Speaking at the recent FanExpo Canada, Jonathan Frakes discussed his return to Star Trek, not behind the camera as he has done so successfully for over a quarter of a century, but back in the role of William Riker. Having been away from the pointy end of the camera for so long, Frakes found the experience somewhat daunting.
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, returning as 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.
Even for an industry pro like Frakes, the pressure is still there.