[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Picard episode “Mercy.”]
Alison Pill has been on a wild journey this season of Star Trek: Picard — and it has nothing to do with area journey.
The actress, who performs the good, however shy and insecure Agnes Jurati, has shifted gears dramatically via this season after her character was overtaken by the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching). As Agnes offers in an increasing number of to the badly wanted companionship and seduction of energy, she is dropping herself and jeopardizing the mission and future.
Needless to say, it was a busy manufacturing. Not solely did Pill have an epic musical quantity within the episode “Fly Me to the Moon,” however the actress did her first stunts ever on this week’s episode “Mercy” when Jurati, underneath the queen’s consciousness, fights (and bests) Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and Raffi (Michelle Hurd).
Her head nonetheless considerably swirling from all of it, Pill gave loads of credit score for her masterful performances to the writers and visitor administrators, corresponding to Lea Thompson and Star Trek alum Johnathan Frakes. Still, she defined to The Hollywood Reporter that the journey of enjoying somebody with good and evil battling it out inside them has been a pleasure and a singular expertise.
First and foremost, how did it really feel to be the Borg Queen as she took over an increasing number of of Agnes?
It was very thrilling to get to take a look at the variations that happen in Jurati over these previous few episodes, in addition to spending time with Annie [Wersching] to see what her queen was changing into as a result of that’s who’s operating the present as of now.
Agnes is nice, however shy and lacks confidence. The Borg Queen takes what she desires. Which is extra pleasing to embody?
Agnes has fairly low vanity, and the queen doesn’t. (Laughs.) So I feel the imaginary high quality of immediately believing in your personal energy is intoxicating, as it will be for many individuals. But there’s a stage of ego — I don’t know if Borg have egos (Laughs.) — with the driving self-force, which appears nice, nevertheless it comes at the price of so many, as I feel is usually the case with self-obsessed leaders.
They’re so totally different, that they’re each equally pleasing to play. I imply, I like Jurati so very a lot. So I feel establishing her character extra this season, seeing a bit extra of what makes her tick, was actually thrilling. And the type of alternatives for comedy and for pathos that butt up towards one another within the scripts was actually a pleasure. But it’s additionally enjoyable to play an evil genius. (Laughs.)
Speaking of the scripts, what did you assume whenever you realized you have been going to be the Borg Queen, at the very least partially, this season?
[Executive producer] Akiva [Goldsman] spoke to me about it early on earlier than I even noticed scripts, and I used to be thrilled on the prospect! There was a lot writing happening all through the season, so we have been by no means fairly certain the place it was all going to land through which episode or how it will all come collectively. I spoke to writers concerning the through-line of why Agnes feels compelled by the arguments of the queen and the way her affect on the queen may have an effect on the concept of the collective extra typically. I assumed it was a captivating rigidity to discover.
Today’s episode specifically is sort of the bodily Agnes. How a lot of that brutal combat with Seven of Nine and Raffi have been you allowed to do or did you need to do?
I used to be allowed to do some stunts for the primary time ever, and I used to be thrilled! (Laughs.) I advised my daughter that I spent the day operating throughout the tops of vehicles, and he or she was correctly impressed. It’s shot in so many items, however there’s something thrilling about making a motion and seeing someone fly backward on a harness. It was actually fantastic to be given the prospect to do a few of the extra bodily stuff that I by no means get to do.
Most of your scenes this season are with Annie. Can you inform me about working together with her on and off-screen?
She’s fantastic! I feel she introduced such an fascinating method to the queen since you perceive the deeply seductive powers that she would have over somebody like Agnes or over anybody. And she tasks this sort of enjoyable, self-confident, anything-is-possible manner of being that’s actually thrilling to be round. She’s underneath a bunch of prosthetics and never essentially the most comfy costume — and nonetheless managed to be one of many crew favorites simply because her demeanor was so welcoming and humorous.The character wouldn’t have labored half as nicely with another person, I feel. She managed to seize one thing actually vital.
The fantastic Lea Thompson directed a block of episodes this season, each of which featured deep moments between you and Annie. How was it being directed by her?
It was very thrilling. First, to have a feminine director and likewise to have someone who was actually within the emotional lives of the characters. We acquired the chance to speak about motivation and to attempt new issues, since loads of that was the institution of our Borg Queen.
The grand gala scene in “Two of One” was epic. And your singing was phenomenal. Can you inform me about that manufacturing day?
I used to be very glad that [Jonathan] Frakes was directing as a result of he’s only a pleasure to have round typically and so humorous. Any nerves that I had about it have been shortly put aside by him and his demeanor and his simply his consolation on the earth.
I used to be so excited to have the prospect to sing and to do that large loopy quantity and to stroll down the steps. But I used to be additionally actually grateful to have him and his theater background and his understanding of showmanship to know the way far to go and the right way to handle it.
Speaking of Jonathan, he advised me in a earlier interview that he thinks you’re one of the versatile actors he’s ever labored with, which we’re clearly seeing. Can you inform me about your course of to hit all of the notes (no pun) you’re hitting emotionally this season?
Plenty of it has been a present from the writers when it comes to these actually complicated scenes. The plugging into the queen scene was certainly one of my favorites that I’ve ever gotten to do. They actually allowed me to go far and wide, which is at all times what I need to do. I similar to pretending. (Laughs.) Every human accommodates multitudes. I feel the shyness and the genius of Agnes are simply shifted into totally different areas. Every individual I meet has all of those emotions which may be hidden or all of those abilities or items that they might not share with individuals however do exist, they usually assume exploring that’s actually thrilling.
The interview has been edited for size and readability.