Stewart: I Almost Didn't Play PicardBy Lisa
November 11, 2002 - 12:59 AM
Patrick Stewart recently explained his initial opposition to the role of the Next Generation's Jean Luc Picard.
"I did reject the offer at first because I didn't had the intension to connect myself to a drama series for such a long time because I had too many other things to do," Stewart said at a recent press conference in Germany, via Trekzone.de.
"As it made the round that I had rejected the offer, they tried to convince me by saying that The Next Generation wouldn't have had a chance to be successful at all," he continued. "They would guarantee us one year but after that it would be very unlikely that the series would be continued. Maybe a second year because something like the revival of such a famous TV show like Star Trek hadn't happened before. So I was told, I could sign the contract with a good conscience because there just wasn't an opportunity that the show would run seven years.
"If I would had know, that I would stand on the bridge of the Enterprise for seven years, I would have indeed never accepted the role. I'm glad now, that I didn't know it because it would have been the wrong decision to reject the role. It turned out that it changed my career and also my life," he said.
But the actor expressed his gratude that the show is still well recieved after a period of years. "It is an especially rewarding event to see that even after 15 years the DVD sets are so successful. This shows that the enthusiasm for the show is still big after such a long time," he said. "That should be considered as a compliment [to] Gene Roddenberry who created the Star Trek universe and had a continuous influence on television and science-fiction-entertainment. I'm very proud to be one of the five Captains."
"Jean Luc Picard played a really important role in my life and the meaningfulness of that character for me can't be denied like his meaningfulness to many people around the world can't be denied either," said the actor.
"I'm glad that I have the opportunity to say thinks through the Captain that are important for me and our society. Especially during the last years of the show my personal preferences like my love for Shakespeare or the support of democratic organizations of the world have been expressed through Jean-Luc Picard, and I'm very thankful for that."
To read the complete interview with the actor - in German - follow this link to Trekzone.de's 'Incoming Message.'