinvention because she’s still Rafi. But what Raffi gets to explore, and where she is in season 3 is really exciting. And it was all about Terry. We talked about it in season 2. He pitched me this fantastic idea, and literally, as soon as it came out of his mouth I was like, “I am one hundred percent!” I think fans are going to be really excited about it. She’s still Raffi, but she’s got some amazing adventures to explore.

Terry has introduced so many new elements, from a different cinematographer to bringing in the TNG cast, and more. So does it feel like a different show in season 3, or still Picard, or something in between?

Oh, no, it’s still absolutely Picard. I mean, I have to say that what I found during the three seasons is that our three seasons are almost standalone seasons. And they’re very much dictated by our showrunners. The first season was Michael Chabon, who’s a novelist. So it was almost like reading a really rich book. The second season is Akiva Goldsman, who you know won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind so it’s all sort of cerebral stuff and time travel. The third season is Terry Matalas who is an OG Trekkie. I mean he was a PA on the set for Jeri Ryan’s first day as Seven of Nine on Voyager! And now he’s a showrunner for the last season of Star Trek: Picard. So it’s literally a love letter to our fans and our family. I think everybody’s going to be really happy about it.

More to come

TrekMovie spoke to a number of Trek celebrities and creatives on the purple carpet at Star Trek Day 2022. So check back for more exclusive interviews.

Michelle Hurd being interviewed by at Star Trek Day 2022

Rewatch the trailer

Star Trek: Picard season 3 arrives Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. Following its premiere, new episodes of the 10-episode long final season will be available to stream weekly on Thursdays. Picard streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and is distributed concurrently by Paramount Global Content Distribution on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.

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Wow! I didn’t know she as a black belt. Can’t wait to see her in action!

I guess I shouldn’t over think it, but I wonder now if Raffi and Beverly are together in the show or maybe all of them are together by that point.

But unfortunately my initial fondness for Raffi sank after season one. She started off cool and interesting but got very annoying by the end. Season two it was even worse. I’m OK she’s still there but out of all the original characters from season one, I probably would’ve picked anyone else to stick around but her.

But maybe she will be more likable in season 3.

Raffi’s role in season two was pointless, and she has zero chemistry with Seven. I hope they either have found a way to make the character work, or else have minimized her involvement. She just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the cast or the story.

Oh, they do have a good amount of chemistry (no need to be jealous, Lorna Dune)! 😜

Jealous? Jealous of what or whom? What a nonsensical reply. Why do so many people accuse others of being jealous of fictional characters or celebrities? That is such a weird and immature outlook to have, and I will never understand it. This pathetic age of TMZ and Kardashians and Instagram and reality TV has made so many people shallow and vapid. Be better than that.

You sound pretty jealous to me. Bro

LOL. OK, sure. I’m not sure why you guys think there’s anything here to be jealous of, but yeah, why not? A comment that Raffi isn’t a good fit with the PICARD crew is absolutely an example of jealousy.

Old man yells at cloud.

The problem was the writers never dared enough to show their love relationship. Show some significant kissing and a bedroom scene if they are suppose to be lovers…the dancing around it was lame. Either they are lovers or they are not. The murky way it was handled was not convincing.

Not in the slightest, I agree. Raffi’s role could be entirely removed from both seasons, and the show would barely be affected by it. The story of her son went nowhere. The story of her addiction went nowhere. The story of her supposed relationship with Seven went nowhere. And so on.

Exactly Lorna. Of all of the new characters from the first two (terrible) seasons of Picard to keep in the show, they picked the worst one. Michelle herself seems lovely, but Raffi is just awful.

The first season of Picard was great. Now the second season, wow, it really stunk.

No I thought season one sucked too. Season two was (surprisingly) worse.

I agree with Tiger(as per usual). The 2 seasons of Picard have been junk. I’m glad the show won’t go behind Season 3, it’s been a huge disapointment.

Agreed, sadly.

I managed to watch the entire of season one at least, though I thought it mediocre. Couldn’t even get through season two, didn’t bother watching the last two episodes. What a let-down after a compelling start. Hoping the last season, 3, redeems the show somewhat, but even if it does, PIC as a whole has been a fail for me, save for a couple of episodes.

Yeah even though I thought season one was bad, I can rewatch the season. Don’t want to lol, but I can. And that’s the thing, I’m obviously not suggesting every episode was bad when in fact I generally enjoyed the first four episodes a lot. It’s really the second half I have the problem, but I still enjoyed Nepenthe tons and that was episode 7. But overall it just had way too many problems by the end.

But the irony about season 2 was it looked like early on they were correcting those problems and Akiva Goldsman even admitted season one had problems because they were still writing the scripts while shooting the season and it showed. And yes this is a common thing but he basically said in a low key way the season would’ve been stronger if they knew where it was all going in the beginning.

But then what’s funny is the guy was bragging that WASN’T the case with season 2. Thanks to the pandemic they were able to write and finish the story way ahead of time. And yet, it was worse lol. Much worse IMO. As I said, I can rewatch season one. And up until the final two episodes, I was rewatching every episode when it aired. But season 2 was so bad for me outside of the first two episodes, I never rewatched any of them and I have NO urge to watch the season ever again. Doesn’t mean I won’t but it will probably be years later if I ever do.

But here is hoping season 3 does what most of the classic shows did and just improve a lot by that season; especially since they only have one more season to really get it right.

The thing is Season 1 actually started off pretty well. The problem is it landed poorly at the very end. Season 2 stunk as soon as they went in the past and never recovered.

I did enjoy season one. Despite some issues (particularly the one-dimensional and weirdly sexualized Romulan villains), I thought it introduced some fascinating new characters and tried to do something interesting. Season two started out very well, then entirely fell apart after two episodes and never delivered on that early promise. Unfortunately, I’d say Picard is the worst Star Trek show so far, with Discovery in second-to-last place.

I know I will probably be told I am wrong, but I *loved* Season 2 and Raffi’s role in it. It’s one of my favourite seasons but the fan response on here has really soured my enjoyment of it.

You aren’t the only one. I really enjoyed season 2 as well. And I thought that Raffi and Seven had great chemistry together! I don’t get all the toxic complaints I read on here. It used to be that Star Wars fans were the worst – I think Trek fans have now topped that. I just enjoy seeing the progression of Trek through the years. I love seeing the vision other people have of Trek in the continuing Trek universe. TOS wasn’t perfect and TNG certainly wasn’t. I am very happy to have so much Trek on TV at the same time. It is a wonderful time to be alive!

In my limited experience I still think SW fans are the worst, and by a considerable margin. But that’s a pretty low bar.

I’m not overly familiar with the Star Wars fandom (I’m pretty ambivalent about that franchise) but I have read the discourse about Kenobi and the casting of Moses Ingram and I was sickened. But sadly, I saw similiar comments when Sonequa Martin-Green was hired for Discovery. What struck me was Disney immediately went to town and called out the racist abuse- whereas CBS/Paramount haven’t done anything to call out the abuse that Sonequa STILL gets.

There’s nothing “toxic” about the complaints here. That’s an overused word. No one here is being toxic. It’s a friendly discussion, and not everyone will have the same opinions. This is a board for discussion, so saying you don’t enjoy an aspect of Star Trek is neither off-topic nor toxic. In fact, I’d say your adversarial comment is the only toxic post I see in this thread.

Sure there are. Just read through the comments on every article. Full of toxic and negative comments.

I don’t mind the Raffi/Seven relationship. Heck for Seven in particular who grew up Borg it makes sense. But I really don’t feel any chemistry between Jeri Ryan and Michelle Hurd. It’s not an LGBTQ thing I just don’t see it with those 2 actors.

On the contrary. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to matters of taste, and no gatekeeper’s opinion should sour your enjoyment of anything. Like what you like, and make no apologies.

Wrong? Not at all. It’s your opinion.

That’s the thing, I thought season one started really strong. I was really enjoying it a lot until we hit episode 5 and that’s where the down turn hit hard for me personally. I loved all the story lines, liked most of the new characters but I really couldn’t stand the incest Romulan siblings. Not because of that alone, they just came off waaaaay too hammy, especially Narrisa. She got the biggest criticism in the season IIRC. Certainly not the actress, they are only doing what the director or producer tells them to do but yeah.

Season one is very very frustrating to me because all the elements are there to make a great season. With the exception of the Romulan siblings, I liked all the new characters. But by the end, ugh. But this is ONLY my opinion obviously but it’s not a minority one for a reason.

But same deal with season two. It too started off great and I will say BETTER than season one. But it fell apart much sooner. Most of the people who don’t like the season still seem to generally like the first two episodes. But once they landed in 2024 it was obvious they didn’t really have a lot of story for ten episodes and what they did have just wasn’t intriguing enough IMO with so many plotholes and frankly nonsensical story lines. And worst off, a lot of it was just boring. Nothing happened. A lot of it was just people sitting in a room for an episode. Season one had its issues but I was never bored by any of it. There were times in season 2 I just wanted to fast forward.

I know I’m ranting now lol but this show has just let me down in a HUGE way. Obviously if other people loves it and thought both seasons were great, I would give anything to feel like they did about it. Sadly I just can’t. Picard is currently my least favorite show in the franchise and that kills me to say that knowing how excited I was that they were bringing the character back.

I still can’t get over Android picard

Just dropping in to reinforce the message Tiger2.

Season one was incoherent, and the promised improvements never made it to the screen.

Whatever had been written during the pandemic on season two seems to have been reworked for the worst close to or during production. Patrick Stewart said he only got to see the first five episodes shortly before production started. This strongly suggests a major reworking of episodes 8-10 with neither of the showrunners in charge.

I liked Michelle’s performance as Raffi, and the setup of the character was interesting: someone that had a very close working relationship with Picard but that was not one of the TNG crew. I was excited to see how their relationship was different to, say, his relationship with Riker, as that would ultimately show us another side of Picard but ultimately that wasn’t really explored beyond a flashback and a couple throw away lines of dialogue. I like the pairing with Seven, but again an interesting concept that I wish we had actually got to see develop onscreen. They talked more about it in pre-season press than they did during the actual season. I hope they give her more to do in season three because, despite my criticisms above regarding the handling of the character I still warmed to her and want to see what else she has to offer as a character.

PIC seems to love the idea of characters having these complex, fleshed out relationships, but apparently thinks actually showing the audience these relationships in any depth is a waste of time. I’ve never seen a show so seemingly eager to squander the chemistry between its cast members.

YES. That’s the problem exactly. These characters are presented with such fascinating possibilities, but then none of them are ever fully developed, and the characters are eventually dropped without fulfilling their promise.

It says a great deal that the Picard tie-in books written about some of these original characters are considered some of the best in the new crop.

The backstories are fascinating and provide fertile ground, but somehow all of this was sublimated onscreen for weak and incoherent plates centering on Picard himself. Yes, he’s the title character but there never was enough of a coherent story to care.

Rios, Raffi and Seven on the Titan would have been fantastic.

Remove Raffi from that and I agree. Don’t know if Santiago Cabrera just wanted out or what, but Rios and Seven on either the Titan or the Stargazer could have been a great show. I still have hopes we’ll get a new show as a spin off, with or without characters from Picard. I really want a new episodic show in the early 25th century.

I honestly wouldn’t blame Cabrera if he did jump ship after S2. He’s in demand and can do better than alleged prestige TV that couldn’t get its act together after two seasons.

Looks like it’s heading to a spinoff with captain 7 and commander Raffi of the titan..

Well 1 problem is that Rios outranks Seven so she really can’t shine while he is there.

When are we getting Star Trek Rafi ?

I hope never. I’d rather they do a spinoff about a likable character.

Yeah. Seven. But Raffi would obv be there.

Still loving that Trailer and I still say the Enterprise is the ship Riker is referring to as “beautiful” not the Titan-A

Sorry but season 1 was like reading a really rich book?

I’ve purchased and watched 6 out of the 10 episodes of season 2. Its definitely not TNG, and its not really Star Trek. Its not a bad show but its really bad fanfiction within the Trek world. With so many great actors/actresses. Talented people in front and behind the camera and this was the best they could do, it was worse than Season 3 of Disco, the very worst written season of Star Trek ever. I don’t hate all of it, the female chararcters are all wonderfully represented They all have their voice. Loved young Guinan, and Picard’s ancestor Renee. Seven is her usual badass self. Picard is the weakest aspect. Hated how they killed off Elnor. The Borg story and time travel alt timeline is thin and weak. The best part was before they went back in time and Q changed eveything. The Stargazer part was Star Trek.