Star Trek: Picard star Jeri Ryan reveals why she was "freaking out" about returning to role
If Star Trek: Picardwasn't exciting enough because of Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role from Star Trek: The Next Generation, a handful of other Trek favourites are also making appearances in the new series.
Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Jonathan Frakes (William Riker) and Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh the Borg) are three of the actors coming back, and it's a pretty daunting task, apparently.
Appearing on stage at a Las Vegas convention (via TrekMovie) with Frakes and Del Arco, Ryan said: "Honestly, it was freaking terrifying, and these two can attest to that! They both saved my ass!
"I was freaking out. She was a very specific character for four years on Voyager. There was a lot of growth, and all of that. She went from being a machine to learning to be human. But, particularly the way she moved and her voice, that was what I was really hung up on.
"Her voice didn’t change that much in four years. So she had a stilted, very formal, very stylised way of speaking at the end of Voyager."
She continued: "So, when I got the initial script, and from I knew from the original pitch with James [Duff] a year and a half ago, she is not the same Seven. She is much more human. She been on Earth for a long time, she has been through a lot.
"So, when I saw that initial script, and as you saw 'what the hell are you doing out here?', it’s a very, very different voice. And that is what was freaking me out."
Praising her co-stars, Ryan added: "Thank God this one [Frakes] was directing my first two episodes. And Johnny worked before I did, so he had just gone through all of this himself.
"I was literally freaking out. I was bursting into tears: 'I don’t know what her voice is! I can’t find her.' So, Johnny came over and we had lunch and read the script for like an hour and finally he just... said after an hour: 'just try this, what if… clearly, she is always going to look like a former Borg, because she has these implants that cant go away. So, what if she had to make that choice – a conscious choice – to sound as human as possible?'.
"And that’s all I needed. That’s what I needed! I just needed something for it to make sense as an actor as to why she would have that huge of a chance. Then it made sense to me. I was still freaking out in my first scene."
According to Frakes, Patrick Stewart was very impressed with Ryan on set, so it looks like all that stressing out paid off in the end.