Patrick Stewart Has Never Heard of Star Trek Upon Landing The Role

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Patrick Stewart, who plays Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Picard, weighs in on how joining the franchise blindly led to one of the biggest things that changed his life.

Apparently, it all began when Stewart was asked to participate as a William Shakespeare guest lecturer across the ‘the University of California circuit’. (via Los Angeles Times)

To that, Stewart replied with, “Sure, of course,” leading for the man to add, “There’s $100 in it for you” which urged the X-Men star to say, “Wow, yes, I’ll do that.”

Only for the actor’s agent in California (whom he never met or has spoken to before) to call him the next morning, “I’ve got two questions for you. What the hell were you doing at UCLA last night and why would Gene Roddenberry want to see you this morning?”

Stewart never knew who Roddenberry was at the time: “‘Jean who? I don’t know her.’ And he told me who Gene Roddenberry was.”

READ MORE: Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Showrunner Shoots Down the Idea of Killing Off Jean-Luc

Stewart then went on to say how his first impression on Roddenbery was “...not good”, seeing as he had never heard of the Star Trek series until the day he got the call.

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“I may have heard of it. When my children were young,” Stewart said, “And they’d watch this show, which I used to occasionally see when I came home on Saturday afternoon.”

“These guys wearing different color T-shirts. That’s all I knew.”

The Captain Jean-Luc actor went on to say how Star Trek inevitably drove his life down a much bigger path than he initially intended:

“It took a long time. I worked very, very hard. I wanted to do good work because I thought this might be my passport to Hollywood.” Stewart said.

“Well, seven years later, we wrapped the series and then we did four movies.” Stewart added, “It was the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me.”


All episodes of Star Trek: Picard Seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Paramount+.

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