Isa Briones Never Knew This Before She Got the ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Role But She Already Knew This

Star Trek: Picard naturally raises several mysteries for anyone who’s followed Star Trek: The Next Generation. The premiere answered why Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) left Starfleet and introduced new questions about where Data (Brent Spiner) is and whether B-4 (Spiner) is a nonstarter Isa Briones brings new mysteries to Star Trek: Picard. Spoilers for the first episodes of Star Trek: Picard follow.

Isa Briones in Star Trek: Picard
Isa Briones | James Dimmock/CBS

First, Isa Briones plays a character who activates killer assassin abilities and seeks out Picard for help. Picard discovers she may be a synthetic. Then there’s the whole issue of the second character Briones plays. Briones spoke with reporters of the Television Critics Association and revealed one thing she had to learn as she filmed, and another that relied on one of her real skills. New episodes of Star Trek: Picard stream Thursdays on CBS All Access.

‘Star Trek: Picard’ didn’t tell Isa Briones this at first

The revelation of the second character was as surprising to Isa Briones as it was to Star Trek: Picard viewers.

Isa Briones
Isa Briones | Jeff Neira/CBS

“It’s funny, I didn’t know I was going to be playing two characters when I was auditioning,” Briones said. “Until finally one of the casting [agents] was like, ‘So yeah, one of the things that is really big for the characters is the twin thing.’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry, what?’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah, your twin.’ I was like, ‘Oh, okay.’ So that was kind of a learn as you go situation because going into it I didn’t know.”

The second Isa Briones is the key to ‘Star Trek: Picard’

The first Isa Briones character Star Trek: Picard introduced seems fairly temporary, although you never know in science-fiction. She could be back. Briones said her focus is actually the second character who first appeared with Harry Treadaway on a Borg cube.

Harry Treadaway and Isa Briones
Harry Treadaway and Isa Briones | Trae Patton/CBS

“I think you definitely see a lot of the new character that you see at the end,” Briones said. “She is kind of your point person for who this girl is but it’s so cool to learn how to make that dynamic work. How am I going to portray that these are two separate people? That definitely was a learning process but when I went back and watched Next Generation, I got to see Brent doing that all the time so kind of had the best people to learn from.”

‘Star Trek: Picard’ was able to use her real skill

When the first character Isa Briones plays springs into action and starts fighting, Briones was able to draw on her real Arjukenpo training.

“Actually, when I was probably seven, I started doing martial arts, and that was my thing,” Briones said. “I was that kid who went to school and then immediately went to my dojo and just stayed there until it closed, and that was my life. But I stopped that in my teens when I was focusing more on acting.”

Star Trek: Picard - Isa Briones
Isa Briones | Justin Lubin/CBS

She did have to brush up on training, and of course they didn’t let Isa Briones do the really dangerous stunts.

“It really did feel kind of like coming back home to something, coming back to something that felt so second nature to me,” Briones said. “We had a great team. I got to train for about a month on it, and it really was a great situation with a really wonderful stunt team and my wonderful stunt double Kyra, who took care of more of the flippies instead of I can throw some punches, but I can’t quite do the flips.”