Stewart, Fletcher Screen Films in Sarasota

By Michelle
January 26, 2004 - 2:31 AM

Jean-Luc Picard and Kai Winn both get makeovers at the Sarasota Film Festival this week, where Patrick Stewart and Louise Fletcher will attend screenings and events in connection to their new films The Lion In Winter and Finding Home respectively.

Speaking to The Herald Tribune, Stewart spoke of his role models for playing King Henry II, while Fletcher discussed women's choices in her latest film and in her own life with The Bradenton Herald.

"Over the years, I've played many authority figures," Stewart said. "My father was a superstar in the British military...from him I inherited a lot of the sheer fun and pleasure of being top dog."

He added that he has "always been fascinated by playing people in power and getting underneath the strength and confidence of an authoritative person."

The Lion in Winter, a remake of the acclaimed movie that starred Peter O'Toole in the role Stewart plays, will be aired on Showtime in May. The film also features Glenn Close as Eleanor of Aquitaine, a role for which Katharine Hepburn won an Academy Award.

"To have an actress of such talent, stature, intellect to play opposite made every thrilling when the two of us were working together," Stewart said of Close, adding that he is considering taking the drama to the stage.

His historical film Lady Jane, as well as blockbuster X2: X-Men United, will also be screened at the Sarasota festival.

Stewart said that the studio described the end of his association with Star Trek as "franchise fatigue," saying, "I was ready to hang up my space suit."

Fletcher, who played conniving, corrupt religious leader Kai Winn on Deep Space Nine, first became famous as an even more terrifying woman, Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, for which she won an Academy Award.

Finding Home, notes the Herald, tells the story of a young woman who "struggles to reclaim her life when she inherits her grandmother's inn on a remote Maine island." Fletcher plays the deceased grandmother in flashbacks.

"Sometimes when women make choices, they don't always see it as a choice," Fletcher said, comparing her life to those of the women in the film. "In 1960, I got pregnant and had my son and, shortly after, got pregnant again. I made the choice to stop working at the time, but didn't see it as a choice. I felt compelled to stay home."

In addition to her stint on Star Trek, Fletcher appeared in many science fiction films, including Brainstorm, Exorcist II: The Heretic and Invaders From Mars.

Information on the Sarasota Film Festival may be found here. The Herald Tribune article on Stewart is here, while Fletcher's interview with the Herald is here.

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