FIL-AM Actress ISA BRIONES: From “HAMILTON” to “STAR TREK: PICARD”

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It is not difficult at all to find a Filipino or at least a Filipino-American making a mark on the general American entertainment scene. From the big screen that is the domain of Hollywood, to the small screen of various TV networks, to even the stage of Broadway, Filipinos and Fil-Ams are there. One such Fil-American active in American theatre is Isa Briones, daughter of longtime Filipino thespian in the US Jon Jon Briones. In 2018 she played Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in the touring production of “Hamilton.” That is merely the beginning for Briones, who now finds herself in an even bigger galaxy as the female lead of a “Star Trek” TV show.

Inquirer.net has it that actress Isa Briones has hit the big time playing a major character in “Star Trek: Picard,” a streaming sci-fi web series available stateside on CBS All Access. The show might already have the undivided attention of lifelong “Trekkies” thanks to it being the franchise return of British actor Patrick Stewart reprising as Jean-Luc Picard from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and its tie-in movies. But while watching “Star Trek: Picard” is difficult for Filipinos not subscribed to All Access in North America and Australia, they can take pride in Briones’ accomplishment.

Briones portrays Dahj, seemingly an ordinary woman living on 24th Century Earth, the heart of the United Federation of Planets. But when assassins from the destroyed planet Romulus appear to kill her, she discovers superhuman abilities and flees to seek help from the now-retired Admiral Picard (Stewart). The former captain of the Federation starships Enterprise-D and -E discovers that Dahj might actually be the unrevealed biological daughter of his late Second Officer, the android Data. But the scientific process that made her also guarantees the creation of twins, and unknown to them, Dahj’s twin (also Briones) is with the Romulans.

“Star Trek” fans might be eager to get to explore the franchise’s Federation following the destruction of the Romulan home-world, alluded only but instrumental to the creation of the alternate “Kelvin” timeline where the reboot “Star Trek” films with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are set. With Isa Briones however, the British-Filipina (and American citizen) actress is in a position to cement her presence in a major TV-movie franchise, following her 2018 casting in “American Crime Story” on FX as Elena Cunanan alongside her father Jon Jon as Modesto Cunanan. This was in parallel to her being on the “Hamilton” touring production the same year.

More of Briones can be seen in “Star Trek: Picard,” debuting one season of 10 episodes, with new episodes streaming Thursdays on CBS All Access.

Image courtesy of GMA News

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