For the last week Sir Patrick Stewart, Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jean Luc Picard, has been attending the Edinburgh International Film Festival in Scotland as the chair of the Jury. And on Monday night Stewart was the subject of BAFTA Scotland Interview where he spoke about his career on stage and screen, including Star Trek. Full video of that event and more below.
Patrick Stewart 1-hour BAFTA Interview
Sir Patrick’s one hour BAFTA Scotland Interview at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on June 21st. The interview covers his career from Shakespeare, to the X-Men movies, to his comedy work, and of course Star Trek.
Some highlights of Stewart’s comments on Star Trek:
- Signed six- year contract for TNG convinced show would fail, just wanted to get more "camera time" experience before returning to stage
- Gene Roddenberry "resisted" anything political, but Rick Berman was more open to it, allowing episodes like "The Measure of a Man", which made Stewart "very happy" to deal with "serious issues"
- Stewart’s performance of the line "the line must be drawn here!" in First Contact was done to mimic the speaking style of Paramount studio head Sherry Lansing
- Before filming pilot for Next Generation, Patrick Stewart asked Roddenberry for input on Picard and Roddenberry sent him Horatio Hornblower novels saying character was based on Hornblower
- Later, particular in the Berman years, Stewart had more control over the arc of the character, and Stewart credits Berman for always taking his input
- By the time of the films came around "it was impossible to tell where Jean Luc started and Patrick Stewart ended"
- Says he doesn’t feel he has a commitment to Star Trek fans, rather he feels a commitment to the character of Jean Luc Picard….
- However, he "was conscious" that Picard became a role model, recalling an memorable fan letter from a Las Vegas police officer which choked him up how Star Trek was a way for the fan to escape "from a really bad day"
- Stewart first resisted doing X-Men concerned about typecasting, noting "there is a sense in which Star Trek became an albatross", but said "however, I have also been quoted as saying ‘one cannot have too many franchises in a career"
NOTE: Final three parts are audio only
As chair of the Michael Powell Jury, Patrick Stewart has been attending the Festival since the opening on June 16th. Here is video and a photo of him on the red carpet.
More photos of Sir Patrick from the festival are available at the EIFF Flickr Page.