In new interviews, the Star Trek: The Next Generation star said he has his TNG co-stars to thank for a long and more relaxed life, discusses how TNG was snubbed by the Emmys, shows off his French version of Picard and more.
Stewart: Star Trek co-stars made me live longer
Sir Patrick Stewart appeared on the TBS talk show Conan last night to promote his new film Logan, but host Conan O’Brien also delved into his history with Star Trek, asking him if it was true that when he started on The Next Generation he was "a little uptight." Stewart admitted it was true, saying he was "boring and tiresome" and didn’t like how "unruly" his fellow cast members were on set. However, the Sir Pat says the TNG cast taught him to relax and he feels it changed his life, noting he now wants to be the "silliest person on the set." Speaking of his more relaxed attitude, the 76-year-old actor noted:
It is all thanks to my pals on Star Trek who said "Patrick, come on. You’ll find you will enjoy the work more if you have fun. A few laughs every day. It will go quicker…and of course they were right and we had a great time. So thank you to all those guys. I think they made me live longer. I think I may not be here now if they had not taught me how to laugh more.
You can watch Sir Pat talk Star Trek on Conan below.
Stewart also revealed that he has started to become a foster parent for shelter dogs and even shared some adorable video of his new furry friend. Here’s one he posted on Instagram earlier today:
Stewart on TNG Emmy snubs, Sinatra being a fan, ‘French’ audition for TNG and more
Today Sir Stewart held a live chat with Variety which focused mostly on Logan, but the subject of Star Trek did come up. The actor has been getting a lot of buzz for his role in Logan, including some Oscar talk. When asked if he felt there is a problem with genre films getting their due respect during Award season, Stewart said he thinks there is and noted that he faced the same thing on Star Trek:
We experienced something very similar with Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the last season I was very fortunate to get a Screen Actors Guild nomination. That is the only creative award that series was nominated for – one award in seven years…people explained to me "it’s the genre, show’s like this are not taken seriously."…Although I look at the work of my colleagues – of Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes – outstanding award material it always seemed to me, but it didn’t happen. There was an albatross around the necks of projects like this where they were not taken seriously.
For the record Star Trek: The Next Generation was the most honored series in the franchise, with 58 Emmy nominations and 18 wins. Most of those are what you could consider technical categories such as Hairstyling, Makeup, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Costumes and Visual Effects. However the show was also nominated for Music, Cinematography, Art Direction, and Editing. And in its final season the show was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. Over its seven seasons TNG didn’t receive any Emmy nominations for acting, writing or directing.
On a side note, yesterday YahooTV had an article about how genre shows "deserved more Emmy love", which includes quotes from former Star Trek: TNG/DS9 writer Ronald D. Moore. Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski and Sleepy Hollow showrunner Albert Kim both specifically state Star Trek was snubbed by the Emmys.
More highlights from Stewart’s Variety Facebook Live chat:
When asked if he ever had any problems dealing with Star Trek or X-Men fans, Stewart spoke glowingly saying "can’t think of one bad experience."
On working with the late Anton Yelchin on the horror film Green Room, Stewart said he was a "dear man," but noted his time with him was limited due to how the film was shot with only one scene together so they didn’t have time to talk Star Trek.
When asked about dealing with Star Trek super-fan Tom Hanks, Stewart noted that Hanks could quote every episode and he was impressed how once when they were both at a party Tom was even able to recognize Rick Berman.
However, Stewart noted (apologizing to Hanks) he learned during the shooting of Star Trek: The Next Generation (through TNG hairstylist Joy Zapata) that the late great singer Frank Sinatra was a big fan and "never missed an episode."
Stewart recalled how his final audition with Paramount execs for the role of Jean Luc Picard came with a last-minute request for him to do it in a wig, which he had to have flown in from London. He also noted that somewhere in the "vault" at Paramount is film of that audition, including him trying out a French accent. He then demonstrated with some Gallic "Space, the final frontier."
Watch the full interview below. (the bit where Stewart talks of his TNG audition is at 33:30).
Will Stewart return to the role of Professor X?
While it has been reported that Logan will be his final time playing Professor X, maybe it won’t be. Appearing on The Late Late Show with James Cordon earlier this week, Stewart hinted that it could be possible (but it wasn’t for him to say) for him to reprise the role in a future Deadpool movie. And as it happens, also appearing on the same show and sitting on the same couch was actor Dan Stevens who stars in FX’s new X-Men TV series, Legion. Stevens said he had a job offer for Stewart to appear on the show and Sir Patrick exclaimed he was "absolutely" interested.
Keep up on all the Trek celebrity news here at TrekMovie.com.