Career Q&A with Patrick Stewart. Moderated by Joe Neumaier, WQR
Patrick Stewart is one of the most acclaimed performers working today. His career includes numerous and varied roles on both stage and screen.
Stewart will next be seen on TV in the second season of Blunt Talk, a half-hour comedy executive produced by Seth MacFarlane and Jonathan Ames, in which he plays ‘Walter Blunt,’ a British import intent on conquering the world of American cable news. His performance in season one earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy.” Season two will premiere on Starz later this year.
On the big screen, Stewart was most recently seen in the thriller Green Room, directed by Jeremy Saulnier, in which he plays the leader of a Neo-Nazi group that imprisons a young punk band. The film played the Director’s Fortnight at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews. Stewart also recently wrapped production on Damian Harris’ Wilde Wedding, starring opposite Glenn Close and John Malkovich.
Stewart will return to the London stage in fall 2016, reuniting with Sir Ian McKellen in Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land,” which they’ve previously performed at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California and on Broadway in Fall 2013. This was part of their “Two Plays in Rep,” which also included a reprisal of their production of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” that led to critical acclaim on London’s West End in 2009. Directed by Sean Matthias, the “Two Plays in Rep” on Broadway earned stellar reviews and two extensions due to popular demand.
In 2014, Stewart starred in two very different roles—first as a past-his-prime dance instructor in Stephen Belber’s Match, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and earned stellar reviews for Patrick’s performance. He also reprised his role as ‘Professor Charles Xavier’ in the huge summer blockbuster, X-Men: Days of Future Past. Stewart created the role in the first installment of the franchise in 2000 and is the only actor to have played the role in almost all of the subsequent installments. This film joined the original cast, including Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry, with the new cast, including James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.
Perhaps best known as ‘Captain Jean-Luc Picard’ on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stewart has enjoyed a successful film and television career, earning Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG Award nominations. Screen appearances include King of Texas, Jeffrey, Dune, Excalibur, L.A. Story, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Conspiracy Theory, Extras (for which he earned an Emmy nomination), The Lion in Winter, I, Claudius, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. His vocal talents have been heard on The Simpsons, American Dad and Family Guy, and as narrator of Seth MacFarlane’s hit comedies, Ted and Ted 2.
On Broadway and West End stages, Patrick has also appeared in “A Life in the Theatre,” “The Master Builder,” “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” and “The Tempest.” For his acclaimed solo production of “A Christmas Carol,” Stewart played over 40 characters, garnering an Olivier, Drama Desk and What’s on Stage Award. For his performance in the title role of Macbeth, which he played at Chichester, London, BAM and then on Broadway, he earned a Tony Award nomination and won the Best Actor Award in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
Stewart is an Honorary Associate Artist with the RSC, having appeared in over 60 productions including, most recently, a 2008 production of Hamlet, opposite David Tennant, which earned him an Olivier Award, and 2005 repertory productions of Antony and Cleopatra and The Tempest. In 1978, he won an Olivier Award for his performance in Peter Brook's production of Antony and Cleopatra and was nominated for his role in The Merchant of Venice. He also appeared in the now legendary Peter Brook production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Additional recent credits include Edward Bond's Bingo at the Young Vic and Chichester Festival Theatre; and as Shylock in a 2011 RSC production of The Merchant of Venice, directed by Rupert Goold.
In the 2001 New Years’ Honours list, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth conferred on Patrick the order of the Officer of the British Empire (O.B.E.) and in 2010 Patrick received a knighthood for his services to Drama.