Sir Patrick Stewart did an interview for the BBC news which aired today and the actor talked about his time on Star Trek, denying that even though he didn’t expect the show to succeed, he didn’t sell out. He also talks about the absurdity of being voted sexiest man by TV Guide while TNG was on the air. Watch the video and read transcript below.
Stewart denies he sold out for Star Trek + talks being voted "sexiest man" in 1992
In a new interview for the BBC’s HARDtalk, Sir Patrick Stewart retold the story about how when he took the job of playing Captain Jean Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, he expected the show to fail. Stewart was then asked if this meant he was selling out. You can watch the exchange by clicking the link below to the BBC site.
Here is a transcript:
Stewart: I was not an actor looking for Hollywood work. I think today it is different with a focus on film and television and not theater. But my agent and everyone else I consulted reassured me that I need not fear a six year contract I had to sign. Not only would the series not make it to six years, it was unlikely to make it through its first season because everyone said "you cannot revive an iconic series, it is impossible." So come and make some money for the first time in your life, get a suntan, and go home.
BBC: So in a sense you were selling out, because you didn’t expect it to be any good. You didn’t expect it to go anywhere.
Stewart: That doesn’t sound like selling out to me. My commitment was based on the fact that it was going to be a failure, and then I could come back and go on doing "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?"
BBC: And it was of course anything but a failure. It was hugely successful.
Stewart: One of our producers – one of my champions – not everyone in Paramount wanted this bald, middle-aged, English Shakespearean – said to me "this weekend, more people will see you act, than have ever seen you in your entire career to date." Which was twenty-seven years.
BBC: Boy did they like you. You were voted sexiest man on the planet at one point…was it surprising to you?
Stewart: It was gobstopping. Not only that, but I was put on the cover of TV Guide with Cindy Crawford. She won for the women. It seems to be absurd, and still does.
July 1992 TV Guide with Patrick Stewart and Cindy Crawford
You can watch the full interview repeated on BBC World News on Wednesday 25th January. It will be on the BBC News Channel on Wednesday 25 January at 04:30 GMT and Thursday 26 at 00:30 GMT. Another clip with Stewart talking about domestic violence is available at BBC.co.uk