Star Trek: Jonathan Frakes' Favorite Acting Partner Is Exactly Who You'd Hope

In the expansive and still rapidly-expanding "Star Trek" universe, Jonathan Frakes' Starfleet officer William T. Riker plays a pivotal role spanning the franchise's television series and feature films. As such, Frakes has deployed his formidable acting chops opposite a veritable galaxy of other "Star Trek" notables, from Patrick Stewart's classically trained Jean-Luc Picard to Brent Spiner's human-wanna-be android Data, Michael Dorn's Klingon warrior Worf, LeVar Burton's warp-drive-savvy Geordi La Forge and many others.

But as seen in a recent episode of "The Ready Room" hosted by "Star Trek: The Next Generation" star Wil Wheaton, Frakes has a clear-cut favorite when it comes to naming the one person he most enjoys sharing the screen with: Marina Sirtis. As the actress who first plays the Betazoid-Human hybrid counselor Deanna Troi on the pilot episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Sirtis's empathic character immediately forms what will be a long-lasting bond with Frakes' Will Riker. And while they have a stormy relationship, they ultimately fall deeply and love and finally marry. Commenting on "The Ready Room" about their connection as actors, Frakes said "When I was invited back to revisit Riker and Troi in their new world [on 'Star Trek: Picard'], I didn't know how special it was gonna be until I was in the scenes with Marina." He then went on to reveal that, "She's my favorite. She's my favorite acting partner. She brings the best outta me. I trust her."

Jonathan Frakes says Marina Sirtis reminds him of another actor: his real-world wife

Expanding on his comments on "The Ready Room" about working with Marina Sirtis during their various "Star Trek" franchise appearances, Jonathan Frakes referenced his off-screen partner Genie Francis, who is also a fellow thespian: "[Marina] reminds me of my wife, who's another wonderful actor who brings that honesty [to performing]." He continued on to note that in all of the "Star Trek" TV series and films in which he and Sirtis act together, the two make a concerted effort to keep their characters' affection for each other at the core of their scenes. "Marina and I playing Riker and Troi for seven years and four movies always reminded each other that the characters were still in love," he said. "And so that behavior was our sort of acting secret that other people had forgotten about and given up on."

For her part, Sirtis recalled in the same "Ready Room" episode that even though some "Star Trek" execs wanted to de-emphasize the romantic dynamic between Riker and Troi, she and Frakes, "Kept it going, much to the consternation of the suits. But the fans loved it and I'm glad we did it."