Patrick Stewart Explains Why Star Trek’s Creator Didn’t Want Him
Patrick Stewart once again stepped into Jean-Luc Picard’s shoes for the first time in nearly two decades in Star Trek: Picard. Over the years, the British actor’s work transformed the Starfleet captain into an icon of pop culture. Not bad for someone who should have never taken the role, had it been entirely up to Star Trek‘s creator, Gene Roddenberry. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stewart recalled his six-minute audition in Roddenberry’s living room.
“It was perfectly clear I was not wanted in that room any time longer,” Stewart said. “It was Gene who said, ‘What the hell? I don’t want a bald, middle-aged Englishman.’ There was a faction who was very enthusiastic, but Gene used to come on the set once a week — maybe twice, it depends on who the cast were — and I would catch him looking at me with an expression on his face which said, ‘What the f*** is this guy doing in my show?’ It was clear he couldn’t understand why I was there.”
Per Stewart, Roddenberry even signed a Post-it note in which he said that he didn’t want to hear Patrick Stewart’s name mentioned again ever!
Stewart revealed how the pitch for Star Trek: Picard helped him reconsider his decision to play the role once again. The actor also confessed that he was curious about how he could merge his life experiences into the new work.
“We did seven seasons and four movies of Next Generation. I felt that I had said everything I had to say about Jean-Luc Picard and there was nowhere else to go with it,” he added. “Then an email came, and when I saw the names of the writer-producers [Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, Kirsten Beyer and Alex Kurtzman], I was astonished. What they came up with was something that so fundamentally changed the nature of the character.”
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Recommended Reading: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Through The Mirror
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