Star Trek: Picard Star Ashley Sharp Chestnut Joins La Forge Family

Screen Rant interviews Star Trek: Picard season 3 star Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut about joining canon as the daughter of TNG's Geordi La Forge.

Warning: SPOILERS for the first 2 episodes of Star Trek: Picard season 3

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut joins the action in Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard as Ensign Sidney La Forge, aka "Crash La Forge," the son of Star Trek: The Next Generation legend Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) daughter. Sidney also has an older sister, Ensign Alaindra LaForge (Mica Burton), making them the true next-generation LaForge in Starfleet.

As helmsman of the USS Titan-A, Sidney has been caught up in the first two episodes of Star Trek: Picard season 3. Her Captain Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick) and Admirals Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Captain Will Rick (Jonathan Frakes) and Shaw's co-pilot Seven of Nine (Jerry Lane). However, Sidney turned out to have a special friendship with "Commander Seven". Meanwhile, the Titans are under attack by mysterious Captain Vadick (Amanda Plummer), who is hunting Jack Crusher (Ed Spiegel), the son of Picard and Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden). Les).

Screen Rant had the pleasure of interviewing Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut about playing Sidney La Forge, her real connection to LeVar Burton's family mirror a few days after chatting on the red carpet for the world premiere of Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Her character, Ashlei, takes us behind the scenes to share her experience on the set of Star Trek: Picard Season 3.

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut on Playing Sidney La Forge in Star Trek: Picard Season 3

Screen Rant: Two episodes into Picard so far, and I think it's safe to say that Sidney will be a fan-favorite character as season 3 progresses. We've only seen a few scenes with Sidney so far, so can you tell us a little bit about ol'Crash La Forge?

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: Oh god! [laughs] The history of what Frakes talks about is... she would crash these ships, essentially. But I think [in] the beginning, the way you're introduced to Sidney, she's kind of like this innocent, very studious, very about her business type of character. And I think as the season progresses, you will really get to see her stand on her own. In that first scene where you see her talking to Riker and Picard, and she's just like,"Hi, you don't remember me, but hi, I'm Sidney!" and that type of energy that she has, I really am excited for fans to see her progression throughout this.

Your pre-Picard career has been fantastic. We're in Gotham, Homeland, Brutal Summer, NCIS. What was it like when you were cast, not just for Star Trek, but for this role, the next generation of La Forge?

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: Oh, man. When I initially auditioned for this, they didn't tell me what it was for. And so, funny enough, my mom, who's a huge Star Trek fan, was my reader for the audition. And I did something in my audition where I was like, panicking or something. My mom goes, "This actually sounds like Star Trek. I don't think that character panics in this way. Do it a different way." Long story short, I did it a different way. And then I ended up booking this role, but I had no idea that it was Geordi's daughter until I actually got the official call from my agent. And they were like, "Ah yeah, you booked Star Trek, by the way. And not only did you book Star Trek, but you're playing Geordi La Forge's daughter, Sidney La Forge". And so, funny enough, my mom again was in the room when I got the call. We're both losing our minds. I mean, this is an iconic character. It's insane to be the daughter of this character.

We now want to thank your mother. marvelous. I love you and your sister Micah Burton as Alandra, and respect Jody's role in the business. Because it's easy to forget that Geordi was at the helm of TNG's first season before becoming chief engineer.

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: We talked about this briefly. LeVar and I were saying [how] you'll see the differences in our family dynamic. And how Sydney is the helmsman -- woman --- of this ship, but Geordi also started that way initially, too. And then you see them kind of have their moment. We talked about that.

You, Mica, and LeVar all told me at the premiere that the Burton family adopted you in real life and made you an honorary Burton. Leval told me you are his child now.

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: Yeah! [laughs] I love it. I love it.

Ever wondered when all three of you were wearing only the VISOR in a scene? Just like VISOR is a household item, like wearing matching pajamas at Christmas?

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: [laughs] I didn't experience that at all. But I totally would be down to do that.

If you get the chance to play the character again, and the three of you are together, it really should happen.

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: Yes, we'll put the VISORs on.

One of the coolest subplots in Picard Episode 2 is Sidney's friendship with Seven of Nine. So tell me a little bit about the relationship and the awesome scene with Jeri Ryan.

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: First of all, Jeri is just phenomenal, and I mean outside of Star Trek [too]. But jumping in and finding this relationship because Seven of Nine knows, or Commander Seven as Sidney calls her, knows of Sidney's history and who her father is, and how she's trying to create a name for her own, she kind of takes her under her wing, and kind of helps Sidney realize that she can be outside of her dad's shadow, if that makes any sense, you know?

This is a really cool dynamic. It was kind of unexpected, but it was nice to have that traditional character [becoming Sidney's] mentor. You are brand new, but also a traditional character. It's amazing. Of course, in Episode 2, we finally see Captain Vadic on screen. I'm curious if you saw footage of her in your scenes. How did you all react when filming?

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: Just the lines in the green screen. It's us acting. (laughs) I didn't really see... No, I don't think... Well, that's not true, I think at one point, Amanda actually did come to set just to say her lines for, like, a viewpoint. But for the most part, it was just the green screen.

Wow. However, it is still very convincing. She's such a great villain.

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: I know. I can't wait for you guys to see more of her.

And this incredible scene, which is the revelation at the end of episode 2, when Beverly Crusher comes to the bridge. She and Picard see each other first time. He knew who Jack was now. Yes. What was it like to be part of that scene? Just in that atmosphere?

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: As Ashlei, I was like, "Ooh!" Because it's like, again, history! You're seeing everybody back on the bridge and all this stuff. But I mean, having the tea of knowing that Picard is Jack's dad, I mean, ya know, it's a little juicy. So I think it's kind of like looking on like, sideways. And getting a little bit of side eye. Like, "What's going on?", you know?

You had a lot of great time on the bridge with Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Jerry Ryan and Todd Stashwick. But it's also kind of funny, watching you in your scenes. Since you're at the helm, you're actually turning your back on them most of the time. You should install a small rear view mirror so you can see them.

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: I should've, right? Because you see my eyes, my eyes are like going to the side doing a little bit [of this]. But I can't slowly turn around and see what's going on, you know?

What special memories do you have of working with those actors on Star Trek: Picard? Did they give you any advice? Did they take you under their wing? What was it like being with them? Because that actor is a legend. And they are also very mischievous.

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: Oh ho! Jonathan Frakes for sure. The moment that I remember the most, I'll say, what was monumental, was stepping on a bridge for the first time. That was amazing. I think meeting everybody for the first time, meeting LeVar for the first time. I don't know if I told you the story yet, but I saw him coming out of his trailer, and I yelled across the lot, "Hi! I'm Ashlei! I'm going to be playing your daughter," and then running to give him a hug. And then, later on in the season, too, you'll see there's some action sequences. I mean, it's my first time with stunt training, so I was really excited for that.

Have you had any type of helmsman training? Is there such a thing in Star Trek? How to press a button or how to steer the rudder?

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: Not necessarily, I don't know. I'm not gonna remember if they actually zoom in on my console, [on] like the actual things. But there are a couple of buttons on there that kind of say," Lift Off," or certain things, which kind of helps. Otherwise, I'm on my own. And I'm figuring out how to go into warp and doing different things on my own. And also, [there's] history of doing research and seeing how previous people have done it too.

Sidney is the newest female coxswain on Star Trek. Also Melissa Navia from Strange New World and Emily Coutts from Discovery. In fact, Sidney is part of another legacy, as Jacqueline Kim plays Daughter of Sulu, helmsman of Enterprise B. You should all start a helmsman club and start racing. Who will win?

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: Uh, me. Sidney La Forge. Are you kidding?

I think you will too. You also have the coolest and newest ships. But it's not just boats either. It's a pilot too, right?

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: Exactly.

Consider what an incredible character Sidney is. Like we just talked about, she is the representative of many legacies. TNG. Jody's daughter. Star Trek Helmsman. You know Sidney and Star Trek will be a part of you for the rest of your career. What was that like? You'd go against it and see people play Sidney.

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: I already know that I'm gonna cry when I go to cons and see... especially little girls dressing up as Sidney. I already know I'm gonna cry. But I'm really excited to meet the fans. So far, they've been so nice and welcoming. And just knowing that I'll be a part of, like you said, I'll be a part of this forever and ever. I'm really stoked. I just I'm really grateful just to be a part of this universe.

Let's talk about what's coming up in Star Trek: Picard. Can you tell us a little bit about what's coming up? What is Sidney doing...

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: I will say you'll see some family dynamics. You'll see Alandra and Sidney have that sisterly bond with a little bit of mischief. You'll see some action sequences. And outside of Sidney, I think you'll see each character... You'll see a beautiful arc for each character, I'll say.

Last question: You are the helmsman. You have an admiral, you have your captain, and then you have another captain. The three ordered at the same time. Three conflicting commands. who do you follow

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: That's a really good question. Well, that actually comes up later in the season. So I guess you'll have to wait and see what she answers.

About Star Trek: Picard Season 3

Star Trek: Picard's third and final season features Admiral Jean-Luc Picard reunited with former command staff in the 25th century Members of the USS Enterprise are being hunted by a mysterious new enemy, Captain Vadic.

Check out our other Star Trek: Picard Season 3 interview here:

What's Next: Picard Teams up with Jean-Luc and Riker TNG Never Made It

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