Patrick Stewart Defends Trekkies

Back in February we reported that Patrick Stewart (TNG’s Capt. Picard) had to ask fans not to come to his plays dressed in Starfleet uniforms. In a new interview with Newsweek, however, the actor gets a bit testy (much like Simon Pegg did recently) and shows his love for Trekkies, assuring that we are not, as Newsweek calls us, “weird.” He still doesn’t like those damn uniforms, though.

The line must be drawn HERE!
Newsweek asked Stewart if he was worried about “weird Trekkie fans” attending his plays, which Stewart found to be “just a silly thing to say.” At Newsweek’s insistence that Trekkies are, in fact, “weird,” Stewart refuted, stating:

How many do you know personally? You couldn’t be more wrong. Here’s the thing: if you say the fans are weird, that means there is something essentially weird about the show, and there is nothing weird about it. I’m very passionate when people like you snigger.

Take that, Newsweek!

About those jumpsuits…
One thing Stewart couldn’t bring himself to defend, however, were the uniforms he had to wear during TNG’s first season.

I came to loathe it. We actually got rid of it after the second season thanks to my chiropractor, who said if they don’t take you out of that costume we are going to slap a lawsuit on Paramount for the lasting damage done to your spine.

And how, exactly, does it damage your spine?

They were made from Lycra and one size too small. The producers wanted to have a smooth, unwrinkled look. It put a terrible amount of strain on the shoulders, neck and back.

Thanks, Patrick! Totally did not know that. :)


This thing is killing me

Stewart’s acclaimed Macbeth opens on Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre on April 8th. You can buy tickets at Telecharge.com.

Stewart honored
In other (a bit belated) Stewart news: On March 10th Stewart was honored with the 2008 Sir John Gielgud Award by the The Shakespeare Guild and The National Arts Club in New York City. Here are some pics of the event, including Patrick with some of his former Trek co-stars.


Stewart: I Won!


Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan) and Stewart


F. Murray Abraham (INS: Ru’afu) and Stewart,
along with Catherine Moelering (CEO, Best & Co.)

Photos from WireImage

 

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FIRST!

Bring on the hate for TNG Season 1 Uniforms!

That One Guy

And don’t forget the skant! Oh god… the skant…. Imagine if he had to wear one of THOSE.

Mark T.

This guy was always a class act when it came to fandom and defending Star Trek in general. Of course, most actors will gladly pimp their show, movie, play, or whatever. It is in their best interest, as well as their contract sometimes. Yet, you can always spot the ones who are less than sincere. I was always impressed when Stewart would wax philosophic on science fiction in interviews, calling it the modern mythology. It’s all too easy to be flip when it comes to talking about SF if you aren’t necessarily a fan. As an actor, how do you not feel silly sometimes when dressed in a spandex figure skaters outfit, and spouting technobabble to a goofy rubber creature? I always thought he was a great spokesman for the Trek community.

However, people really shouldn’t wear the frigging costumes to his plays.

trekkie1415

I will admit when I talk about Star Trek, a lot of other people tell me to my face that I’m weird, but no one understands why I personally love the show. I think I like it just because its cool, and gives me a little hope that our future won’t be horrible like a lot of people think it’s going to be.

As for the TNG uniforms… I’m indifferent. I didn’t hate any of the uniforms from any Star Trek series… except maybe TMP. ugh…

Hat Rick

Patrick Stewart is a class act. I realize that in some respects he’s moved on from Trek, but classy is classy.

I Love My Moogie

Not all first season TNG uniforms are bad, in the pilot Troi’s mini-skirt showed off her lamb chops–yummy!

TMP costumes looked like PJs.

JSanders

As a stage actor, I would be horrified if someone showed up to a show and sat in the front row wearing Star Trek uniforms. If I was Stewart, I would be incredibly uncomfortable. It would make it so hard to concentrate.

It’s like someone following you around at work going, “You’re Patrick Stewart. You’re Patrick Stewart. You’re Patrick Stewart. You’re Patrick Stewart. You’re Patrick Stewart.” Concentration would be impossible. Not to mention that it’s just selfish to pull attention off the stage and onto yourself like that. If you want to celeb-watch, do it at the Stage Door after the show, not in the theater.

That said, he certainly and righteously defends fans of the series. It’s not as silly as some jacka*# journalists would like to believe. He should be proud of it…even if he missed playing Oberon in the 90’s.

Harry Ballz

Patrick Stewart is such a class act!

His “acting chops” certainly helped elevate the material performed on TNG!

SPB

YOU’VE GOTTA ADMIT…

…showing up at a Patrick Stewart performance of ANY Shakespeare dressed to the nines in ANY Starfleet uniform is simply asking for it. Sometimes “social graces” doesn’t have to be bad thing…

Papa Jim

Those uniforms SUCKED!!!

justcorbly

Look, if you go see Stewart doing MacBeth, showing up in Trek costume indicates you’re there because Stewart once played Picard, not that you are interested in watching Macbeth.

Stewart is a fine actor. Show him some respect.

Argh, I really wish he wouldn’t sport that thin little mustache. It makes me cringe. :D

PaulFitz

#12
I could not agree more. Showing support is one thing, trying to turn it into a convention is another.
Its is still great to hear him defend us trekkies. It annoys me that football fans can smash up a place if their team loose a game (for example), but if a group of people like a tv show they are weird.
I’m not a genius, but isn’t that a double standard?

Doug

The uniforms are canon…so I guess you’re stuck with them. CHA!

Jon C

Those TNG uniforms looked silly and were very unflattering.

May09---wtf?!

he’s a class act.

he should keep the ‘stache and reboot TJ Hooker. yes!

Scott

I read that interview-lite in Newsweek. Those things are always snarky and provocative (as in, poking-with-a-sharp-stick provocative) like that. Sometimes the celebs take the bait and get mean; sometimes, they get the joke and go along. Stewart handled it well. He’s a good guy for sticking up for fans. Let’s face it, fans can be annoying sometimes.

But not as annoying as Newsweek’s young smarta–, er, smarty-pants celebrity interviewers can be.

Scott B. out.

the king in shreds and tatters

Karla was awesome.

newman

Patrick Stewart is the man. I strongly agree with #12 and #14, these people should not be showing up to his plays dressed in Trek uniforms, what is wrong with them? Yet he still defends them (us) to Newsweek. When people ask me what celebrity I’d most like to meet, Patrick Stewart is usually the first person that comes to mind. Him and Rachael McAdams.

Also, the early TNG uniforms were awful. If they hadn’t of changed the uniforms, Stewart never would’ve developed his signature “tuck.” Kudos to his chiropractor. Kudos to Stewart. Kudos to trekkies who know when to draw the line.

@ #4…
Sure, I always thought the ships looked cool. The characters were great (I think Riker was always my favourite) and the aliens looked so…well alien (with a few exceptions of course – Deltans, Betazoids, Bajorans, etc.)
But recently I realized what I liked so much about Star Trek, in all its incarnations, is its brave vision for the future – the social values that it engenders. Life being precious in all its forms, the elimination of greed as our primary motivation, the desire to explore and learn, to accept each other’s differences, that women can do any job a man can, the abolotion of the death penalty, and so many other things.

Wow. Thank you Patrick for those kind words about us fans. I (And most likely all of us) really appreciate that. I wish you and everyone involved in MacBeth the best of wishes!

Mammalian Verisimilitude

4> As for the TNG uniforms… I’m indifferent. I didn’t hate any of the uniforms from any Star Trek series… except maybe TMP. ugh…

I think the best uniforms to look at were the DS9 S1-5+Voyager ones. They looked almost comfortable, especially if they’d added actual pockets.

[Still wouldn’t wear one in public]

AJ

14: Rabid sport fans, especially the obsessive-compulsive ones, are worse than we are.

In Europe, football fans take it to extreme levels and get into fights at the matches.

In USA, Trekkers are “weird” but the guy who can quote the statistics of the 1969 NY Mets, player by player, is not.

Professional Sport is entertainment just like TV and Film, and, like us, its fans enjoy it and follow it within a wide spectrum of detail: Casual fan vs. crazed fan. Same as it ever was.

Queer9mUser

He’s my man! Honestly, he’s been my hero since I was a kid. Always a very classy guy. I’d follow him into the depths of hell to battle… or to set up diplomacy ;)

I’ve always felt a connection to British lifestyle, like I as born in the wrong country. I need to learn what snigger means… lol

THX-1138

I’m a Trek fan and a sports fan. So I have team jerseys and Star Trek uniforms. I have signed footballs and baseballs and autographed cast photos. I have baseball bats and phasers. When Trek is on, don’t bother me, I’m watching. When the game is on, still watching.

I do not, however, attend the theater dressed as Worf. I do not pick up the kids dressed in my Kirk uni. But I do go to costume parties like that. If a convention were to ever come back to our area, damn straight I’d be representing the Federation. On gameday I wear my jerseys. When I go catch a ballgame, I am decked out in the appropriate team apparel. And when the new movie FINALLY premiers, I will be in my TOS uni with phaser and communicator in hand.

Anyone who wants to point and laugh, feel free to do so. I am happy with myself. Can they say the same?

LoyalStarTrekFan

The TNG Season 1 & 2 uniforms were terrible. But then so was the Type II “Dustbuster” Phaser, and several other things. TNG got infinitly better in Season 3. In fact, seasons 3-7 of TNG were among Star Trek’s best ever. He’s also right about the fans. Most fans have actual jobs and have actual lives. Typical of the press to make assumptions and allow those assumptions to affect their reporting. The biased press strikes again.

22, agreed on the TMP uniforms. Terrible!

Garovorkin

#9 Harry I have admit that in the past I have misjudged this man, badly. i wish I could take back that Diner theater remark , it’s still probably one ot the most classless statement s ever made. Patrick Stewart is class all the way.

It would be nice if the media would give trekies a little more respect.

Hat Trick

26, the press is made up of human beings with all their imperfections and prejudices. Sadly, all too often they seem to pick on the least offensive of people. (When was the last time you heard of a Trek fan causing trouble?)

Really, sometimes it seems to me that certain members of the press may have been bullied as children and now they want to emulate the “cool kids” by picking on people they consider their social inferiors. Little do they know that they’re showing not so much their contempt as their insecurity and obsequious deference to the cliquishness of junior high school kids.

Nathan

I despise Newsweek…in my book, it’s barely one step up from a tabloid…and the celebrity interviews are one of the worst parts. The people who do the interviewing are total jerks, as this interview pretty conclusively shows…

Having said that though, Patrick Stewart is a great guy, and an incredible actor. I’d totally love to see his Macbeth some day…but I definitely won’t wear a Starfleet uniform if I do. Heck, I don’t even own one…

Magic_Al

I like the first-season TNG uniforms better than what they replaced them with. It was just awkward to go from something that was meant to represent spray-on clothes (like from TMP) to jackets that fastened in the back. The DS9/VOY uniform was a great pattern that didn’t look so oddly constructed, but I didn’t care for that much black, and the FC uniform looked too heavy and padded.

Knowing Roddenberry was running the show in TMP and first-season TNG there’s obviously a consistency to the costumes he pushed for that was thematically related to the lack of control panels everywhere on the bridge — less is more, simplicity is more advanced. Those ideas got lost.

Garovorkin

Ive never been to any of trek conventions, I know that some dress up as their favorite trek character, I don’t see a problem with that, they going there to have fun. Theres no harm there.

MORN SPEAKS

That’s my captain!

And the show got better when those uniforms went away, coincidence…..I think so actually.

PaulFitz

@23
I was not generalizing, just using an example of extremes. If there are a group of Trekkie’s dressed up as Klingon’s or whatever, the general reaction is to look at them an assume they are a defect. Whereas sport supporters who wear jerseys are not.

It really bothers me, Sophie Lancaster was murdered for dressing in goth style. She was 20, and was stomped on and battered until she died.
This extreme is rare (thankfully), however verbal abuse is aimed at Trekkie’s on a constant basis.

By reinforcing a negative stereotype, Newsweek has done (like so many other ‘media’ sources have done) nothing but reinforce the attitude that it is ok to mock, tease and degrade Trekkie’s.

Gene Roddenberry I think would have been proud to hear Patrick Stewart standing up for the fans.

Hat Rick

30, I kind of like the idea of “less is more” insofar as technology is concerned. Think about computers, for example. In the old days, we (or our forefathers) had to deal with weird complicated things like reel-to-reel drives or even paper punch tape. Threading these things alone was a damnable experience. And that’s before you even try to interface — or, “operate” — these old behemoths.

Today, everything is user-friendly from the consumer point of view. Computers powerful enough to qualify as supercomputers thirty years ago reside happily in our padded notebook cases. Opening them turns on the delightfully colorful and elegant GUI (whether Windows-based or Mac). In theory, for many uses you can navigate almost entirely by touchpad, reserving the use of keyboard for word processing or mathematical input.

Provided that everything works as intended, computers are simpler to use than ever before.

Surely, if within a mere few decades, mankind has gone from computers the size of a room that required a degree to operate, to devices you could practically wear on a necklace that anyone can use, then by the 24th Century we will have gone well beyond the need for complicated dials and screens and proceeded more along the visual lines seen in TMP-style technology.

There is something to be said, therefore, for the “simpler is better” approach.

THX-1138

#33

No worries. I didn’t think you were stirring the pot. I just wanted to make a point that most normal fans of both things (Trek and sports) can live harmoniously side by side and in fact have many things in common. I have encountered anti-sports bias from geeks just as much as I have come across anti-science fiction bias from the sports crowd. Ignorance has many forms.

CmdrR

I am, too, weird, Patrick. So there.

[The] TOS Purist aka The Purolator

I’m glad other people are comparing sports fans to Trekkies/Trekkers. I find it VERY annoying that it’s acceptible to hold viewing parties, attend games in the freezing cold with your bare, fat beer-enhanced gut painted so that when you and your buddies line up, you spell the team’s name, and to vandalize things when your team loses (OR wins…what sense does that make?). Doing all of that stuff is acceptable and doesn’t make you be considered a “geek…” but god forbid you watch a television show that requries intellegence and brain power to comprehend, and suddenly you’re “weird” or a “geek.” What the hell, society…

Blake Powers

I want JJ to Get Patrick Stewart in another Trek Movie… I would love to see Chris Pine face off against Patrick Stewart in a movie.. I don’t even care if it is in canon. Just put it after the credits. I want to see it.

MikeG

Patrick Stewart is one of my favorite actors, and I think he is one of the finest actors in the business today. It was a great score to have an actor of this caliber take part in Trek history.

tom vinelli

you could say that about any show people love,to single out trekkies,is just stupid.
the fact is people who dislike trek just don’t get it or have never watched it.
its always easy to put down a show when you don’t understand it.
there dishonest people to themselves and others.

Patrick Stewart ROCKED on Trek, but after all the years Watching him wear the uniform, hearing the stuff he does on American Dad makes me laugh so hard I poop myself

Jeff

…make is so.

THX-1138

#37

That’s the attitude I’m talking about. How many actual people do you know that do that? And no, the criminal behavior you are talking about shouldn’t label anyone as a geek. It’s just that: criminal.

I have been to lot’s of football and baseball games. I have two colleges in this area that went to the NCAA basketball tournament. I know what real, rabid fans are like. I have also been to Sci-Fi conventions where the majority of people were dressed up and partying in the hotel. Their actions and demeanor could be considered rabid and crazy. But in both cases, nobody get’s hurt. Have you actually witnessed a sports riot in person? You make it sound like it happens every time a game is played. We have all seen things on TV. Don’t let that be the measuring stick by which you judge a group of people.

Eliminate the hate and learn to appreciate.

Jorg Sacul

ok, since we’re on the topic of wtf.. I clicked on the CBS.com sports page for Major League Baseball today, and fully HALF of it was dedicated to “Fantasy League Baseball”.

I’m sorry… what the h377??? The way I see it, all these “Fantasy Leagues” are nothing more than Dungeons & Dragons for jocks. And they have the gall to make fun of Trek fans?

Nah, they’re just nerd and geek wannabes. Whenever I hear about Fantasy Football, I envision the players all in some kind of BDSM photoshoot on the field, with lacy jerseys and the like.

Ah, the danger of an educated imagination when it comes to making fun of that which I care not for… :-)

Tom

Bring Picard back!

James R. Kirk

I need to start hanging around Patrick Stewart. Check out the lovely lady in the last picture (Catherine Moelering (CEO, Best & Co.). Wowsers

While the sports fanatic/Trek fanatic thing is an age-old comparison (and a true one), and one i know well (I used to live in Washington Redskin country, where it was considered entirely reasonable to wear a plastic pig-nose), I’ve seen worse levels of hypocrisy at science fiction conventions. I once saw a guy in Starfleet uniform, standing next to his buddy (decked out as a Vulcan), rudely teasing a stranger for wearing “ridiculous elf-ears.”

His buddy was decked out as a Vulcan; did I mention that?

When the fannish get clannish, it puts mundania to shame :(

LorienTheYounger

“He still doesn’t like those damn uniforms, though.”

Damn right, Patrick! Sorry, William Ware Thiess, but everything you design looks frickin’ silly.

They only really got it right in “First Contact” – the grey-and black looked professional, while the undershirt thing still kept it colour-coded but in a tasteful way. Plus, no purple!

Mark T.

Mainstream society will always identify an interest group by pointing out the most bizarre, lunatic fringe elements of said group and generalizing from there. Therefore Trek fans are chubby, costumed weirdos with cheesy rubber on their heads while sports fans are chubby, naked, painted weirdos with rubber cheese on their heads.

I think the reason for sports fanatic’s lunacy being more acceptable in modern society is simple. Their fanaticism is based on something that exists in the real world. We, on the other hand, are fanatics of a fantasy universe. Identifying with characters from a (gasp) sci-fi TV show is looked upon as childish. Never mind that the stories told are thought provoking, adult commentaries on the world around us. To most folks, it’s monsters, ray guns, and spaceships a.k.a. kid’s stuff. This is why we always need to drag out the high profile fans to defend the community.

Sports, because it is a multi-trillion dollar international business, is “mainstream” and therefore, adult, despite the preponderance of cheese headed yahoos. I would even say that it is in the interest of making said trillions that the extreme behavior is encouraged. If Star Trek brought in the kind of money generated by football, basketball, and baseball, you better believe CBS/Paramount would be loudly and proudly encouraging everyone to wear Vulcan ears.

Katie G.

See? You CAN stand up to the media.

I’m very pleased that he cared enough to stick up for us. It was a very kind gesture indeed. (Actually, EXTREMELY KIND if the stories about people showing up to his plays come in Trek geer. That really creeps me out.)

kg