Jonathan Frakes Had a “Major Anxiety Attack” Over Acting in Star Trek: Picard

Jonathan Frakes, Jeri Ryan and Jonathan Del Arco at Star Trek Las Vegas 2019

Jonathan Frakes, Jeri Ryan and Jonathan Del Arco at Star Trek Las Vegas 2019

Jonathan Frakes has said that he had a “major anxiety attack” over his return to acting in Star Trek: Picard.

Comicbook.com reports that at an appearance at FanExpo Canada last weekend, he talked about what his was like returning to acting after a long hiatus. He said, “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. [...] 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.”

Frakes said that knowing his Picard co-stars had acted more recently made him nervous. He said, “I had just directed two episodes of Picard with Sir Patrick and his acting muscle was well-toned. And Marina [Sirtis] 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 bulls--t.”

Jonathan Frakes will reprise his role as William Riker in Star Trek: Picard next spring, and in the meantime, he’ll be working more in his comfort zone, as a director for Star Trek: Discovery season three, now in production.


This article was written for the podcast Daily Star Trek News.

Alison Pitt is the writer, producer, and host of Daily Star Trek News, on the Roddenberry Podcast Network. A veteran Star Trek podcaster, she started her career on the weekly show Priority One: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast in 2015. She has appeared on panels at Star Trek Las Vegas, WonderCon, and San Diego Comic Con.

Alison Pitt