Johnathan Frakes is in no way new to the Star Trek universe, yet it seems as though that may have taken him back a bit. It was reported that the actor turned director had gone under anxiety issues when stepping up to reprise his role as Riker in the new “Star Trek: Picard” series.
Since his last appearance as the second in command of the U.S.S. Enterprise, Johnathan Frakes has primarily been a director. Often helping with some Star Trek related projects, such as “Star Trek: Discovery” and multiple episodes of the upcoming “Star Trek: Picard”, and many other things. That is where the problem is, he says. Johnathan Frakes hasn’t had to act in years. In a recent interview with Comicbook.com, Frakes revealed what it was like to be back on set:
“I hadn’t acted in a long, long, long time. 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 shit 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,” (who is Deanna Troi) “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 bullshit. That’s acting bullshit.“
Frakes was not the only one to suffer from being away from their beloved character for so long. Jeri Ryan, who played the borg Seven-of-Nine in “Star Trek: Voyager“, also spoke about her problems with finding the character again.
It just goes to show, the care that these actors on Star Trek have for their craft, and how they take up the responsibility to try to not upset the fans that most likely grew up watching their shows. It is in a way very heart warming to know they care so much, but at the same time upsetting to know the stress they go through to please us, the fanbase.