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Star Trek Picard: John de Lancie on the pressure of reprising the role of Q

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Star Trek: Picard, Q, John de Lancie, Patrick Stewart

The Star Trek franchise is full of omnipotent beings, but none are quite so beloved by the fans as Q, the occasionally malevolent being from the Q Continuum played to absolute perfection by John de Lancie. There had been rumblings of Q’s possible return to the franchise, but the release of the first teaser trailer for the second season of Star Trek: Picard made it official — Q will be back.

With the exception of a brief voice role in Star Trek: Lower Decks, it’s been twenty years since John de Lancie last played the character, and as you might imagine, stepping back into his most famous role was a little nerve-racking. “What I felt was mostly was, Oh shit. [Laughs] The pressure is on!” John de Lancie said while speaking with Variety. “That’s how I feel about it. I find that to be a challenge. I hope that I can match it. I hope that we all can match it, and more to the point, exceed it. [Laughs] This is one of the reasons I stay away from all this stuff. I kind of just have to stay in the world of what can be done, and what cannot be done, and not to get too pressurized in all this.” Similar to Patrick Stewart’s initial concerns with reprising his role of Jean-Luc Picard, John de Lancie wanted to be sure they weren’t just retreading the same old ground, especially as twenty years have passed for an actor playing an immortal character.

One of the issues that I have is you don’t want to fall into the trap of re-creating. I was obviously a little concerned — very concerned — about the issues having to do with, well, excuse me, this is 20 years later. I’m supposed to be immortal and I certainly look very mortal. There were issues about all of that. I was flattered. Of course, I said yes. I didn’t have to think about that part. And then I wondered, where are they going to go with this?

I’ve always thought of [playing Q] as being kind of a diamond in the rough, and having new facets of that stone that’s going to be cut,” De Lancie continued. “So here it is, many years later, we’re still cutting that stone. There will be elements of that stone which have already been cut, and they will simply need to be burnished up. And then there will be elements of this stone that will be newly cut, for which there will be people who go, ‘Oh I always thought you would go in that direction,’ and then others, ‘Oh, I like him the way he was before!'” The actor added that he’s always felt very strongly about the notion that you can never go back, but with Star Trek: Picard, they’re not going back, in fact, “we are taking what we have and we are moving forward. And to me, that’s exciting.” The second season of Star Trek: Picard will debut on Paramount+ in 2022.

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