Patrick Stewart Recalls ‘Painful’ Star Trek Typecasting + Photos From New Play Rehearsals

Sir Patrick Stewart’s latest play Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death, opens this week at the Chichester Festival in the UK. And in a new interview promoting the play, Stewart reflected back on his time as Jean Luc Picard and how he has faced typecasting in Hollywood. We also have photos of rehearsals from the new play.

 

 

Patrick Stewart’s Star Trek Pain

In an interview (portsmouth.co.uk) promoting his upcoming appearance at The Chichester Festival, Patrick Stewart talked about the ‘albatross’ of his Star Trek fame, recounting:

‘One distinguished Hollywood director I wanted to work for said to me "Why would I want Captain Picard in my movie?" That was painful.

‘I’m not saying that’s all over. On the contrary, next year I hope to be active in film again. But I’m hoping in a way to go in through the back door rather than wearing the Star Trek spacesuit.’

This is not the first time Sir Patrick has spoken about the two sides of his Star Trek fame. The actor seems to have a complex view of his time as Capt. Picard. In just the last few years he has talked about how much he "loved" his time with Star Trek, how "thankful" and "grateful" he was for the opportunity, and how "proud" he is of the work. He has has defended Next Generation, calling it a "quality project" and refuting suggestions that he was slumming. He has even defended the Trek fans. But Stewart has also said that going from the theater to Hollywood was a "calamity" and the work "lacked substance" compared to his
stage acting. He has also previously lamented being typecast. Of course, Stewart has also recently said he would be interested in appearing in the Star Trek sequel, so he is willing to keep that Trek image going.


Patrick Stewart at in opening shot of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) and closing shot of "Star Trek Nemesis" (2002)


Stewart opens as Shakespeare this week

Stewart will next be seen on stage at The Chichester Festival Theatre in Edward Bond’s Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death, where he will play William Shakespeare during his last days. As Stewart tells Portsmouth’s The News:

For two hours, audiences can have Shakespeare alive in front of them. They will get to know him very, very well and I think that’s fascinating.

The show is currently in rehearsals and opens this Thursday, and will run thru May 22. More info (including rehearsal photos) at cft.org.uk. And more from Stewart on the play at portsmouth.co.uk



Patrick Stewart rehearsing for "Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death"

 

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Nemesis4909

First again!

I don’t think Sir Patrick is resentful of Star Trek, more resentful of that director for choosing to view trek as a negative stigma to be placed on a person.

One more time as Jean Luc Picard. Destiny miniseries perhaps?

I think he’s an excellent and dynamic actor. That director, whoever he was, is a fool.

Sandy Schmidt

He’s an excellent actor! The director was a fool indeed!

Sean

“I think he’s an excellent and dynamic actor. That director, whoever he was, is a fool.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself! By the way, has Patrick Stewart aged a day in the last 25 years? After looking at those photos from “Encounter at Farpoint” and “Nemesis”, I don’t think he has.

Crabtree

He has aged very well. Part of the reason he looks like he’s aged less, though, is because he started out rather bald and white-haired in ’87 and quickly lost all but a fringe of the hair. Mind you, I seriously hope that I look half that good when I’m his age!

Crabtree

When I first saw that picture of Stewart with the goatee, my initial reaction was “Mirror Universe Picard!”

Buzz Cagney

I would be fascinated to know in just what direction Sir Patrick’s career would have gone without Trek. We’ll never know now, of course, so personally speaking I think he should just maintain the positive comments that he normally talks about Trek.

And please, no going backwards (forwards?!) by including Picard in the next movie. Not that I’m expecting that to happen. And not that I’m expecting my opinion to hold any sway on whether he is or not!

captain_neill

Patrick Stewart is one of the best actors ever and he made Captain Jean Luc Picard one of the most fascinating characters in Star Trek.

He has aged well and I would love to see him again on the screen.

I think Patrick Stewart has done well for himself.

“He has has defended Next Generation, calling it a “quality project” and refuting refuting suggestions that he was slumming. ”

What is is about science fiction in general and Star Trek in particular that draws these accusations? I think the people that make them watch it for thirty seconds, see the spaceships and the knobbly foreheads and somehow think that that is all the show is about.

Buzz Cagney

#9 he certainly wasn’t slumming doing TNG. In fact at that point it was the highlight of a pretty low-key career.

thebiggfrogg

Re: 9. The perception of sci fi isn’t helped much by Sy Fy and some of what passes for sci fi in movies. Sharkopolis?!? Sy Fy has done some good stuff, like Dune, BSG, Caprica, but the majority is the kind of schlock that gives sci fi a bad name. While fun, a lot of the sci fi in the movies is of the “it blowed up; it blowed up real good” variety.

That said there is a lot of good stuff out there that deserves recognition. BSG was definitely Emmy worthy in multiple respects, but the fact it was sci fi on basic cable was a big strike against it. Acting, script writing, direction all of those things deserved awards in BSG.

Nuallain

I think it’s just perfectly normal human nature to want the positives without the negatives. In a perfect universe, Stewart would have kept steady work for seven years with a family of colleagues he liked and admired *and* been able to do the theatre work he adores *and* not lost parts due to typecasting.

Alec

‘‘One distinguished Hollywood director I wanted to work for said to me “Why would I want Captain Picard in my movie?” That was painful. Well that director, whoever he is, is clearly too stupid to understand his own profession and the fundamental difference between actor and character. To make such a remark is tantamount to saying ‘I don’t want Jason Bourne in my film; so I’m not hiring Matt Damon,’ even when the project is completely different to the Bourne films. Almost all mainstream actors are identifiable by a narrow (sometimes very narrow) band of popular, successful work. So this director, if he were to apply consistent logical thought, would rule himself out of working with pretty much every successful actor in Hollywood! As an aside, Sir Patrick may, understandably, not be happy with a ‘distinguished Hollywood director’ saying ‘Why would I want Captain Picard in my movie?’ Sir Patrick must remember, however, that because he is a ‘proper actor’ with an impressive body of Shakespearean and other classical stage work, had it not been for Captain Picard and Star Trek, this film director, in all probability, wouldn’t even have heard of him. So it’s a double-edged sword. Sir Patrick is just playing the What-if game that we all play at some point and time in our lives. I genuinely believe that Star Trek was a good career move for him. It made him into a household name, not to mention that it made him some life-long friends. It offered… Read more »

marcus Watts

I hear he has been cast as Denny Crane in Boston Legal The Movie. Dolph Lundgren confirmed to play Alan Shaw.

Schultz

I love Stewart and his Picard, but I’m sorry: These are crocodile tears. Being viewed as Picard after a long time in such an iconic role? That’s only natural, only human. Until now Stewart has had a great career, something he should be proud of, and he had a good number of other film roles, even when he was still active as Picard, and even adding another franchise to his career: X-Men. But he should turn to film again. He was great in “Conspiracy Theory”, and I’m sure all of us want to see him again on the screen.

RTC

While I firmly believe the director was wrong, I can follow his logic to a point. He was probably concerned that the character for which Sir Patrick is most identified would become a distraction for whatever movie the director was trying to make. And the truth is, a lot of Trek fans would have gone to his film simply because of that connection. If the director had dug a little deeper, I think he would have seen that the breadth and depth of Stewart’s work and abilities would have put that concern to rest. It’s unfortunate that the director didn’t make that effort–and completely understandable why Sir Patrick was hurt by that statement, regardless of his own respect for Picard and Trek.

I think we should take a step back and ask how many film roles he had before TNG… I can only think of a couple in major films. I think his role as Picard brought him many more opportunities and auditions than he would have had otherwise. This is not a commentary on his acting, I think he’s a marvelous actor… but let’s be honest, Hollywood is not a haven for great actors. I think that the roles available for Patrick Stewart are limited no matter what his past career has been… major movies these days are more ageist than anything, and that has more to do with the perceived “typecasting”. Would he be Sir Patrick if not for Picard? Well, maybe for his standout performace as Gurney Halleck in Dune. :)

Horatio

Me thinks Sir Patrick is still uncomfortable with his place in the Trekverse.

That One Guy

Stewart is probably the least typecast actor from Trek. He’s Patrick Freaking Stewart. I’m fairly certain he could land any role he wanted to since he’s done so much. Last I checked, he probably one of the most respected actors out there today.

MikeTen

When you look at the 1987 picture and the 2002 picture side by side it looks like Patrick Stewart is younger in the 2002 photo! Is the guy aging backwards? I hope I will look half as good as he does when I hit his age.

RK

Sir Patrick is the best of Star Trek and a great actor besides.
Hope i will someday see him on a theatre stage when i visit the UK.
Apart from that:

Just gimme on more time the FC Uniforms, the “new” TNG Delta Shield Comunicators and Captain Picard!!!!
PLEEEEEASE just one more time.

Hope they will include him in the new movie (in whatever part), imo its just a great opportunity the Orci/Kurtzman have to include some of the legendary Star Trek charcters in the new movies just like they did with Nimoy. It helps build a sense of continuity.

Dh1976

Patrick has had more than one memorable role. He also made the role of Professor Xiavor shine. That is the type of acting he does, he don’t protray a role, he is the role. His role as Ebineiser Scrooge in Charles Dickens Christmas Carol was simply flawless.

The Riddler

What idiot Director said that to him? I mean really…….

PUT PICARD IN THE NEXT MOVIE!

Maybe this time Picard will be on the bridge…. :p

CmdrR

Yeah, what do you expect from bald, Shakespearean-trained actors who play captains. Oh, wait, that remark may cover more than one guy.

Patrick has (happily for us) fallen into Hollywood’s black hole of: Brit = genre character or villain. See also Ben Kingsley, Alan Rickman, Ian McKellan, etc.

I don’t fault Patrick for blowing off steam over the frustrations of Hollywood, or in targeting ‘those years when he was stuck in his captain’s suit’ for affecting his career. The good news is that we got him at all.

Yes, a Picard cameo in ST12 would be FINE!

Seattle Trek Fan

Why would someone say “Why would I want Captain Picard in my movie?” when the answer is common knowledge.

The answer is: because he’s that effing good an actor.

Jeff

I think it would be difficult not to be of two minds when you’re a guy like Stewart or Shatner or Nimoy, for example. On the one hand, you’re grateful for the success Star Trek brought you in terms of fame and money, but on the other hand, you’re an actor and you want to play different roles and because you were so good in this one role, it prevents you from being regarded for other roles. There would be a bitter irony in that, I imagine.

It must be hard to reconcile those two feelings at times and I’ve heard Shatner and Nimoy make similar statements over the years.

C.S. Lewis

“Stewart has also recently said he would be interested in appearing in the Star Trek sequel, so he is willing to keep that Trek image going.”

Money talks, as they say.

Sincerely,
C.S. Lewis

Praetor Shinzon II

I have no complaints about Patrick Stewart as an actor or as Star Trek Captain. Two things annoyed me about STNG –
it was the most ‘sterile’, boring Star Trek series for the most part but the biggest annoyance was that Picard was French, reared in France and the whole family spoke perfect British English! What the hell was that about? There was even an episode about his ancestry going back from France to Spain and how his ancestors helped destroy Native American culture in the New World. I know it’s just TV but come on now.
Of course he wants to be in the next Star Trek movie – who doesn’t? I just wish all these people would shut their holes and let the sequel develop in a direction without appeasing anyone.

JimJ

So, basically that director was saying he didn’t want ANY well known actors in the role he was casting? There are lots of actors who have played iconic roles in movies and/or TV. To say that Captain Picard or Kirk is worse to cast than Batman, Iron Man, Spiderman, Han Solo, or Captain Jack Sparrow shows the lack of intelligence that many directors have in today’s world! “Who cares if he’s a fantastic actor, he was Captain Picard, OMG!!!!!” lol

JimJ

#28-I agree, I always thought the idea of making British actors “Frenchmen” in TNG was rather lame, but whatever. Seems like though they wrote some great stories, they were a bit lacking on details like that. Why didn’t they say his parents were from France but moved to England, or something? If he was raised there, that would explain his accent.

J_schinderlin56

I’ve never seen an actor with more dynamic range than Sir Patrick. Just think about the contrast between the 1st Season TNG Picard, and the charicter in the “Sexy Cakes” skit he did on SNL, to his stage acting.

In fact, my favorite Sir Patrick performance was in the movie “Safe House”. Now that, was a funny movie!

The man has a gift. Anyone who can’t see that is a fool!

rogue_alice

Patrick, please give us the name of that “director”. He needs a bit of Trek Love from you fans.

T.'.

T.’.

Or, that the European Hegemony had developed, overall, a kind of flat Received Pronunciation style accented English common language, reflected in Picard.

T.’.

Steve

Patrick is a real class act and is a true professional of the craft. I like that he has never dissed Trek and is thankful for what it gave him. I don’t think it is wrong of him to discuss the limits it has place on him either. As for the TOS background actors talking about typecasting, that makes me laugh. That is more of an excuse for people that likely weren’t going to get any bigger parts anyway. Star Trek gave them something great to add to their resumes. I find it highly unlikely that it did anything to harm. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all. Just being realistic.

JD

Don’t actors every retire? I hope he has saved enough money to retire if he likes. Or do actors need that approval and adoration until they are finally dead. Awfully shallow people if you ask me. I work to live not live to work.

Eli

The British accent in France thing is due to the little known historical fact that during the Eugenics Wars, France and other major parts of Western Europe were taken over by a Genetically Engineered Simon Cowell. He detested the other European accents and languages and had them killed and or bred out of society using a sophisticated form of voting for the people who had the best sounding English accent by texting “IDOL-001 through IDOL-012” and executing the ones with the fewest votes.

startrekkie

I think Patrick Stewart is a fine actor, I would like him to do a cameo in trek XII what you think?

Oby

I hope he does more theater work in the U.S.

Unfortunately
Notable TV Roles seem to curve some great actor careers

the last Natile Shafer (Mrs Howell) Fred Gwen (Herman Munster) and Ray Walstein loved their TV Roles…until they wanted to do something else.
It’s unlike theater where you can go from one role to another..with ease.

The same thing happend to the first Star Trek Cast. This is one of the reasons many of the new actors..try to do other projects so that they don’t get typed-cast.

Well, that certainly explains all his recent jerkass comic roles in animation and television. Not that I’m saying that’s a bad thing. He can be quite funny really.

Will_H

Its sad when this kind of stuff happens. I think its safe to say that Sir Patrick is the finest actor to ever grace Star Trek and bumped up its quality quite a bit with his roll. I’d love a chance to see him doing Shakespeare and I think it would be great if he got the chance to be on the big screen more.

Gary Neumann

I still don’t get why patrick stewart gets typecast, he has a wonderful range as an actor, and the same can’t be said to other important actors on the show…

weyoun_9

I think the question the director should be asking is…why wouldn’t you want Captain Picard in your movie?

Seriously though…Stewart is a great actor and I think it is okay for him to both lament professionally what notoriety has done for his career options/offers as well as love the work that brought him the fame to begin with. Especially when these comments have been said spanning years and interviews.

Sometimes casting agents aren’t the brightest and they only like to keep sending you offers for the same stuff even when they know you can handle variety because its easier and they imagine that you’ll get it and then they’ll get paid. Thus, the birth of typecasting.

Oh..and regarding one of his “quotes” disparaging Hollywood…let’s also remember he was offered (and turned down) Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin…clearly NOT Shakespeare.

DGill

As much as I enjoyed his character and performance in “TNG” and beyond, I don’t think we’ll ever see him as Captain Picard again. If it did happen though, I would love to eat my words.

Beck

I don’t think Patrick’s comments here are that big of a deal. When something huge and life defining – like the iconic role of Captain Picard – comes into a person’s life, it’s only natural to be both very thankful for it and a little resentful. Nothing is perfect and we are all human after all.

CmdrR

28 & 30 – Yes, but it let Picard mutter “merde” under his breath several times.

Zodac

I wish TNG would come back to TV again, in some new form. Give us a few TV movies, or direct-to-DVD movies.

comeaution22

24- How is Ben Kingsley type-casted as genre-character or villain? Have you seen any of his work?

Stewart seems to be one of the most level-headed actors regarding the highs and lows that have come with his Trek notoriety. He appreciates the celebrity associated with his place in the franchise, yet simultaneously laments how it restricted his ability to pursue other work without “blaming” Trek. He relates it merely as a fact, and I think that’s indicative of the class and dignity he brings to any work he does.

I saw Stewart play a comedy guest role on Frasier in TNG’s latter years, and to see him handle comedy with such aplomb and carry no glances toward his Picard persona just made me repsect his skill as an actor even more.

Much success, Sir Patrick!

Sir Patrick is brilliant. To see him in the role of Picard again would be a delight, but he’s great in everything.

I would say that Stewart is usually associated as “a man of authority”: Picard, Xavier, the voice of the boss on American Dad, Scrooge, the voice of Pharaoh in The Prince of Egypt, Ahab in Moby Dick, Bentley in Masterminds, Dr. Jonas in Conspiracy Theory, King Richard in Robin Hood Men In Tights, Gurney in Dune…

I’m curious whom the “distinguished Hollywood director” might be…so I can bad-mouth the obtuse moron every chance I get. His loss really.

By the way….look up Stewart’s performance in “Extras”…the man is awesome!