Patrick Stewart has had a distinguished stage and film career as one of the UK's finest actors. It is for the roles of Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek and Charles Xavier from the X-Men series that he is most well known for. In a talk with Henry Cavill during Variety's actor-on-actor interviews, Stewart revealed how playing the two iconic men has shaped his life.
"I felt with both of them that they do have an impact, like you have described, on my private life. In that there was a sort of standard of morality and behavior that you needed to uphold because if you didn't they would reflect badly, negatively, on the character that you were playing."
As both Picard and Xavier, Patrick Steward played the role of a leader of men, someone who the other characters looked up for direction during troubling times. It makes sense that some of the moral authority that the actor portrayed for decades through the two characters would inevitably seep into his personal life and prompt him to become a better man.
Interestingly, after playing the two characters as faultless, upstanding men for years, Stewart reprised the roles as older versions of the same characters, in Star Trek: Picard, and Logan, which reveal that the passing of time has turned the men into much more cynical and broken-down versions of the heroic figures they once were. For Stewart, it was the direction taken by director James Mangold for his character in Logan that prompted him to try something similar for Picard.
"During the seven years that we filmed "Next Generation" and the four feature films that followed it, without intending to, Picard came closer and closer and closer to me, to Patrick. After a while, there was no place that I could identify where Jean-Luc left off and Patrick Stewart began."
"What I did want - to the writers, I cited the movie Logan that I did with Hugh Jackman, the last of the X-Men movies. That movie found the two of us in conditions that were totally unlike anything that we experienced before, and it was thrilling for both of us, because we were continually being challenged. I said to my fellow producers, "I would like the same thing." The contrast between the Picard that I had been in "Next Generation," and how the years that have passed had changed him. He was now angry, moody, guilty, sad, lonely, which he had never been before."
So it seems that after years of the characters affecting Stewart's personal growth as a human, the journey came full circle years later when the actor injected his own thoughts and attitudes into playing the older versions of the two men. And if anyone has earned the right to deconstruct two iconic characters in such a dramatic fashion, surely it is the man who brought them to life in front of audiences in the first place. YThis news comes courtesy of Variety.