Cast of Star Trek: Picard is excited for fans to see the new season, in which beloved Star Trek captain Jean-Luc Picard, now an admiral, faces his greatest challenge yet–himself.

Patrick Stewart, who plays the titular character, told Shadow and Act that Picard’s personal exploration is a new frontier for the character, who based his entire life around a false perception of his past.

“It’s been fascinating because hard though it may be to believe, his adult life as we knew him in Next Generation was not based on accurate memories of childhood,” he said. “He had been denying himself to the truth of his family upbringing, of his mother and his father. And when he begins to understand that things were other than that he believed, it was a struggle for him.”

Stewart also added how the internal realm of emotions is a space in which Picard has the most growing to do, despite his external achievements.

“It’s always fascinating to see an individual, so clever, so experienced, so worldly as Jean-Luc was having to deal with self-committed involvements and beliefs and understandings in his own life, which is what he has to do,” he said.

Michelle Hurd, who plays Raffi Musiker, said that this season, Raffi’s time with Starfleet is more about her “sense of justice” rather than her complete trust of the organization. Her decision to join Starfleet is also about protecting someone dear to her, Elnor [Evan Evagora], the first Romulan cadet to graduate from the program.

“I think especially when we begin the second season and Raffi’s back in Starfleet, she seems happy, she’s…comfortable…but I think if we all know Raffi, we know there’s a part of her that will never fully trust Starfleet,” she said. “If you think about it, she might have joined this because she wanted to keep an eye on Elnor, because that’s really her connection right now. For all intents and purposes, she now feels he’s her own son.”

Jerri Ryan, who plays former Borg member Seven of Nine, said it’s been “amazing” to see how far Seven has grown since her first introduction in the franchise over two decades ago. She said a character like Seven is “such a rare gift as an actor.”

“What…I look for in a character is growth, and an arc and [change],” she said. “So to start out with a character 27 years ago who wasn’t even human at the time, everything is growth, everything is new. And to be able to revisit her…and to see how she’s grown and cahnge and what she’s been through and how she’s adapted, it’s such a gift, it truly is.”

John de Lancie brings Picard to his greatest challenge by reprising the character Q, an interdimensional being who debuted in the very first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In that series, Q acted as both a judge of sorts for humanity and as a prickly nemesis to Picard by testing his will and emotional fortitude. Q has ratcheted up the stakes considerably for what could be his final test for Picard.

De Lancie said it was easy to get back into the habit of playing such a mercurial character.

“It has not been difficult to come back to the character. He’s a little full of himself so I’m playing close to the vest, I daresay, so it was not difficult,” he said. “At first I sort of thought [it would be] but as I was just beginning to work on the lines…it was mostly fun and definitely within my wheelhouse.”

He also said that this season tests the characters on several different levels, especially the realization that life demands a lot of everyone, including Q.

“Life is short…Life is short, even for an immortal being,” he said.

Watch the full video below, which also includes cast members Musiker, Isa Briones and Santiago Cabrera. Season one of Picard is now streaming on Paramount+, and season 2 premiered this week.