Sir Patrick Stewart, OBE (born July 13, 1940), is a British actor best known for playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men Film Series.
Stewart was born in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, studying drama at the Bristol Old Vic theatre school before moving on to the Royal Shakespeare Company. He had lost most of his hair by the age of 19, and impressed during his audition for the Old Vic by performing both with and without a wig and proclaiming himself to be "two actors for the price of one."
Stewart has always laughed off those who suggest that, as a classically-trained actor, he was "slumming it" in things like Star Trek—he suggested that in fact, all the kings and emperors that he had played with the RSC were merely preparation for the iconic role of captaining the new Starship Enterprise.
Similarly, Stewart has always tried to remain in touch with his theatrical roots—spending a season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in his native Leeds, he had little time for critics who suggested that this was all the work he could find—he was doing it because he wanted to do it. His various theatre roles include playing Othello among an otherwise entirely black cast. Amusingly, at first he was one of the few TNG castmembers who took their job fully seriously and didn't mess around on-set, until he loosened up and, according to co-star LeVar Burton, would mess around and wreak havoc with the best of them.
Stewart is also Claudius (and King Hamlet) opposite David Tennant in Hamlet and he did the same in an 1980s BBC-TV production with Derek Jacobi as Hamlet. Stewart also became a regular on Seth MacFarlane's American Dad!, as the amoral, James Bond-esque CIA Director Avery Bullock.
He is a highly vocal figure in the fight against domestic violence, his father having been abusive towards his mother. More recently, having learned of his father's experiences in World War II and the long-term effects of PTSD, he's also begun campaigning for counseling and treatment of violent men, particularly combat veterans.
Was knighted in the 2010 New Year Honours List for services to drama. He still contributes to his local community, being the chancellor of the nearby University of Huddersfield and having been president of the local football (soccer) academy since his return to the UK in 2004.
In August 2018, Stewart announced he would be reprising the role of Picard in a new Trek series for CBS All Access.
- 1981 Excalibur as Leondegrance
- 1984 Dune as Gurney Halleck
- 1985 Wild Geese II as Russian General
- 1985 Lifeforce as Dr. Armstrong
- 1991 L.A. Story as Mr. Perdue, Maitre D' at L'Idiot
- 1993 Gunmen as Loomis
- 1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights as King Richard
- 1994 Star Trek: Generations as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
- 1994 The Pagemaster as Adventure
- 1996 Star Trek: First Contact as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
- 1997 Conspiracy Theory as Dr. Jonas
- 1997 Masterminds as Bentley
- 1998 Star Trek: Insurrection as Jean-Luc Picard
- 1998 The Prince of Egypt as Pharaoh Seti
- 1999 A Christmas Carol as Ebenezer Scrooge
- 1999 Animal Farm as Napoleon
- 2000 X-Men as Professor Xavier
- 2001 Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius as King Goobot
- 2002 Star Trek: Nemesis as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
- 2003 X2: X-Men United as Professor Xavier
- 2005 Chicken Little as Mr. Woolensworth
- 2006 Bambi II as The Great Prince of the Forest
- 2006 X-Men: The Last Stand as Professor Xavier
- 2007 TMNT as Winters
- 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine as Professor Xavier
- 2011 Gnomeo and Juliet as Bill Shakespeare
- 2012 Ice Age 4: Continental Drift as Ariscratle
- 2012 Ted as The Narrator
- 2013 The Wolverine as Professor Xavier
- 2014 X-Men: Days of Future Past as Professor Xavier
- 2014 A Million Ways to Die in the West as Dream Voice
- 2015 Ted 2 as The Narrator
- 2016 Green Room as Darcy
- 2017 Logan as Charles Xavier
- 2017 The Emoji Movie as Poop
- 2017 Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire as Drago
- 1967 Coronation Street as Fire Officer
- 1974 Fall of Eagles as Vladimir Lenin
- 1976 I, Claudius as Sejanus
- 1987-1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
- 1995: The Simpsons as "Number One", leader of the Stonecutters in "Homer The Great"
- 1993 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard in "Emissary"
- 2003 Frasier as Alistair Burke
- 2005-present American Dad! as Avery Bullock
- 2012 The Hollow Crown ("Richard II") as John of Gaunt
- 2015-present Blunt Talk as Walter Blunt
- 2018-? Unnamed Star Trek series as Jean-Luc Picard
Video Game Roles
- 2006 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion as Emperor Uriel Septim VII
- 2010 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow as Zobek
- 2014 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 as Zobek
- 2017 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 as Kang the Conqueror
Provides examples of:
- Adam Westing: His role on American Dad! is the writers trying to cram everything that would sound ridiculous coming out of Picard's mouth into the script."You are a complicated man, Smith. I would love to do mushrooms with you."
- And then there's the ads for Strongbow Hard Apple Cider. The man is clearly having fun pretending to be disgruntled and offended by the (supposed) disrespect he receives.
- He had a magnificent cameo as himself in Extras
- Badass Baritone: One of the deepest, most commanding voices you'll ever hear and why he's always been a natural for leaders and authority figures, be they good or evil. His voice is practically a force of nature unto itself.
- Bald of Awesome: Many of his roles. A reporter questioned his casting in Star Trek, saying "By the 24th century, wouldn't they have cured baldness?" Roddenberry's response: "In the 24th century, they wouldn't care." He even got to do Bald of Evil a few times, in movies like Conspiracy Theory, Moby-Dick, Masterminds, The Prince of Egypt and Green Room.
- Bourgeois Bohemian: Stewart has said that he considers himself a socialist, attributing it to his father being a trade unionist. Unsurprisingly, he is also a member of the UK Labour party and vocal supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, the current party leader.
- Brief Accent Imitation: In a 2014 appearance on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! (he's appeared on the show several times), Stewart did the Opening Narration for Star Trek: The Next Generation with a French accent, and commented that the silly result was the real-life reason Picard didn't have one.Stewart: Space... ze final frontier.
- Classically Trained Extra: Inverted. Once a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he said it was good practice for playing Picard, and has never tried to distance himself from the role. He's still a highly respected Shakespearian actor, though he reportedly refuses to say any of Picard's trademark lines during his other roles, though there are exceptions. Occasionally on American Dad!, but then that's one of the jokes of his character in that show. His appearance as himself in Extras, in keeping with the persona he played or this brief appearance with the Count on Sesame Street. He also likes to avoid typecasting by intentionally taking humorous and silly roles to contrast with his normally serious and stoic screen persona.
- Dodgy Toupee:
- He used to have an entire collection of them, in various styles, when he was a younger actor starting out and would try and use them as leverage when auditioning for parts (because he could easily change his look as required and he'd save the hair and makeup department time and money). He eventually got rid of them.
- When he was auditioning for the role of Picard, some executives were worried that his baldness would be a distraction to the audience. Roddenberry had him audition bald and again with the worst toupee they could get their hands on to drive home the point that the strength of Stewart's acting was what was important.
- Facepalm: The patron saint of this from his TNG days. Facepalm reaction images on the internet are more likely to be of Picard than anyone else.
- I Am Very British: He grew up speaking with a Yorkshire accent as well as the local dialect but always speaks publically with a smart RP accent. The Yorkshire accent is something he can revert to when needed: when bemused by cockney TV chat show host Jonathan Ross, for instance, or his George Formby impersonation in American Dad!.
- Ink-Suit Actor:
- Bullock, his American Dad! character, is designed to resemble Stewart. This is particularly noticeable in Family Guy gags involving Patrick Stewart, in which they use the exact same character model as Bullock's.
- A strange case with his role as Professor Xavier. When he was first handed an X-Men comic, his first question was, famously, 'what am I doing on a comic book?' Since then, pretty much every depiction of Xavier has been directly inspired by his take on the character, both in looks and character, especially in X-Men: Evolution, which ran alongside the film series. While he didn't voice Professor X in the series, the creators designed the character to look like him, having been inspired by his performance in the X-Men films. This continued in Wolverine and the X-Men and other animated media in which the character appears. It's even appeared, to an extent, in the comics.
- Large Ham: When he's having fun, Stewart can ham it up with the best of them. For a good example, see the MoneySupermarket ads in the UK. Another example is his appearance on The Daily Show "disguised" as John Oliver. Likewise, this story about him on set, as told by Michael Dorn.
- Narm Charm: He's renowned for being able to deliver any material he's given, no matter how ridiculous, with utter sincerity. The talent served him well during the dodgier episodes of TNG.
- Never Heard That One Before:
Impertinent, presumptuous. And so... "original".
- His annoyed reaction on Twitter to a cable company who tried to smooth over their bad service by assuring him their support teams were "fully engaged" and they would "make it so":
- He also doesn't find the phrase "To Baldly Go" particularly witty; he's quick to say the first person to make that joke was his then-teenaged daughter.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The only man who can pull off a French captain with pure Received Pronunciation and occasional Yorkshire inflections. For example: playing a French Maitre d'. Professor X, who is fully American in the comics, has been adapted to a half-Brit in the films note who had studied for several years at Oxford University to accommodate Stewart's accent.
- Not So Above It All: Patrick Stewart initially didn't appreciate how his cast mates would crack jokes and pull pranks on one another while on the set of TNG and even went so far as to call a cast meeting to address the issue, saying that he thought such behavior was unprofessional and disrespectful to the crew. The others showed him that they were serious about their jobs and convinced him that a bit of levity on set made working on a show like Star Trek much easier. When that happened, Stewart showed that he could keep up with the best of them in the jokes and pranks department.
- Older Than They Look: He initially looked much older due to his hair loss but doesn't seem to have aged a day since his time on Star Trek. He is in his seventies and looks to be in his mid-fifties at most. Must be all the Earl Grey tea. Funnily enough, he was initially offered the role of Data but thought his looks would change too much as he aged to make him believable as an unchanging android note .
- Patrick Stewart Speech: The Trope Namer, with good reason too. Who wouldn't want to listen to him? He's also been known to give his own such speeches out of character, for instance this speech in answer to a fan's question about his work for Domestic Abuse victims.
- Personal Arcade: Has his own Star Trek: The Next Generation pinball, as thanks for participating in its development. He's said he still plays it regularly.
- Pop-Culture Isolation: Doing Dune in 1983, he was pretty much completely ignorant of the day's popular music, including having never heard of Sting, only that he was a musician, and two weeks after Stewart's arrival, Mexico City became abuzz with excitement for Sting's arrival to shoot his scenes. Hanging out on set together on Sting's second or third day, Stewart asked Sting what he played, at first mistaking Sting's "playing a bass" (guitar) for a double bass, and was kindly corrected. When asked if he played solo, Sting stated that he played in a band, and on being asked what kind of band it was, provided the name, The Police. Relating all of this years later to an audience, an amused Stewart recalled then asking, "You play in a police band?"
- "Sesame Street" Cred: Has appeared on Sesame Street multiple times, including once when he got to stretch his classical legs by delivering a soliloquy titled "B or not a B."
- Shakespearian Actors
- In the aforementioned brief appearance on Sesame Street, he uses his classic order of "Make it so, Number One" to get the literal number 1 to get back in line.
- During his appearance on Extras, Gervais asks him to give his script to someone he knows, and he says he'll "make it so" (and then seems baffled that the man has never seen Star Trek: The Next Generation).
- Much to the bafflement of an American audience, one episode of American Dad! sees Director Bullock of the CIA, in his downtime in between interviews, pick up a ukelele and perform When I'm Cleaning Windows. Stewart even performs this in his native broad Yorkshire accent. Which must really bemuse Americans.
- Sophisticated as Hell:
As the narrator in Ted: No matter how big a splash you make in this world whether you're Corey Feldman, Frankie Muniz, Justin Bieber or a talking teddy bear, eventually, nobody gives a shit.
- He's a Shakespearean actor who admittedly loves cartoons (he was offered a multitude of roles in the Disney Renaissance projects made during TNGs' run and Jeffrey Katzenberg's Disney tenure, but he couldn't take any of these roles). In one David Letterman interview he said the two things he'd miss most if he went back to England would be valet parking and... Beavis And Butthead.
- In general, he has a habit of speaking eloquently and suddenly dropping a swearword.
- Springtime for Hitler: He's a real-life example. Stewart has openly admitted he only took the role of Picard after his agent assured him that a remake of Star Trek was doomed to fail and thus Stewart could take the money from this one season to live on. Stewart didn't even bother unpacking his bags for the first six weeks of filming as he was so positive it wouldn't last long. Little did he know he would be playing the part over the next fifteen years and be his most famous role.
- Took the Bad Film Seriously: Personifies this trope so completely that it's been called his greatest strengths as an actor. He can deliver bad dialogue with utter conviction; sometimes this allows him to elevate the material above what it could have been otherwise, but not always.