Next up in our series of Star Trek: Picard interviews are Isa Briones, Evan Evagora, and Santiago Cabrera. All of our leads are back and ready for another season of Picard and had quite a few things to say about their characters. Here’s what they had to say about season 2 of Star Trek: Picard.
When asked about their reactions to the season 2 script, each actor responded differently. Santiago Cabrera had this to say about his chararacter of Captain Rios,
“For me, I felt we hit the ground running. …We’re in the world, we know everyone, we don’t need to introduce anyone. …It was just action-packed and I thought the details between how we relate to each other were so much deeper and we all got to explore something new. …there’s a whole new side of Rios that we see. …He’s got a different journey, and an arc that will have a pay off in the end, so that was great.”
I’m quite excited to see a new side of Captain Rios! But it’s not just Rios that has some new stuff going on. Isa Briones had this to say about the changes for Soji leading up to season 2.
“I think it was, as usual, very surprising, reading the first few scripts and I feel that can always be counted on for Star Trek, that it’s always going to be really surprising and kind of come out of nowhere. But like Santiago said, it’s really lovely as an actor that we get to continue to explore new facets of our characters, with the new characters that come in with the new plot lines, characters with the new bumps in the road that we encounter, continuously peeling back the layers of our characters. I think you will definitely see quite a bit of that development from everyone in this season.”
Release the Elnor!
For Evan Evagora, getting that first script for season 2 was an invitation to escape lockdown! He said,
“For me it was like, finally! We spend a year in lockdown. I was in Australia….barely allowed to leave the house. I spent the day refreshing my email, waiting for a script to come through and as soon as it did, it was just nothing but excitement because the gang’s getting back together. …Getting to see everyone old and everyone new…our bond and our group dynamic [is] like growing and strengthening. It’s been nothing but fun from the get go and it’s just gotten better and better every day that passed and every season that we film.”
Each actor had something significant to say about their character’s growth and development. Last season, Isa Briones performed a song, “Blue Skies” that helped close out Data’s arc. Prior to starring on Picard, Briones performed as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds in Hamilton. Clearly the girl’s got pipes! I asked Isa if Soji sings too. She said, “I like that idea! Unfortunately, that will not be the case in this season, but I did very much enjoy getting to sing “Blue Skies” last season. Such a beautiful, full-circle moment for Soji, for Data, for the closing of his character in that way. …It was not lost on me how lucky I was that I got to be a part of that legacy.”
Pick a Rios, Any Rios!
For Santiago, half the fun of playing Rios is playing all the Rios holograms. When asked if he pitched new Rios holos to the writers or if he had a favorite Rios, Santiago responded, “Loads of pitches! But I think the main man Rios himself is always the most fun to play. I love to get to play him again…which was a lot of fun. But I enjoy all of them. It’s just great fun to do these different facets of him. But definitely Rios is the main focus and when I go to the writers, it’s mainly abut Rios himself more than the others.”
As for Evan, Elnor is in a bit of a different place at the start of the season. He said of these new changes for Elnor, “I’d say the moment Elnor left Vashti, he was kind of opened up to this world of possibilities that he didn’t know existed before. Right now, he’s at Starfleet Academy and I’d say exploring a new side of him that he didn’t even know he had. He’s the first ever Romulan to ever be accepted into Starfleet. Hopefully, he’s not the last, and he’s really breaking down the preconceived ideas people had about Romulans and Romulan culture.”
Breaking down barriers and preconceived ideas is what Star Trek is all about.
Finally, one of the most interesting things about a series that has such an important cultural heritage like Star Trek is how fans respond. I love what Isa says about her favorite fan interactions. She says,
“I’ve definitely had some very meaningful interactions with fans at conventions and over instagram. It’s been very touching to see, and I feel like it’s true for any character, because in the very diverse world that we live in, people are going to gravitate towards very different characters.
So with me…seeing fellow young women, femme folks, that identify with my character and feel…seen, in the discovering of who they are, figuring out their path, figuring out what their purpose is, and how it’s given them more confidence to see someone like them. [Seeing] someone who was going through the same things as them, as fellow mixed kids, fellow half-Asian kids, who are feeling represented in that way. It’s definitely been very touching and it’s been a great reminder for me–this is a big part of why I do this, why I tell these stories, and to touch people and to make sure that they feel seen in this world.”
It doesn’t get better than that.
Hailing Frequencies are Open
Thanks very much to the folks at Paramount+ for inviting Fangirlish to participate in these roundtables, and a big thank you to Isa, Evan, and Santiago for their time and thoughtful responses. Be sure to stay tuned for more interview recaps with the cast and crew of Star Trek: Picard and set your hailing frequencies to our #StarTrek tag for every bit of Star Trek coverage here on the site.
Season Two of Star Trek: Picard will air on March 3, 2022, on Paramount+.