'Star Trek: Picard' Actress on Show's "Progressive" Asian-American Representation

"We're telling stories about the future and we're saying, 'Hey, in the future, we're still going to be here,'" says Isa Briones, who plays Dahj.
Justin Lubin/CBS
Isa Briones on 'Star Trek: Picard'

Star Trek: Picard star Isa Briones says she's proud to be part of the "progressive" show that represents the Asian-American community onscreen. 

"One of the big things for me that's been exciting is seeing the Asian-American community coming out, because I'm Filipino and Swedish and Irish," the actress told The Hollywood Reporter at the Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Guild Awards earlier this month. "Getting to see how me being in Star Trek has connected with them and how they've really appreciated seeing someone who looks like them onscreen ... that will always be my favorite thing about the show, especially because it's such a progressive show." 

Set to debut Thursday on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Picard stars Briones as Dahj opposite Patrick Stewart in the titular role. It comes after the fellow otherworldly franchise Star Wars made headlines recently for its lack of Asian-American representation in Disney's The Rise of Skywalker, as actress Kelly Marie Tran, who plays the character Rose Tico, appears in less than two minutes of the film. "The last thing we were doing was deliberately trying to sideline Rose. We adore the character, and we adore Kelly," screenwriter Chris Terrio said in December of the role.

Briones weighed in on the inclusion conversation, telling THR, "It's completely correct, because we're telling stories about the future and we're saying, 'Hey, in the future, we're still going to be here. What you see now in the world is still going to be here in 2339.' We're all here and we all deserve to be represented. I feel so honored that we get to portray that and ... keep pushing that narrative forward." 

George Takei and John Cho have previously portrayed Sulu in the Star Trek franchise, though the character does not appear in Picard.