Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard
On Friday 16th March went to see someone who in a way has been in my life 30 years.
From 1988 and the debut of Star Trek: The Next Generation up until the talk Patrick Stewart has been and still is one of my favourite actors.
He is mainly know for being Captain Jean Luc Picard on the above mentioned show and as Professor Xavier in the X Men franchise as well as playing the role in last year's excellent Logan film.
Patrick has worked for many years in theatre and for the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company). Plus he is still seen on TV and does voice overs for many things including Money Supermarket, Family Guy and American Dad.
Hosted by Nick Ahad the event saw Huddersfields most famous son come home to talk about his life and answer questions for the Huddersfield Literature Festival.
Sadly we were only allowed to take photos for the first five minutes and banned from recording it which is a shame as I was going to put some video recordings on here.
Patrick came across as an intelligent, witty and humble man.
From the night we learned the following:
- He grew up in a not so great home in Mirfield whereby his Father liked his drink on a weekend.
- He cheated his way into getting a grant for Drama school and if he hadn't have got it he wouldn't have been on stage or acting.
- Dreamt of being in the RSC whilst he took on other smaller theatre roles. He eventually achieved his dream.
- His first television role was on Coronation Street as a fireman. Patrick read out the script he was given years ago.
- When Patrick auditioned for his role as Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek:The Next Generation he had to fly his wig from England to Paramount studios in Hollywood. In Paramounts vaults there is an audition of him with wig. It was later shown in a flashback.
- His agent in the USA only had a few days to notify Patrick he had the part and to have him accept it but couldn't find him and looked all round L.A. for him. Found him just in time as there were no mobiles in those days.
- Sir Patrick signed on for Star Trek only thinking it would be a Pilot or at least one season as he wanted to act in theatre but it lasted seven seasons plus the films.
- As his character Captain Picard is French (even though he has an English accent) the studio recorded a version of the opening speech "Space the final frontier", with Patrick doing a French accent which he did for us on the night - very funny. Again this is in Paramounts vaults.
- His favourite episode of ST:TNG is "Inner Light" the one where Picard lived an entire different life on a planet and had kids ECT. Patrick said writers should be encouraged as this was an Unsolicited script sent in from an unknown writer who ended up on the writing team.
- When he went on the show "Who do you think you are?" He was reluctant at first but hoped to find a Viking ancestor.
- He found out more about his Father and his hardship in the second world war which led to his father having post war stress.
- Patrick fosters dogs and does charity work.
Overall a very entertaining night with Britain's most talented and well known actor.