Pumped to return for a very different Star Trek
In many interviews, Stewart has talked about his initial reluctance to return to the role, but as production nears (in mid-April), the actor is expressing more and more enthusiasm. In an interview with the Empire Podcast Stewart took this to a new level, saying:
I don’t think anything has excited me as much as the prospect of this new Star Trek series is going to do. One of the reasons is for the first time ever I have a co-executive producer role and I am working with brilliant people. Akiva Goldsman – who has an Oscar for writing A Beautiful Mind, and Michael Chabon – who got a Pulitzer Prize. I am so turned on about going back to the character, but it is twenty years in the future. So, it is a very different world that we are going to encounter.
Patrick Stewart in a publicity photo for Star Trek Nemesis, his last time playing Picard
Listen to the podcast below (Stewart interview starts at 60-minute mark):
Picard show is made for binging, STLV surprise announcement was Stewart’s idea
Earlier this month we reported on comments Stewart made to Yahoo about how the first season is being mapped out as a single 10-episode story, along with some other comments. Yahoo has now posted their entire unedited interview with Stewart (which you can watch below), which adds some more context on that quote and more. Regarding plans for the show’s story and future, Stewart said:
We are hoping for more than one season. And with this first [season] – and this is one of the things that is so interesting about the writers’ room – they are writing a ten-hour movie. So, in The Next Generation it was a story, a different story, a different story – all with the same characters, as many series are. But this time it is one story, from beginning to end. I hope that will lead people to binge-watching, because the idea of it being an unfolding narrative is really terrific.
The extended Yahoo interview also reveals the backstory behind the surprise announcement of the Picard series at Star Trek Las Vegas in August of 2018. According to Stewart, announcing at STLV was his idea with the studio initially looking to announce at another event (likely the San Diego Comic-Con Discovery panel and post-panel press conference in July 2018). Here is how Stewart recalls it:
[I] went back to them and said “Look, I have done a lot of Star Trek conventions over the years. I do very, very few appearances now. Here is what I think, coming up is the [Star Trek] Las Vegas [Convention]. Why don’t I just show up?” … Nobody was expecting me to be there. Alex Kurtzman – who is senior executive producer – he went out and said “Well, I would like to talk to you about Discovery and I know there have been rumors about other things, you know what, why don’t I bring somebody out who knows what is going on.” He didn’t announce my name, I just walked on to the stage and of course there was a lot of enthusiasm. I talked very, very little about what we had in mind, but at the end of my little five-minute speech, I said “The one thing I have to tell you is the captain is back.” And the response was incredible and far better than any press conference could have been. That excited me too, there is still enthusiasm.
Alex Kurtzman announcing Picard series with Patrick Stewart at Star Trek Las Vegas 2018
The extended video (which you can watch below) also includes Stewart talking about filming Star Trek: Generations with William Shatner, noting how the actors didn’t realize at first what a big deal it was until “I got this feeling from the crew, that this is a cinema moment. These two characters are coming face-to-face for the first time.” Stewart also noted he will “always be grateful” to Shatner for recommending wearing long johns for shooting days on horseback, to avoid chaffing.
Watch the full video interview: