Listen: Patrick Stewart Recounts Being A “Severe Bastard” Early On In ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’

Today was the release of Making It So: A Memoir, the new memoir from Sir Patrick Stewart. Of course, the book covers a number of aspects of his time with Star Trek. And there are a couple more interesting excerpts from the book online today, including from the audiobook version.

Stewart recounts early clash with TNG cast

Yesterday we reported on an excerpt from Stewart’s memoir about his last appearance in in the franchise and how he had a different idea for how Star Trek: Picard should have ended. Today a new excerpt arrived from the audiobook (via The Hollywood Reporter), narrated by Stewart, where he can be heard talking about his first days on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The actor recalls conflicts with his Royal Shakespeare Company ways and the boisterous cast, including calling a meeting where he “lectured the cast for goofing off.” He also recounts being thankful that they taught him to loosen up.

You can listen to that excerpt via YouTube…


Stewart thought Tom Hardy was “odd” during shooting of Nemesis

Variety has a report on more from the book, specifically regarding the making of the final TNG feature film, Star Trek Nemesis. Sir Patrick didn’t have kind words for the film, and admits he wasn’t enamored with the man playing his clone (Tom Hardy) either:

“‘Nemesis,’ which came out in 2002, was particularly weak,” Stewart writes. “I didn’t have a single exciting scene to play, and the actor who portrayed the movie’s villain, Shinzon, was an odd, solitary young man from London. His name was Tom Hardy.”

“Tom wouldn’t engage with any of us on a social level,” Stewart writes. “Never said, ‘Good morning,’ never said, ‘Goodnight,’ and spent the hours he wasn’t needed on set in his trailer with his girlfriend…He was by no means hostile — it was just challenging to establish any rapport with him.”

“On the evening Tom wrapped his role, he characteristically left without ceremony or niceties, simply walking out of the door,” Stewart adds. “As it closed, I said quietly to Brent [Spiner] and Jonathan [Frakes], ‘And there goes someone I think we shall never hear of again.’ It gives me nothing but pleasure that Tom has proven me so wrong.”

Of course, Hardy went on to a successful acting career including appearing in Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and starring in the Venom movies. However, the actor himself admitted he “went off the rails,” including alcohol and drug problems after Nemesis flopped.

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Making It So out now

Stewart’s first memoir arrives on Tuesday, October 3 from Gallery Books. You can pre-order it at Amazon in hardcover for $24.48. or Kindle ebook for $18.48.

Making It So is also available as an audiobook, read by Stewart. You can buy it on CD at Amazon for $44.99 or digitally for $19.84 (or via Audible).

Last night Stewart kicked off a book tour with events across the country. The first event was in New York, moderated by Whoopi Goldberg and a couple of TrekMovie contributors were there.


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Tonight Stewart is in Philadelphia, with more dates coming over the next week, ending in Los Angeles with moderator LaVar Burton.

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Sounds interesting. I’ll have to pick up a copy.

Y’know, what with the ups-and-downs in the behind-the-scenes of TOS and TNG, I wonder if in the near future there will be one of those movies about the making of either series. I mean, if they can make them about the creation of Tetris and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, how about Star Trek? It’s kind of a big deal, too.

I want to see a making of TMP movie. That would be an interesting TV or streaming movie.

Yeah, I’ve been thinking on that for a LONG time. Back when the original QUANTUM LEAP was on I was thinking of a heavily fictionalized account, where a highly esteemed director is trapped into a runaway budgeted SF production, which serves as a kind of way-too-late comeuppance for how he screwed over his benefactor decades earlier, a la Wise and Welles. But then I realized it was better to do it straight (plus my then-agent didn’t deal with TV), and the more info that has trickled down through the years, the more correct that assumption has felt to me.

It’s not as good a story as the formation of ILM, and shaving it down to size might not be possible in feature form, but doing it long-form like THE OFFER might be close to ideal.

You should check out An Adventure in Space and Time – a dramatisation of the genesis and early days of Dr Who in the 1960s. Even if you don’t know or watch Dr Who it’s interesting watching the struggles to get an innovative sci fi show off the ground. Something like that about TOS or TNG would be great!

Right, I saw that. Thanks for reminding me. Yeah, that was good. Something like it for Trek would be a treat.

Maybe for the 60th anniversary? Hint hint, CBS….

The 60th anniversary of Trek will be celebrated by re-re-releases of TOS ,TNG, Enterprise and the current slew on Blu-ray (just no Prodigy), a new 4-character action figure line that will never come to fruition, and some pins or something. Maybe Connor Trineer hosting a Paramount+ special using clips that show us just how badly DS9 and Voyager needed to be remastered.

Yes, I’m pissy and cynical.

Ambassador Sybok, you are indeed most cynical, I fear the ‘pain’ of the 50th anniversary has made you so (an underwhelming movie, just a few event docs, EW/Time anniversary magazines). But now you have shared your pain , you must gain strength from the knowledge that a Kelvin 4th movie is in the works (again) and probably aiming for the 60th and that since we are in the grip of movie multiverse madness will likely be something of a Kelvin/Prime crossover, there’s the s31 P+ movie (and possibly more), and no doubt a TV anniversary event spanning SNW and whatever else that will be out then (Legacy?) of which there were no Trek TV for the 50th, and whatever other stuff (documentaries, re-releases, pins, figures, magazines )

It would be an interesting twist to use the corresponding Strange New Worlds cast to play the original actors who played their roles.

I got my audiobook this morning. Looking forward to it!

At the Manhattan event, Stewart said it took 41 sessions to record the audiobook, because he was quite a perfectionist.

I wonder how many takes it took to record Space the Final Frontier. It always gives me chills. Probably the most perfect opening to a show ever.

Which ever way you cut it, Nemesis is a better movie than Generations (which is the worst Trek movie of them all) and was better than Insurrection (which is the most pointless boring Trek movie of all) I dont know why Stewart is saying he had no “exciting” scenes in Nemesis, he was more physical on that movie IMO than any of the other TNG movies and most of the TV show. The whole movie was focused on him basically. Tom Hardy was the weakest part of the movie and is the main reason it fails although looking back now, even though personally I think the story itself is a great story has a real classic TOS feel about it, I just dont think it was possible to film that story in a way that satisfied. It would have been better pirely as a novel. And the idea of Stewart playing both roles (which I always suspected) shows you how close the film could have been to goofiness. I think they made the best movie they could under the circumstances but for various reasons it was just a movie that could never be realised satisfactorily. I still say it is the second best TNG movie and is better than any Trek movie or show made since The Rick Berman era ended. And that includes Picard S3. The fact Stewart is slagging off Nemesis and praising Picard shows me how much his understanding of what makes Trek works has slipped.

Picard got to ride around in a dune buggy for a few minutes. That’s fun physical acting, but there’s nothing meaty about the actual script to Nemesis. There’s a kernel of an interesting idea that is very Star Trek, yes. But the dialogue is as dull as dishwater and surrounded by overly familiar story elements. Clones. Data has a brother. Troi is horribly violated. There’s a cloaked ship attacking the Enterprise. A main character decides to sacrifice himself. We’d seen it all before, with much of it better dramatized the first time around.

Stuart Baird does well enough by the action, but not the characters in the film, and John Logan’s worst instincts as a writer continually are exposed whenever he writes genre fare. Picard’s scenes with Shinzon should sizzle. These were two phenomenal actors, even if one was young and nervous/method/distant. When they get together we should get pangs of regrets, longings, jealousy, the cusp of finding common ground in their shared history, a true battle of wits – the same wit. But what was realized was dry, unmemorable, and stilted. Their scenes stop the movie dead, much like most of the heavy dialogue scenes in the film. Every actor seems unengaged, with Hardy at least having a spark, however poorly used it was. Nemesis is the poster child when anyone wants to trot out a “tired old franchise” criticism.

“Which ever way you cut it, Nemesis is a better movie than Generations”

No, that’s your *opinion*. I and many many others disagree.

Agreed. I didn’t mind Generations that much even with the flaws but Nemesis is still the worst movie out of all them. It isn’t close and while I abhor JJ verse they were at least well made and mostly entertaining.

Nemesis is just truly awful and I say this as a huge TNG fanboy. 🤮

I honestly can’t remember a single TNG movie that I really liked or was really memorable in terms of story ;-) Nemesis bored me out of my mind, but that scene with Picard and a lady and a colibri? It made me cringe so hard in the cinema :-D There was a memorable Enterprise crash landing in one of the movies that I enjoyed. But as far as the whole movie is concerned, the memorable ones for me are The Voyage Home and Wrath of Khan.

LOL Generations is a complete mess of a movie from start to finish it is the most wasted opportunity in the whole franchise, how the writers of ALL GOOD THINGS & FIRST CONTACT wrote that steaming pile of garbage amazes me. Anyone who says Generations is a better “Star Trek” movie than Nemesis just does not understand what Star Trek is about.

Generations very much looks like something the writers of All Good Things would do. Pedestrian at best. Largely disappointing.

I don’t understand what Star Trek is all about. Preferred Generations to Nemesis. And IMHO Insurrection was probably closer to what “Star Trek is all about” than any of the outings with explosions and big bad foes out for revenge.

That said I don’t hate Nemesis as so many fans do. Just lower in my “personal ranking” than some others. And if you don’t agree with me, so f’ng what?

Moore and Braga were burnt out from TNG. If they gave them a year off to recharge it would of went better.

Thank you saying this! I for one would much rather watch Nemesis than Generations (and I don’t want to watch either all that much).

Thank you, Emily. Agreed. While I don’t ‘hate’ either film, I rewatch GEN much more than NEM, for a number of reasons.

Same here. One reason for me is that the actors in GEN looked, er, “engaged” in a way they didn’t by the time of NEM. Most seemed pretty bored with Trek by then, particularly Patrick Stewart.

No, that’s your *opinion*. I and many many others disagree.

Well, that’s equally your opinion; I personally agree with Ian that NEMESIS, though not perfect, is still quite underrated. Contra Stewart’s memoir, he had an extremely meaty scene with Tom Hardy: this was the “triumph of the echo over the voice” scene, in which Picard almost, but not quite, convinced Shinzon to abandon his plans.

NEMESIS was not the first time Star Trek commented in nature versus nurture, but on balance it was executed well. GENERATIONS was executed abysmally,, and INSURRECTION feels like a dry run for LOWER DECKS humor.

Glad for you that you liked Nemesis. I remember thinking it was weak too. Maybe being physical was not what Stewart was looking for in acting. I remember it as having a simple story focused on one crazy supervillain threatening earth with a personal connection thrown in, which for my taste felt too generic to be interesting, like following a standard template for a disaster movie. For me it had not much to do with TNG. Glad for Tom Hardy to have done well since then, in Nemesis it was confusing he did not even look like Stewart. This movie gave me nothing. But I do get why the story reminded you of TOS and you enjoyed it!

Mostly agree. It’s pretty obvious that he very well could be ragging on Nemesis because he’s aware there is a large group of fans who do it. And he doesn’t want to cross the fans that blatantly. At least that is how I read it. It has also been obvious that I don’t think Stewart every really understood the genre he was in. He played the part on TNG was well as he could. He is a professional after all. His acting chops and charisma are what really made that character work. But it seems every time he wanted to inject something he personally wanted into the character it never really seemed to fit.

And yes… Nemesis gets a bad rap. It does have a few problems but it is certainly better than what a lot of fans have claimed. It seems to me like TNG fans wanted a send off as good as TUC. When they didn’t get that it soured them on the movie in general. But Nemesis, while no TUC, was actually an appropriate closing episode for the TNG crew. It felt like an ending with many characters moving on.

it is certainly better than what a lot of fans have claimed.”

Nah. If anything, the fans are charitable. The acting is at best disengaged, both the story and the screenplay seem phoned in, the action sequences are…let’s go with “misnamed,” (like Into Darkness) there’s too much theft of ideas from WoK that are then not executed as well as the original.

The exchange about the B4’s arm is excellent, though, and on a number of levels (well, two levels, but that’s enough for Star Trek!)

Actually the film accomplished something that the show or any of the other movies failed to do. Evoke a feeling for the Data character. This movie was the first and only time I cared about the robot. The only thing “borrowed” from WoK was a character “death”. Which was hardly original even when WoK did it. It touched on the nature v nurture theme decently and I’d argue that 3rd act was the 3rd best 3rd act of all the features.

What exchange about B4’s arm are you talking about?

I have to say, Nemesis is the only ST movie I have never seen in its entirety. I can never make it all the way through.

Maybe if the script writers had thrown in a plot involving TRILITHIUM and the Duress sister’s it would have been more up your street.Geordi kidnapped and his visor turned into a transmitter so the Klingons could learn the secrets of the Enterprises warp core YAWN ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Kirk happy to stay in the Nexus, this is the guy that asked what does God want with a starship!!

Nemesis def wasnt/isnt as bad as everyone has been trying to make out the past 20years, but I’d still place it behind Generations both in terms of fun rewatchability and its place of importance in the Trek ‘canon’ (a melding of the TOS movies with the TNG series, Picard meeting Kirk, Kirks death no matter how underwhelming, the destruction of the Ent D, the Ent B, Picard’s family etc) and just overall a better movie with a much better villain

The token Malcolm McDowell bad guy with a British accent you mean? Because Rick Berman would not pay for Marlon Brando. As I keep saying, Generations is an abomination of a Star Trek movie. The music is good, the special effects, costumes, sets etc Patrick Stewart is AWFUL in the movie there is something seriously up with his performance as Picard, and the story is trash.

The music is not good. It’s the worst of
all the Trek films. It reminds me of elevator music.

Brando as Soran facing off against Stewart and Shatner wouldve been incredible , obviously the fight scenes probably wouldn’t have happened, with the finale more an intellectual battle than we got (or maybe Soran wouldve had some klingon henchmen)

In the book he goes on to praise Hardy’s later work, particularly in Locke, and notes he would happily sit down to dinner with him for a chat.

LOCKE is very solid work, as is his movie with smalltime crime and a cute dog (with Gandolfini I think.) But I think he has squandered his talent in recent years. No interest in VENOM at all from me.

Locke, The Drop (the movie with the dog), his work on Peaky Blinders, the tragically short FX show Taboo, films The Revenant, Lawless…the list goes on for Tom Hardy, who is one of my favorite actors. Agreed about not being interested in Venom, but Hardy has much more depth and talent than superhero movies, which I imagine he does for the payday. As for NEM, it was his first major film, with a director who knew nothing about the franchise. Hardy was a kid then.

They do at least keep saying Taboo will get its second season eventually.

I’ve read that too, fingers crossed!

I was astonished at how good he was in a role in BLACKHAWK DOWN, which predates NEM, so he ‘had it’ even at a very young age — at least with a good director.

I’ve long maintained that Hardy was doing an imitation of or just outright parodying Stuart Baird throughout NEM. If you look at the dvd for those lame Baird interviews or listen to his commentary, it just all seems like Shinzon to me.

I strongly suspect that Hardy was method acting.

Wonder if any mention of Diane muldaur…

He does.

He says she was a good actress, but she didn’t establish a rapport with him and “seemed to function at a remove from the rest of the cast.” He tells one anecdote about when she had to recite a complex piece of new dialogue on short notice, so he offered to tape a printout of her dialogue to his forehead for her to read. He writes that she was very grateful for that solution!

He also relates how it didn’t sit well with him that McFadden had been let go, and that only recently did he fully understand that was at the behest of Maurice Hurley, not Roddenberry.

So far this is a good read. The voice is very authentic.

Tom Hardy and can’t remember the romulan chicks name, were doing coke in the toilets at the nemesis premiere in London…they were not quite with it that night

Dina Meyer? And how do you know this

Were you there?? Tell us more

This stuff is well known to those who have followed BTS of TNG.

Like the Shatner ‘Star Trek Memories’ volumes most fans already knew of the info from previous ‘making of’ books (especially from Ed Gross/Mark Altman) and the Cinefantastique Trek issues , but they were still fun reads anyway

He doesn’t get to Star Trek until like page 300. The truly interesting stuff is what he writes about his childhood and early career, and how he confronts the difficulties in his marriages and relationships.

I think it was Berman who said that Hardy’s taped audition was particularly memorable because he performed it in the nude. He was definitely in an interesting place at the time, artistically.