“Everything’s okay. People respect you”: Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner Had to Personally Intervene after Patrick Stewart’s Wild Hissy Fit on Star Trek Set

Sir Patrick Stewart and the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation started off on the wrong foot.

patrick stewart in star trek, jonathan frakes, brent spiner

SUMMARY

  • Sir Patrick Stewart is a veteran actor known for portraying the role of Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek franchise for several decades.
  • With his new memoir, the actor talked about the time when they were shooting the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Patrick Stewart revealed that he had an important lesson to learn when he walked out of the conference room after getting humiliated!
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Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, and, Brent Spiner worked alongside in the iconic 1987 series Star Trek: The Next Generation. With Stewart reprising his role of Jean-Luc Picard, and Spiner and Frakes portraying William T. Raker and Data/Lore respectively, the trio had their fair share of good time on the sets.

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Stewart as Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation
Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation | Paramount Domestic Television

However, it wasn’t always a good time for the cast. While shooting the first season of the 1987 show, Sir Patrick Stewart apparently walked off the set because he was laughed at! Sharing the story in his memoir, Stewart revealed that all was in good nature and that he too had a lesson to learn from it.

When Sir Patrick Stewart Became Furious

Back in 1987, the X-Men actor had made himself famous by portraying the role of Captain Picard in the Star Trek franchise. With the inception of The Next Generation, the actor got into his serious role and wanted to give the series his utmost dedication.

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Patrick Stewart in a still from Star Trek: Picard | Paramount
Patrick Stewart in a still from Star Trek: Picard | Paramount

Things took a turn for the worse, however, when Patrick Stewart’s co-stars started goofing around on the sets of the series. From multiple retakes to ad-libbing the script to make it more funny, Stewart did not like the unseriousness of the people at all.

Since the actor was a part of the Royal Shakespearean Company, he hadn’t seen this much goofing around on set. While writing in his memoir titled Making It So: A Memoir (via The Hollywood Reporter), the actor talked about how he got a little angry at his castmates.

My castmates doubled over in laughter when they flubbed multiple takes and, in rehearsals, they sometimes ad-libbed things that weren’t in the script to make their lines funnier

He further continued,

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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.’

Expecting that the people would understand the intensity of the situation, Sir Patrick Stewart was both surprised and humiliated when the cast started laughing! Not taking his words seriously, Stewart himself writes that he didn’t handle the embarrassment well.

As the excerpt continued, the Macbeth actor further wrote about how he felt that he had lost the respect of his cast mates. With no one taking him seriously, Sir Patrick Stewart had no choice but to storm off from the meeting and slam his trailer door.

Sir Patrick Stewart Stormed Off And Slammed His Trailer Door

Although the humiliating feeling of getting laughed at was too overbearing for the actor at that moment, Patrick Stewart is chill with it now. In his memoir, the actor mentioned that even though it was not a good day for him, he and the rest of the cast still laugh about it to this day.

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Jonathan Frakes
Jonathan Frakes in a still from Star Trek: The Next Generation | Paramount Domestic Television

Facing some disrespect from his castmates, the Logan actor left the conference room in a sulking mood, went to his trailer, and slammed the door in anger.

In retrospect, everyone, me included, finds this story hilarious. But, in the moment, when the cast erupted in hysterics at my pompous declaration, I didn’t handle it well. I didn’t enjoy being laughed at. I stormed off the set and into my trailer, slamming the door.

The actor further wrote that it was at this moment when Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner knocked on his door to talk to him.

[Brent Spiner said to me] Everything’s okay. People respect you, but I think you misjudged the situation here. 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.

After a while, Patrick Stewart got a hang of things about how different people act alongside their iconic skills. Over the course of the series, the actor acknowledged that the cast should be allowed to goof around and he even joined in the fun later on!

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Star Trek: The Next Generation ran for 7 seasons with the finale released in 1994. The iconic television series received a rating of 8.7/10 on IMDB and a whopping 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The series is available to stream on Paramount+ in the U.S.

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Written by Visarg Acharya

Articles Published: 2242

Visarg Acharya, Associate Content Writer, has been heavily involved in movies, series, and history. Having an experience of 2 years in the field of content writing, Visarg is a seasoned writer. Having a degree in Physics, Visarg Acharya has published a dissertation alongside a plethora of poems and short stories along the way.