Brent Spiner spoke to Showbiz Junkies about why he elected to return as Data in Star Trek: Picard, what he thought of Jonathan Frakes as a director, and his new fiction book about fan stalkers.
The actor took on the role of Data again because “I was influenced by the fact that I thought it was a really amazing group of people writing the show,” he said. “Indeed, the stuff I did was beautifully written. Basically, I had a little wink in the first episode. In the last episode, there was this phenomenal scene written by Michael Chabon that I thought was fantastic, so why not? We do change our minds from time to time. I’d like to take a lesson from Sean Connery, who said, ‘Never say never.'”
Fellow Next Generation cast member Jonathan Frakes moved from acting to directing. What does Spiner think about Frakes as a director? “Jonathan really learned his stuff; he is a fine director,” said Spiner. “I always feel I’m in good hands when Jonathan’s directing. I just finished doing an episode with him and it was just great! We have a shorthand, of course, and it’s great to work with somebody I’m that close to. He’s really skilled now and it’s not just me saying that about my friend. I think if you ask anyone on the set – any crew member, any other actor – they all take pleasure in working with Jonathan. Definitely my favorite TNG director.”
In addition to acting, Spiner has been writing. His novel, Fan-Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events, will be released this October. The book is “historical fact and historical fiction, a memoir and a noir mystery all crammed together.”
The story takes place on the Next Generation set in 1991 and is about the “dark side” of celebrity, a fictionalized account of Spiner having to deal with stalkers over the years.
The pandemic gave Spiner time to work on the book. “I needed to fill my time,” he said. “I needed to be creative. It’s part of who I am. I was able to devote a lot of time that I would not have ordinarily been able to write the book. I found it to be a really enjoyable process. It was something I looked forward to doing every day. Just accessing that part of my imagination was really rewarding to me. It was therapeutic too, dealing with my past, dealing with things that had been stuck in my unconscious or subconscious for a lifetime that I needed to purge. Just being able to express myself artistically in a different way was great.”
Fans can order the book, which will be released in a Kindle format, here.