When Evan Evagoria met Patrick Stewart on the set of Star Trek: Picard, he lost focus in his role as the Romulan assassin-in-training Elnor. Stewart took Evagoria aside and helped calm his nerves. After all, Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard is one of the most iconic figures in science fiction let alone Star Trek. In a recent interview, Evagoria spoke more about Elnor, his introduction in the episode "Absolute Candor," and how Stewart resonated with the rest of the cast.
"We're lucky we have very, very good writers. When [action scenes] are written, it's the dialogue and character that come first, so the choreography and the fighting has to work around the scene and it has to follow the story. It's not 'action first.' [The stunt people] are really great actors, too. It's not just getting hit or falling down. They make sure there's some depth to their characters."
Comparing "Star Trek" Elnor to "Lord of the Rings" Legolas
Evagoria's heard the comparisons of Elnor to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
"We, or at least I, had some thoughts like — is [my character] maybe a little too close to what some fans have seen in other things — in other franchises like Lord of the Rings, but in talking it out with Michael [Chabon], and with Alex [Kurtzman] and the other great writers — and with Patrick — I quickly realized we are giving audiences something similar but different, this almost moody teenager. Something that feels new to Star Trek, for sure."
A Path to Redemption
When it came to the relationship between Elnor and Picard, the former Starfleet admiral developed a relationship with the orphan 14 years ago – during the evacuation following the Romulan supernova. When the Federation chose to abandon the mission, Jean-Luc reluctantly left Elnor and the remaining Romulan refugees at Vashti. He left to retire to his vineyard in France holding on to his regrets. Meeting Elnor again as he grew to an adolescent is one stop of many Picard makes to amend for his abandonment.
"I was kinda terrified, obviously [meeting Patrick]. It was, like, the worst first meeting ever. On my first day of filming, I felt so very nervous. And Patrick, he just — he took me aside because he could tell. But it's not like he told me a story about being nervous or anything like that. He just helped me feel at ease and more comfortable, just by talking to me."
Evagoria credits Stewart's down-to-earth nature for keeping him grounded on set:
"He really loves being in the ensemble — and not just the cast, but the entire crew. He — we're all equals and he sets that tone every day. "My favorite story of working with him was — there was a day when I was sitting across from Allison Pill [Dr. Agnes Jurati] and Patrick filming a scene, and those two together — I was watching them and forgetting I was even being filmed. I just sat there, like I was an audience member, watching them. Just enjoying it."
The season one finale of Star Trek: Picard airs Thursday, March 26, on CBS All Access.