Star Trek: Picard’s Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut has already influenced her character.
Geordi La Forge is one proud poppa during the events of Star Trek: Picard. He has two daughters in Starfleet, Sidney, and Alandra and both seem to be going places. Sidney is played by Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut, the only member of the La Forge’s to not be played by a real-life relative. Geordi is played by LeVar Burton, while Sidney is by his real-life daughter, Mica.
This has caused a lot of people to talk exclusively about that pair. Chestnut, not wanting to be eeked out of the conversation, has made a name for herself while on the set of Picard. She took a minor moment in the show’s sixth episode, “The Bounty” and made it far more profound.
In episode five, “Imposters”, Sidney finds a dead Changeling who has maintained taken Sidney’s form as its own. Upon seeing this, it disturbs Sidney so much that in episode six, “The Bounty”, Sidney has changed her hairstyle.
This wasn’t a random choice, either. This was something that Chestnut thought would add a quiet layer of depth to her character.
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut adds depth to her Star Trek: Picard character
Speaking to Inverse, Chestnut reveals why she pushed for her character to change her hair;
"Just seeing myself, laying down as a dead body, that was nuts. Sidney sees her dead body. She doesn’t want to see that again. So. I wanted to do a hair change! I talked to Terry [Matalas] and asked him if Sidney could change her hair in response to this, and he was like yes."
Chestnut’s reason for changing Sidney’s hair makes all the sense in the world. A young member of Starfleet being thrust into a situation where you see yourself die, even if it isn’t yourself, would do so much to their brains.
It’s traumatic in a way that one doesn’t even realize until it’s pointed out. But seeing yourself die, can’t be easy to digest. So it makes sense that Sidney would look to do something to distance herself from that image as much as she can. It’s a wonderful bit of storytelling, and adds layer to a character we’re still getting to know.