Star Trek: Picard S02 Star Ito Aghayere Discusses Young Guinan Role

One of the most unexpected surprises of Star Trek: Picard's second season was the return of Guinan from The Next Generation. Not so much the one played by Whoopi Goldberg as that much was known not long after star Sir Patrick Stewart's appearance on her talk show The View, but rather what ended up as her younger counterpart. As the series already demonstrated, the series wasn't above using special effects to de-age actors as shown with John de Lancie's return as Q showing the actor's younger form before the character said in the season two premiere "The Star Gazer", "Let me to catch up" before snapping his fingers and showing the actor's natural older form. Rather than de-age Goldberg for the episode "Watcher", the series cast Ito Aghayere as young Guinan to interact with Jean-Luc at 10 Forward in the 21st century. The actress spoke with Variety about getting the role.

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Pictured: Sir Patrick Stewart as Picard and Ito Aghayere as young Guinan of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

"I watched all of 'TNG' as a kid, primarily because my parents are immigrants, and they're very conservative," Aghayere said. "As a kid growing up, there were very few shows that they would let us watch without having to care what it was about or understand what it was about. [Laughs] I don't think I told Patrick — as I probably should have — but they thought he looked really smart and intelligent. So they were like, 'Eh, she's gonna learn something, let them watch it.' I couldn't watch 'Power Rangers,' but I could watch 'Star Trek.'" Upon meeting each other, the paranoid and distrusting Guinan was ready to shoot Jean-Luc with her shotgun before he started spoonfeeding her details of their lifelong friendship delicately trying not to dramatically alter the timeline in hopes to get to the Watcher. It wasn't until he exposed her as an El-Aurian that she started to come around. One detail that did confuse the actress (as well as several Star Trek fans) was the potential continuity issue with the TNG two-parter "Time's Arrow" that saw Guinan meeting the Enterprise captain in the 19th century, which she did bring up with Picard executive producer Terry Matalas.

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Pictured: Sir Patrick Stewart as Picard and Ito Aghayere as young Guinan of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

"I think what Terry does in terms of storytelling when it comes to time travel is just brilliant," Aghayere said at first with a smile. "I don't think he ever got me a clear answer on it. And I think…I never will." A representative from Paramount+ responded to Variety's inquiry. "Guinan does not recognize Picard in 2024. Fans might be briefly confused by this because she did meet him on Earth in 1893 in 'The Next Generation.' The reason that she doesn't recognize Picard is that he's traveled from a future in which Starfleet doesn't exist, and therefore the whole thing with Data's head in 'Time's Arrow' never happened."

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Pictured: Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan and Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Nicole Wilder/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

When it came to filming Aghayere's scenes with Stewart, "He is such a generous actor, on and off the screen," she said. "One of our first scenes together, besides having to go there calling him out on his privilege as Jean-Luc, I also had to pull a shotgun on the man and look calm doing it. And, I mean, he has a 'Sir' in front of his name. He was just ready for it. He was like, 'Bring it! Bring it!' And such a sweet soul." For more on Aghayere growing up on TNG, the alias her character was given while filming, what she got from Goldberg's performances she brought into Picard, whether she met the actress and more, you can head on over to Variety. New episodes of Star Trek: Picard stream Thursdays on Paramount+.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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