Patrick Stewart Talks Trek Typecasting

Patrick Stewart is currently having his second go in life as a Shakespearean actor on the London stage. His current performances of Macbeth are getting him rave reviews. In a new interview with the London Times, TNG’s Picard talks about how he never expected the job commanding the starship Enterprise he took in 1987 to become such a big part of his life and his career:

It came to a point where I had no idea where Picard began and I ended. We completely overlapped. His voice became my voice, and there were other elements of him that became me

The Times states that Stewart became ‘unbankable’ in Hollywood, with the exception of being Picard or the similar Professor Xavier . Stewart notes “I don’t have a film career, I have a franchise career.” But Stewart still embraces his time on Trek:

I’m very proud of the series. I think we did really good work. Every now and then we did absolute crap, but it was 178 episodes. We really fought to keep the standards high – the script, the language, the story lines, everything. We also acquired an astonishing number of eminent fans: several secretaries of state, chiefs of staff, chancellors of universities. Frank Sinatra never missed a show, and Tom Hanks knows the name of every episode

Stewart is now concentrating on his stage work. In the interview he talks about what other Shakespeare roles he still feels the need to do. Click here for the full interview.

Stewart Who
In other Stewart news, the actor repeated his desire to appear in Britain’s premiere sci-fi show. Stewart tells Contact Music:

I would love to be in Doctor Who. I am doing some RSC work with David Tennant next year so who knows? If we gel on stage we could on screen.

Although it is still not certain if Stewart will appear on the venerable BBC series, he is certain to show up on the tube in the coming months. Gamespot reports that Stewart is one of the celebrities (along with Nicole Kidman, Zoe Ball and others) who will be appearing in the holiday campaign for Nintendo UK.

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An Englishman to be proud of. We love him and you can’t have him back

I can’t feel too sorry for him. Many struggling actors out there would love to have any career close to what he has got going on. The entertainment business can really be one of great riches for some and truly a struggle for many others. Non the less it sounds like he is happy doing theater. So good for him.

Picard with a moustasche looks… odd :D

Patrick Stewart was in a number of movies before he joined the cast of TNG. And i’m sure he’s experienced alot more in acting in his 7 years of Trek (+ 4 feature films), then most actors experience in a lifetime. Typecast or not, i’m sure he’s had an excellent career.

I have tremendous respect for Mr. Stewart. He is truly a formidable actor, and it is a shame that Almighty Hollywood is so narrow-minded in certain ways, particularly when it comes to the subject of typecasting.

PS did good, all the best wishes to him.

Stewart is awesome – i hope he has a cameo in the new film – say if Nimoys scenes are set in the TNG era ….also hope he appears in the X Men spin offs…

I read that he’s gonna be in Dr Who (and is gonna appear with David Tennant in Hamlet)

When he is able to play a character like Dr. Jonas in “Conspiracy Theory”
and make you want to hate that character and turn around and play more heroic characterizations such as Picard, or go on stage to play a redeemable character as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, I would say that the man has done alright for himself, and that he will continue to do alright for himself doing Shakespeare or anything else he wants to do. Bravo Mr. Stewart!

Perhaps a new incarnation of the Master, that sticks around for more than 3 episodes? Bwah-ha-ha

There’s a lot worse than being typecast. He doesn’t have to worry about money, and he’s doing what he wants to do. I get annoyed by the whining about typecasting from the various stars. Nimoy did it some too, but he got over it and is happy. Stewart has said in the past that he’s “done” playing Picard. I bet he’d jump at the chance now….

Don’t get me wrong, I like Patrick Stewart, and I pretty much like all of Trek actors, but I find myself rolling my eyes and thinking about my own bank balance when they complain about typecasting.

I love Captain Picard.

Too bad he can’t play Captain Picard on Dr. Who. But, he wouldn’t want to continue that association anyway. My bad.
Mr. Orci… how about doing a big screen version of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea? Love to see David Hedison as Admiral Crane.
Maybe do a Star Trek crossover with the Seaview and the Enterprise. Richad Basehart would have been great as a guest star on Star Trek.

I want him in trek 11.

I love Trisha Helfer

Funny… the picture of Stewart with a moustache almost looks like Anton Karidian/Kodos the Executioner from “The Conscience of the King.”

Didn’t Kirk have direct contact with Kodos when he was younger? Hmmmm… I think I see a new cameo role for Patrick Stewart in Trek XI!!! ;-)

Picard is the best of the Star Trek captains, in my opinion. I’m glad they didn’t kill him off, so we don’t have the same problem as we do with Kirk in Generations (and unsatisfying death). Patrick Stewart’s attitude toward Star Trek is a healthy one, it seems. At a certain point, he drew a line in the sand with it and took a stance like, “to the extent that the script leaves something to be desired, you have to pay me more to reprise the role”. At least that’s my interpretation — I don’t know if it’s entirely accurate. But the fact of the matter is, the scripts kept on degenerating after First Contact, and he doubled his fee with each go.

In my opinion, Patrick Stewart has paid his dues to Star Trek, and although I am a fan of his work, I am happy to let go of Picard now. He more than deserves to spend the rest of his acting career just taking whatever roles appeal to him the most.

I really wish Picard would shave the stache, quit his whining, and get back on the bridge where he belongs. :-P

It’s a shame that more and more it sounds as if he regrets taking the job. Don’t like that kind of stigma. :-(

He was a pretty good bad guy in ‘Conspiracy Theory’.

Patrick Stewart is the man. Jean-Luc Picard set the standard for post-TOS star trek. The ideals & sensibility of Picard is THE essence of star trek & it will continue to fail if that is never again captured. It’s that simple folks. There’s your answer.

I was always of the opinion that he should have stepped aside so that Riker could take command at some point later on in the series. I wouldn’t be surprised if that were Roddenberry’s original idea, but then later on in the series, Stewart was visibly enjoying the level of fame this was providing. From being named the sexiest man to starring in a number of movies and plays he starred in (like the one man Broadway production of Scrooge) it was clearly working to his advantage. I agree with him that he did kind of work himself into a position where he was typecast as a Picard-like character, but I find it interesting that we didn’t hear any dissatisfaction with any of this until after the acting jobs he was getting with these franchises dried up. Now he talks about it like it’s time wasted.

My perspective is that as a published writer, I did eventually get sick of writing gaming material and I recently got out of it so that I could pursue fiction. I don’t regret writing game material, though I doubt I could bring myself to do it again any time soon since I’m so burned out on it. I might not have wonderful things to say about the business end of the thing, but I am proud of the work I’ve done.

In case anyone is wondering, I’ve written a fair amount of material for Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve voluntarily taken a step back from that recently to pursue a career in novels, and I’ve been working on some Star Trek TNG proposals for Simon and Schuster, as well as some other projects.

Stewart for Doctor Eleven!

Writing RPG material is one of those jobs that no one would do unless they loved it.

Jeez, mega stars bitching, moaning. Check out his profile at IMDB, expand his mini profile. It’s unreal that some stars would ever stoop to complain in public. Where’s all the humbleness gone? Nothing is ever enough. Did Lawrence Olivier or Gregory Peck or Alec Guiness do that? Learn from real pro like Sidney Poitier.

Partially agree. It definitely started that way. It eventually got to the point where the extra income was nice, but once that became a major reason to keep doing it, I knew I’d been in too long. It did open a lot of doors that wouldn’t have otherwise been so readily open in the publishing industry.

I love Megan Fox

Patrick Stewart seems to relish changing his stripes. I’ve heard how much he supposedly values the role of Picard and the gateway it gave him. Likewise, had it not been for the Picard role, he would not have been Professor Xavier. I remember reading the comics and the sheer number of readers who wrote in with their wish lists, virtually all include Stewart as Xavier.

Plus, I am always reminded of the fact that Stewart didn’t get the role of Picard through an audition as most other actors, he was lobbied for by the producers while he was a bit part actor working at a university.

That’s not to say I don’t think he is a fine actor, i just feel the british public take him far to seriously. Much like many of their actors. They simply believe that their actors are more professional.

It also strikes me that Stewart feels typecast by his work on Star Trek. Well, from the moment that he exploded onto US TV as Picard, he was always known as that Shakespearean actor. He seems to be living up to that particular typecasting.

Oh well, he’ll always be the ass kicking Leondegrance in John Boorman’s Excalibur.

Patrick Stewart wasn’t a bit part player at a university before Trek–Bob Justman saw him in a reading at a university where he was helping out a friend. He was doing leading roles on the English stage, and interesting parts in American movies.

What interested me most about this interview was when he said that he had become Picard. That’s a fairly common thing for an actor playing a heroic part over a long period of time–it brings out parts of themselves that then come to the front of their identities. I’m sure he has never regretted what Picard gave him.

Yes, I too love Captain Picard.

He says he didn’t know where he began and Picard ended. What a load pf pretentious lovey crap. Its bloody acting ffs. Get over yourself Stewart. It isn’t finding a cure for cancer.


Get a life, Stewart!


Thank God he did not wear the wig as Picard.

Maybe he’ll write a book and call it “I am not Picard”, and then years later he’ll write “I am Picard”

Kudos to Patrick Stewart who, along with Leonard Nimoy and Avery Brooks, is one of the best actors to play a lead role in Trek.

How many film roles did Patrick Stewart have prior to his role as Picard?

I remember him in Dune….

And, how many has he had since?

Nuff Said.

(plus, he’s had some TV roles too.)

P.S. – There has been no character in the Star Trek Universe better played than Captain Jean-Luc Picard.


No offence meant, but I think you’re missing the point. Patrick Stewart is primarily a stage actor. He has gone back to that which he loves doing, so how is the point you make of any relevance? Patrick Stewart is not a movie actor, he is an actor. Can you imagine Tom Cruise on stage playing Hamlet? He is a movie actor.
There are many forms of entertainment apart from movies, its just that movies get the most attention.

I do however agree with your second point that Star Trek was extremely lucky to get Stewart to play the captain.

BTW I am not a Patrick Stewart fanboy….

To all those moaning about Patrick Stewart ‘moaning’.
I read the interview above and didn’t get the sense that he was moaning or complaining, just describing what it was like.

He was asked to do an interview and was asked about Star-Trek. What do you want to hear from him, the truth about his experience or some light-weight “I loved star-trek, I want more” nonsence that you’d get from, oh let’s see, off the top of my head, William Shatner for instance.

He probably gets asked about star-trek 0ll the time in interviews and therefore when he tells the same story and it gets printed or seen, there he is ‘moaning’ about it again. Well, what do you want him to do? Tell a different story each time? Or maybe he should say “I’m not talking about star-trek”. What would you say about him then I wonder.

I wish they had been one TNG movie that actually was for TNG fans.

he MUST have at least a cameo in trek xi

He’s not complaining at all. Just trying to accurately describe what it’s like to be known as such an iconic character.

I’m not Stewart fan, but in his defense, I don’t really think he was bitching and moaning. He was asked some questions and answered them. He actually compliments the show.

That aside, the stage is where he belongs. His stagy acting sure didn’t fit a TV series. Rarely seemed like a real guy on that show. Sounded like a guy spouting lines. Very stiff.

He wasn’t moaning. He was merely stating fact. After Trek, he felt pigeonholed. That doesn’t mean he was instantly ungrateful for all that Trek had given him, but rather that as a person who began his life on the stage, he hungered for greater diversity in his roles.

As far as not knowing where he ended and the character began, hey, he may not be digging ditches or working in the secretarial pool, but that doesn’t invalidate the amount of time and effort he poured into that role. Actors (the good ones, anyway) often allow themselves to become the character in many ways, which can prove emotionally exhausting after long periods (20 years in this case).

I’m not a Stewart ‘fanboy’ either, but I recognize the man for the talent he has. That being said, I’ll always remember him as ‘Gurney-man’ from Lynch’s Dune. =)

Patrick Stewart for ‘M’ after Dame Judy. ;)

“It came to a point where I had no idea where Picard began and I ended. ”

I’m imagining someone knocking on his dressing room door and hearing “Come!”

Damn, Sinatra was a Trekkie??!?!? Sinatra did Magnum, P.I.. He’s have certainly done TNG if someone weren’t asleep at the switch.
“doobie doobie Data”
(Didn’t Spiner have that album “Old Yellow Eyes is Back”?)

Oh and… I love Doctor Who, but how do you get “Venerable” out of farting aliens and flying Daleks? Yes, I HOPE Stewart does Doctor Who. It would be a blast.

42 – YES! I was hoping that they would have a male M in Casino Royale esp since it was a reboot and it made little sense to have Dench again….(which made about as much sense as if Michael Gough had been Alfred again in Batman Begins)….and that the M in the original book was male.The whole ‘Ooooh Bonds boss is a lady, isnt that ironic’ thing is straight out of the Brosnan era anyway….I think it was due to the real M having been a woman in the early 90s…

Alas Dench is M again in Bond 22.

Stewart would have been awesome as M…he played a similar character in Death Train with Pierce Brosnan.

35. Mark Lynch –

— No offence meant, but I think you’re missing the point. Patrick Stewart is primarily a stage actor. He has gone back to that which he loves doing, so how is the point you make of any relevance? —

Well, I thought it relevant with respect to this:

“The Times states that Stewart became ‘unbankable’ in Hollywood, with the exception of being Picard or the similar Professor Xavier . Stewart notes “I don’t have a film career, I have a franchise career.””

To me, that implies that The Times and Stewart are both of the opinion that Stewart might have had a better career — “a film career” as opposed to “a franchise career” — if he had not become so identified as Picard.

I don’t resent Stewart and the Times being of that opinion. I was just trying to put it into what would seem to be a realistic perspective.

Would Stewart have had as successful a film career without having played Picard? A more successful one, perhaps, with lots of varied, lead roles?

It’s a possibility, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

That’s what I took from the article.

I’m well aware that Stewart is a stage actor, but, as you do not see the relevance of my point, neither do I see the relevance of yours. If the motive for Stewart’s move back to the stage were purely artistic preference or specialization, then there’d be no relevance in the mention of “unbankable,” and “I don’t have a film career; I have a franchise career.”

Even the heading above the article implies (to me, at least) grounds for a complaint: Patrick Stewart Talks Typecasting.

When an actor talks of being typecast, it’s not often fondly.

I am not implying that Stewart is ungrateful for nor unappreciative of his Trek experience. He plainly states that he’s very proud of it. But, one can have mixed emotions about such a thing — both gratitude and regret — and it is the implication of latter that I was addressing.

At any rate, I’m not complaining about Stewart’s complaining here. I’m just defending my previous comment because I was asked.

I’m slightly curious: How is it possible to lose yourself so completely inside another character?

Nimoy had the same problem…but I just can’t comprehend that sort of thing…perhaps because I’m not an actor.

How about Robert Davi as a captain etc.?
Robert Davi can play both the good guy and the bad guy just as good:
a Vulcan or a Romulan?

although im not a fan of the next generation, it was nice to have a Brit in charge of the enterprise! stewart is a fine actor so it will be hollywoods loss if they wont hire him. its not as though he not done anything else. look at his role in the hugely popular Xmen movies! i wonder how many fans of TNG are fans of the original series too.

united kingdom

I saw him in the original run of Macbeth and the sister production Twelve Night in Chichester during the festival in the summer and I was simply blown away. It was stunning. Wonderful birthday present from my wife of front row seats for both productions.

Despite being shattered after two performances he was kind enough to speak to us and take the time to sign our programmes after Macbeth.

It was an unforgettable evening and we have already got our tickets booked to see him and David Tennant next year.