Patrick Stewart Recalls Storming Off the ‘Star Trek’ Set, Tension With Costars: ‘I Could Be a Severe Bastard’

“On the ‘TNG’ set, I grew angry with the conduct of my peers,” the actor recalls in his new autobiography

Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart speaks during Q&A at the IMAX "Picard" screening (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

Though Patrick Stewart is now perhaps best known for his role in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” there was a point in time when he “stormed off” set due to his castmates being what he deemed as unprofessional.

Stewart narrates the incident in his upcoming autobiography, “Making It So: A Memoir.” The way he tells it, when he first was on the set of “The Next Generation,” he faced a clash of acting styles. While the classically trained actor took his first major paid acting role incredibly seriously, costars like Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner and Denise Crosby didn’t share his approach. Because of this, when they teased him or improvised a line, it would anger Stewart.

In the book, Stewart notes, “I could be a severe bastard.”

“My experiences at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre had been intense and serious,” Stewart writes in his book. “On the ‘TNG’ set, I grew angry with the conduct of my peers, and that’s when I called that meeting in which I lectured the cast for goofing off and responded to Denise Crosby’s, ‘We’ve got to have some fun sometimes, Patrick’ comment by saying, ‘We are not here, Denise, to have fun.’”

Stewart went on to note that now everyone, “me included,” thinks this story is funny.

“But in the moment, when the cast erupted in hysterics at my pompous declaration, I didn’t handle it well. I didn’t enjoy being laughed at. I stormed off the set and into my trailer, slamming the door,” Stewart writes.

Eventually, Stewart came to embrace his new cast and set his ego aside, embodying the iconic role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Thanks to the series’ seven seasons, Captain Picard emerged as one of the most beloved characters in this storied sci-fi franchise.

“Making It So: A Memoir” was released Tuesday.

The Hollywood Reporter was the first to publish this excerpt.


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