TrekMovie had a chance to talk to members of the cast and crew of Star Trek: Picard season 3 at the Hollywood premiere. Michelle Hurd who spoke to us about how Raffi is changing in the new season and her work with a certain TNG actor. She also talks about her hopes for a spin-off series.
[Minor spoilers ahead]
Terry Matalas has said that he “reinvented” Raffi for season 3. Were you involved in this, and how did you feel about moving the character in a new direction?
Actually, near the end of the second season, Terry called me into his office to pitch me this idea. And he literally said, he wants to bring out the superspy that is Raffi. That was what she did for Starfleet. This is all her skills. But then he added, like “I want to do a super spy Raffi like in the Bourne Identity.” And I was like,” Excuse me What? Bourne Identity? Sign me up. Absolutely.” I mean, that’s all you had to say. How could I say no to that?
Terry also talked about how Raffi and Worf cross paths, which means you get to work with…
It’s fabulous! I work with Michael Dorn!
In the trailer, We can even see you get into a fight…
I do! There’s a lot of stuff that goes on with Raffi and Worf. Absolutely.
And you are doing your own stunts?
Yep. For all my stuff I’ve done like, almost always on any production, I do my own stunts.
You have done this character for two seasons, so it should get easier, but with all these changes, would you say season 3 was your biggest challenge?
Biggest challenge? Maybe, but honestly, it’s the most satisfying. It was really yummy. I was excited to do all that stuff. As an actor, when you’re pushed to do a little bit beyond what you normally do, it’s so satisfying. So I say challenge, yes, but I say it was literally a gift.
Beyond the super spy aspect, there are more layers to Raffi in season 3. What would you say is the biggest difference on an emotional level?
I wanted to make sure, because we know Raffi is a recovering addict, or I should say she’s an addict because we’ve seen her go up and down. And I really wanted to make sure that we didn’t just like all of a sudden show up and we’re like, “Hey, I’m fine. I used to be an addict and I feel really good!” Because that’s not true, you know? I wanted to make sure that we didn’t just pass that over. So what I really love about Raffi’s journey is that you still see that she has these stresses. She is still an addict and struggling, and going one day at a time. But she’s persevering. She’s strong. And you’ll see a lot. Raffi’s always going to be complicated.
Does it feel like a new show? There are a lot of changes for the season with cast members, new cinematographer, new composer, new sets…
New everything! I don’t know if I’d say it’s felt like a new show because we have these legacy characters. So it was almost like they came on and reinvented it, in a way. But I have to say, it’s interesting because I’m first-season Picard. There is a little bit of how these people are coming on and I’m like, “Oh that’s cool, But this is my gig!”
Besides a certain Sir Patrick Stewart, you are the only series regular to make it through.
Yeah, I know. And I’m so grateful.
When we talked ahead of season 2, you and Jeri responded very positively to my suggestion of a Seven/Raffi spin-off. Lots of fans have talked about this idea. How much thought or discussion have you put into this notion of staying with the role?
I love Raffi and I also think that she has an important point of view. I think she’s necessary. There’s more things that her voice can speak to. And I absolutely adore Raffi and Seven. Raffi loves Seven, period. No matter what, she’s going to love Seven until the end of time. If you can think about how many adventures we could have, all the different kinds of trouble that those two characters could get into, I’m all aboard a spin-off. So you guys, if you like this, if you want that, make a lot of noise. Be bold, be brave, get out there and let us all know.
More Picard coverage to come
There are many more interviews from the Hollywood premiere event coming up this week, including series star Patrick Stewart and showrunner Terry Matalas.
We will be posting our regular recap/reviews on a weekly basis, starting with the first episode on Thursday, February 16, and each week our All Access Star Trek podcast will discuss the latest episode, starting on Friday, February 17. Our Shuttle Pod podcast team will also discuss the upcoming season. Until then, you can read our spoiler-free review of season 3, written by Mark. A. Altman.
The third and final season of Picard premieres on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., and Latin America, and on February 17 Paramount+ in Europe and elsewhere, with new episodes of the 10-episode-long season available to stream weekly. It will also debut on Friday, Feb. 17 internationally 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.
Keep up with news about the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.