Patrick Stewart of Picard on his Starfleet character – Deadline

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After more than three decades embodying Starfleet’s legendary Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: Picard star Sir Patrick Stewart says he’s finally learned to blend more of himself into his beloved character.

“My approach to my work has undergone significant changes in recent years,” Stewart explained during Deadline’s Contenders Television panel for the series. “And it’s changed and evolved because I’ve come to trust Patrick Stewart more than I used to and find that my instincts, my impulses, my feelings and emotions are authentic.”

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The veteran actor said that after decades of resistance, he now accepts that “Jean-Luc Picard is Patrick Stewart, and I him. There is no longer a divorce. I was constantly using my life as we shot seasons two and three of Picard, and I’m no longer afraid to do what I would have been at some point in my career. But not anymore. I feel like I have something to say, and I can only say that through the performances I give.”

As for his approach to his role, Stewart said the first seeds of possibility were planted when executive producer Alex Kurtzman, the leading figure of the current Star Trek television franchise, first suggested that Picard’s evolution might mirror Stewart’s.

He said, ‘It’s been over 30 years since you were last Jean-Luc Picard,’ Stewart revealed. “Well,” he said, “maybe that happened to Jean-Luc too…” I was overtaken by that. How can I, how can I convince myself that 25-30 years have passed, and that this is not the same Jean- Luc is the one we have all come to know and some of us love.”

Stewart also discussed taking a more practical behind-the-scenes role than he had previously done with his prior Star Trek: The Next Generation series and movies. “I was involved up to this point,” he said. “I had an executive co-producer title to my name for the first time, and I was consulted. People were very, very generous and we talked about everything.”

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Ultimately, the actor helped chart an unexpected course for the role that would inform three seasons of the Paramount+ streaming series, which would challenge both the character and himself. “Picard had to face a reality about his childhood, his family life and his parents that he had never seen before. Why? Because he was scared, and a scared Jean-Luc is a pretty rare creature, but to let that undercurrent of unexpected emotion run through season 2 and of course come to a climax in season 3 was very satisfying.

Stewart also revealed that during the shooting of Season 3, he had already shared scenes with his old one immediately after Season 2. TNG cast mates, who were recently revealed to be joining him in the upcoming final season.

“I’m with Gates” [McFadden] and Marina [Sirtis] and Jonathan [Frakes] and Brent [Spiner] and LeVar [Burton] and Michael [Dorn], and those days were great,” he reported. “I think it’s hard for the directors because we’re acting so crazy! And it always was – I mean, you probably heard that famous thing I said on our first season when someone said, ‘Patrick, we need to have fun’, ’cause I complained about the disruptions and the noise, and I said : ‘We’re not here to have fun!’”

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