The day I met Sir Patrick Stewart

The day I met Sir Patrick Stewart

Oct 22

 

The talk that I had been looking forward to all weekend was that of Sir Patrick Stewart. Captain Picard has always been my favorite out of all the captains and just as an actor I have always enjoyed his work.

Earlier in the day I had been waiting for the time for my photo with this legend of Stage and screen. I know that I was not going to be given a lot of time to say anything since there were so many people wanting to have their photo with him. Finally the time arrived, with Marc and Adam we went over and joined the queue.  I was trying to be calm but like Kate Mulgrew I was screaming like a real geek inside.  I went forward, said hello of which he replied and before you know it I was collecting my picture. It looks quite nice (so Becky says). What an experience, we may have not said much but to be up close to such a wonderful actor and role model was amazing.

The amount of people wanting to see Sir Patrick talk was incredible. The queue almost went all around the Excel. Once we were finally in our seats the great man entered the hall to cheers, clapping and a well deserved standing ovation.  Sir Patrick began by telling us that he was so glad that a Star Trek convention was finally in England and that he hoped it was the first of many.

Next Sir Patrick spoke about his immense pride at the London Olympics and the small part he played in the torch relay. It was in Croydon and Sir Patrick wanted us all to know how much he appreciated all the crowds that came out to see him and the torch.

Sir Patrick was not feeling well and by all accounts had not been well all weekend. He did not want to let anyone down so he tried to keep the talking down and opened up the floor for questions.  He spoke about how when he was starting out that he found the actor Rod Steiger intimidating and that one day the actor had lost his rag with a first director who was going to leave Sir Patrick doing a scene with a hand reading Rods lines. Steiger then invited Sir Patrick to lunch.

Sir Patrick spoke about how he contacted Gregory Peck to seek advice in playing Ahab in Moby Dick. After a meeting he was surprised to see the screen legend watching Sir Patrick perform his first scenes which again he found quite unnerving. Something you would never imagine from this wonderful actor.

An interesting question was asked about how Shakespeare had prepared Sir Patrick for Star Trek. He recalled an interview during the launch of TNG where he was asked was he “slumming it” by doing Star Trek which the reply was quite firm and included that Shakespeare had been of great help for being the new captain of the Enterprise. Sir Patrick then went on to say that he found after Star Trek he had learnt new skills, techniques that allowed him to perform better in Shakespeare and other performances.

Sir Patrick spoke about that if a current film falls through he is hoping to either perform a reading or once again run his one man show of a Christmas Carol. He wants to do something to celebrate the anniversary of Dickens. Also that this would be his last time playing the role since he feels he does not have the stamina any more.

Another question included his role as Chancellor of Huddersfield University. Sir Patrick mentioned that he has now been there for eight years and retold the tale of when he was applying for a grant to go to drama school that he was  asked why they should give him the money. What would they get from this? His reply was that one day he would put something back into the community and this was his chance to do that. He was so proud of the university and its achievements.

A question was asked about when Sir Patrick won the role of Picard. He mentioned that Gene at first was not sure, that in the end no one was to mention Sir Patrick’s name but Robert Justman kept at Gene till he finally said yes. There was someone else who was in contention for the role of Picard and to this day Sir Patrick does not know who that is, he thought he did but was wrong. Can you help Sir Patrick out?

Also Sir Patrick spoke about his love of comedy and that his appearances on Extras and Family Guy, American Dad had been wonderful experiences. Now he found making people laugh just as, if not more rewarding than making them weep.

The whole talk was amazing. Considering that he was not feeling well he was able to answer every question posed with a story that captivated us and wanting more. He left us with the statement that when this is done again he wants the whole Next Generation crew to be in London with him. The hall erupted with cheers and I for one can only say to that…make it so… (Sorry had to do it)

From a personal point of view I was completely mesmerised by Sir Patrick, here was my hero / role model not too far away from me. I hung on every word he said, and just couldn’t take away the smile from my face knowing that a dream had come true and that I had finally met Captain Jean Luc Picard…

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Michael Clark

Star Trek Fan & family member of @trekmate1701. Official Blogger for Star Trek London. Doctor Who, Warehouse 13, Firefly fan. Also enjoy anything written by Arron Sorkin like The West Wing & The Newsroom. Politics is important to all. Big Spurs fan…

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2 comments

  1. avatar

    I met the man in June of this year, not ashamed to admit I got a little choked up.
    Meeting him was a bigger deal than when I met Stan “The Man” Lee earlier that day.

    • avatar
      Michael

      I couldn’t agree more. I choked some a few times listening to him and the same thing happened with Kate Mulgrew. The power these people have is amazing.

      Mike

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