Patrick Stewart Admits He Was 'a Severe Bastard' in Early Star Trek: TNG Days
3rd October 2023

"I didn't enjoy being laughed at. I stormed off the set and into my trailer, slamming the door," the classically trained actor admits in his new book

Patrick Stewart is recalling his tough beginnings on the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In his new book, Making it So: A Memoir, the actor recalled the difference in acting styles and on-set behavior between him and his co-stars such as Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, and Denise Crosby, per The Hollywood Reporter. 

His co-stars would irritate Stewart when they would use improv or tease the actor, and one time it was enough to get him to storm off.

“I could be a severe bastard,” said Stewart.

“My experiences at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre had been intense and serious,” he recalls 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 noted that now, “me included,” everyone thinks that the story is quite humorous, but at the time he was not so impressed.

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“But in the moment, when the cast erupted in hysterics at my pompous declaration, I didn’t handle it well,” continued Stewart.

“I didn’t enjoy being laughed at. I stormed off the set and into my trailer, slamming the door,” he revealed.

Stewart revealed that Frakes and Spiner came to console him, where they said that he “misjudged” the situation and that “people respect you.”

“He and Jonathan acknowledged that yes, there was too much goofing around and that it needed to be dialed back. But they also made it clear how off-putting it was — and not a case study in good leadership — for me to try to resolve the matter by lecturing and scolding the cast,” wrote Stewart.

“I had failed to read the room, imposing RSC behavior on people accustomed to the ways of episodic television — which was, after all, what we were shooting.”

Stewart starred as Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation from 1987 to 1994, and reprised the role again in 2020 for Star Trek: Picard.

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