‘Star Trek: Picard’: Michelle Hurd on Raffi & Worf’s Partnership

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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Episode 3 “Seventeen Seconds.”]

Raffi (Michelle Hurd) gets at least one answer in the latest Star Trek: Picard: the identity of her handler.

Fans knew it was Worf (Michael Dorn) after he saved her when her meeting with Sneed (Aaron Stanford) went south (“I told you: Do not engage”) in the previous episode, but it’s when she comes to that she does (he’s a subcontractor, since his concerns align with Starfleet). He shares that he has learned that one must access calm, so he’s been working on himself, and he can see that she has a heart of warrior. But still, she does wonder why she does the things she does to herself, thinking about her life, family, and sobriety as she goes through withdrawal.

Working together, they learn that they’re dealing with Changelings, a powerful enemy of the Federation, and another attack is coming. They need to figure out what else was stolen from Daystrom.

Hurd talks Raffi’s new partnership and complicated relationship with Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan).

Raffi’s off to a rough start of the season, to put it lightly. It’s in this episode that she officially meets Worf and finds out he’s her handler. So at this point in the season for her and with the way that he is now, why does she need this time with him?

Michelle Hurd: Yeah, I agree, this season she starts off a little bumpy, but Raffi’s always complicated. There’s nothing simple about Raffi. She’s a little stressed, but she’s always right. She’s got her eye on the prize, and I think when she gets to meet her handler and finds that it’s Worf — because she has also heard all the stories from Picard [Patrick Stewart] — she’s absolutely at that one moment blown away and she’s really excited to find out more about this person. But she still has her eye on the prize. She still has a purpose and a focus, so she’s happy to finally put a face to the electronic voice.

He says that he learned that one must access calm, which is something that she also needs right now.

You think? [Laughs] Yes. And I think that that’s the beautiful thing about this relationship is that the two of them are going to learn a lot about each other and have sort of takeaways that will enrich their lives, change their lives. It’s not the odd couple because we’re not totally different. I think that Worf and Raffi, in their respective worlds, were always sort of outsiders and were different. And so when they find each other, they probably see that sort of similarity and the kindred spirit in their differences as well as their similarities.

Michael Dorn in 'Star Trek: Picard'

James Dimmock/Paramount+

So yeah, I think that that’s one of the things that draws her to him is the fact that there’s this impressive creature who’s so grounded and has such strength but has such a calmness and is able to control it. And it’s something that Raffi has struggled with on the first two seasons, is to try to find calm and serenity. She’s still looking for it.

Talk about how they work together. Are they clashing more often than not, or are they on the same page more than they might expect?

I think they’re like siblings, as in sync and out of sync as siblings can be. They could argue and then they’re like, OK, it’s time to go. And they’re walking on the same foot. It’s the differences that draw them together and then it sort of amplifies their similarities.

Talk about working with Michael on developing that relationship.

Oh my God, I don’t know where to start. Michael Dorn, Michael Dorn, Michael Dorn. He’s just phenomenal. Our first scene working together was actually doing stunt rehearsals. And I tried to be really cool and tried to come over and be like, “hi, I’m kind of a fan.” I was geeking out. I just couldn’t even get myself together. And he’s so calm, he’s just so glorious and so calm.

The thing that was kind of wonderful and surprising — I don’t know if it’s surprising for the two of us — is that we clicked just immediately. We became so in sync as collaborators, as scene partners, and most importantly as friends. And that kind of energy, I think, comes off on the screen and it allows us to be really brave and explore when we’re doing the work together. So it’s been just a gift.

And think about my life as Raffi. First season, I spend majority of the season working with Sir Patrick Stewart and Santiago Cabrera. Second season, I work with Jeri Ryan. Third season, I work with Michael Dorn. It’s kind of Christmas for me, I think, all year round.

Speaking of Jeri, how would you describe Raffi and Seven’s relationship this season beyond it’s very complicated?

[Laughs] Beyond it’s very complicated? It’s really tricky to talk about Seven and Raffi for the third season. I think that they have matured into an understanding and a respect and a love that allows them to grow and do what each other needs to do to feel satisfied in life right now. Raffi’s complicated, really complicated, but so is Seven and two incredibly independent, powerful, complicated creatures finding each other is a fantastic thing, but it’s going to be like [coming together then separating] a lot. So there’s definitely love. There will always be love. But let’s see what happens in the future.

Star Trek: Picard, Thursdays, Paramount+

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