Stewart Says Fans 'Treated Unfairly'By Caillan
June 10, 2002 - 3:08 PM
Having been to his fair share of Star Trek conventions over the years, Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) says the stereotyping of fans is unwarranted.
"I think they're treated unfairly," Stewart told Metro Cafe. "The attitude of the media in general is based on a tiny, extreme proportion of the fan base; the ones who will shave all their hair off in order to look like Captain Picard. The bulk of the fan base comprises a cross-section."
When he was first thrust onto the convention stage, Stewart admitted he didn't know what to expect. "I went to my first at the end of our opening season and was utterly unprepared for the pressure and the intensity," he said. "I wasn't very keen but I was persuaded and went to one in Denver. When I arrived backstage I could hear the sound of an audience and asked how many people were out there. I had expected about 400 but, in fact, there were 3,500 in what was the equivalent of an aircraft hangar. I got a small hint of what it must have been like for The Beatles at The Shea Stadium - pandemonium. [...] Over the next six years, I did four to six a year and got used to it. It was a means of getting back in front of a live audience."
The actor has encountered Trek fans from all walks of life. "It's very nice, we have a big following in the police force, which is sometimes useful," Stewart said. "We have some real stars as fans: Frank Sinatra was an obsessive Star Trek watcher, Bob Dylan is and so is Tom Hanks. The first time I met Tom, all he wanted to talk about was the series. There are small libraries of books written about The Next Generation and two books written about my character. There's even one on my character's business technique."
To read the full interview, in which Stewart also talks about Trek costumes and his many years as Picard, head over to Metro Cafe. Thanks to Ajmal Mohammed for this!