People still debate who is the best Trek captain between William Shatner’s Kirk and Sir Patrick Stewart’s Picard, but the Star Trek: The Next Generation actor now says that when he started out he didn’t know what he was doing and thought he would be fired. Find out more below
Stewart: I thought I would be fired from TNG
At San Diego Comic Con, Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Patrick Stewart talked about how the thing he remembered most from his time on the series was the fun he had on the set with the cast, but he also offered this bit of self-reflection:
I can remember shooting the pilot and not knowing what I was doing. I didn’t know how to walk. I didn’t know how to wear my spacesuit, or anything. I didn’t know what was going on. I am amazed they didn’t fire.
Patrick Stewart gets his footing in Star Trek: TNG pilot "Encounter at Farpoint" – says didn’t know what he was doing
Stewart’s concerns may have had some merit as Star Trek: TNG creator and executive producer Gene Roddenberry took a lot of convincing (from producers Bob Justman and Rick Berman) to hire Patrick Stewart in the first place. But even though he didn’t feel confident in the pilot, they stuck with Stewart and the rest is history. Of course seven years later when Berman and Paramount were shooting the pilot for Star Trek: Voyager, a series they saw as a replacement for TNG, they did end up having to replace the captain. The first choice Geneviève Bujold could not handle the rigors of series television, so she was replaced by Kate Mulgrew for the role of Capt. Janeway.
Stewart also offered this assessment of the 2009 Star Trek movie from JJ Abrams:
It was terrific. I enjoyed it immensely. I took my grandchildren and we all had a great afternoon.
Watch the video interview with Stewart where he talks more about Dorothy of Oz at Collider.