The prestigious English thespian Patrick Stewart is better known as Star Trek’s Jean-Luc Picard or perhaps X-Men’s Professor X, despite his career roots in traditional Shakespeare theatre. Toying with a variety of roles throughout his career, giving great frenetic gusto behind every one of his performances, the gruffled tones of Stewart have become ubiquitous with British acting, bringing a sense of homely reassurance to any role he chooses to play.
An actor of stage and screen who has been nominated for Olivier, Tony, Golden Globe, Emmy awards, Stewart’s career began in 1971 in his theatre debut of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with the star having since appeared in over 60 productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Gaining great success, subsequent roles for Stewart would follow, including major screen appearances in Fall of Eagles, I, Claudius and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy throughout the 1970s that would take the actor to new heights of popularity.
More recently, Stewart has played a handful of curious roles, with his appearance in Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room proving to be one of his most memorable performances. Playing a neo-nazi holding a punk band hostage after they witnessed a murder from within his own venue, Stewart delivers a terrifying performance that shows off a calm, measured and professional killer with an apathetic view of extreme violence.
Bridging the gap between commercial and independent cinema, Stewart has become a figure of great adoration in the industry thanks to his charming, charismatic demeanour.
Frequently interviewed by eager publications around the world, in 2017 BAFTA sat down with the actor to discuss the legacy of his career and seek his opinion on several pieces of modern media. One of the many questions that Stewart was asked in this interview was what the first film he ever saw in the cinema was, to which he replied: “I believe, because it was a long time ago, that it was a movie called The Monkey’s Paw”.
Continuing, he adds, “I should not have seen it because it was a horror movie and I think I must have been taken by my mother who was a very brave individual to take me to something like this and it scared the wits out of me and I spent most of the movie with my head in my hands”.
Asking his opinion on his favourite TV show of all time, Stewart delivers another peculiar answer, stating, “This may surprise you but it’s quite a recent television series – a few years ago. It only did three seasons and it was called Deadwood”.
Released on HBO in 2004, the show, set in the late 1800s, revolves around several characters living in Deadwood, South Dakota, a small town troubled by deep corruption and crime. Starring such names as Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker and John Hawkes, the show only ran for three seasons, despite being celebrated by audiences and critics alike.