Patrick Stewart Recalls How Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry’s Didn’t Like Him

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Patrick Stewart is probably one of the most beloved actors in the Star Trek franchise, and his Captain Jean-Luc Picard has become an icon in pop culture. You know who didn't like him though? Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, the Next Generation star shared how Roddenberry was reluctant to cast him would even give him dirty looks when he visited the set. Stewart shares:

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"It was very odd with Gene because I was dragged in to audition for him in his living room the morning after I'd been seen doing something at UCLA. My meeting lasted about six minutes, and then it was perfectly clear I was not wanted in that room any time longer. It was Gene who said, ‘What the hell? I don't want a bald, middle-aged Englishman.'"

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Credit: Star Trek, TNG

It was said that producer Robert H. Justman was the one who campaigned to get Stewart cast in the part, and as you can see, it delivered as Picard is considered one of the best captains to ever come out of the Trek franchise. Stewart continues his story:

"There was a faction who was very enthusiastic, but Gene used to come on the set once a week — maybe twice, it depends on who the cast were (Laughter) — and I would catch him looking at me with an expression on his face which said, ‘What the fuck is this guy doing in my show?' It was clear he couldn't understand why I was there. Somewhere in the cellar of Paramount Pictures, there's a Post-it note which says, ‘I do not want to hear Patrick Stewart's name mentioned again ever!' signed Gene Roddenberry."

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Though Roddenberry didn't seem to like Stewart when he was cast, Stewart had said that he felt that Roddenberry ‘was ultimately kind of satisfied with how it turned out.' I mean, how could he not? TNG was a great success, and it helped bring a whole new generation of fans into the world of Trek.

For now, you can catch Stewart in Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access.

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