Captain Jean-Luc Picard remains one of Sir Patrick Stewart’s most iconic roles in the Star Trek franchise. Playing Captain Picard was the actor’s first time appearing on a regular TV show and he was naturally appalled and eager to make it work. However, despite all his preparation and determination, Stewart had to face his insecurities when he came across a young Star Trek actor, as he revealed in his new memoir.
And no it wasn’t the British hunk Tom Hardy, whom he called odd and solitary, but the actor Wil Wheaton, who made the X-Men star afraid and insecure.
Patrick Stewart Grew Uneasy Working With Wil Wheaton
When Sir Patrick Stewart got cast as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, he was already an established star and a fellow of the Royal Shakespeare Company. So starring in a regular television series, which was already being hailed by critics as a failure before its release, there were many jolts of nerves and discomfort. However, Stewart albeit anxious, desperately wanted to do whatever it took for the series to work.
Struggling internally, off he went with full preparation and a confident front. So serious was his approach that he even found his co-star’s little adlibs and jokes offending. However, his confident masquerade was soon put to test when he came across the young Star Trek star, Wil Wheaton. In his new book, Making It So: A Memoir, he writes (via The Hollywood Reporter),
“I felt that the teen-on-the-Enterprise concept was a little gimmicky, but I was also put off by Wil’s adolescent self-assurance. To me, he initially came off as cocky. But as I examined my feelings, I realized that they were not really about Wil or some notion that he should know his place as a juvenile actor — they reflected my own vulnerability. In those first weeks, I wished I had Wil’s confidence.”
Soon enough, he got accustomed to the work and even began enjoying himself, finally shedding all the dread and nerves that haunted him during the initial days of the shoot.
Patrick Stewart Didn’t Think Tom Hardy Would Make It In The Industry
Another young actor that Sir Patrick Stewart wrote about in his memoir is Tom Hardy, who played the villain in the movie Star Trek: Nemesis. However, his experience on set wasn’t pleasant, and nor did he think Hardy would be able to make it in the film industry. In his memoir, he states (via Insider),
“The actor who portrayed the movie’s villain, Shinzon, was an odd, solitary young man from London. His name was Tom Hardy. Tom wouldn’t engage with any of us on a social level.”
While Hardy wasn’t hostile or bothersome, Stewart felt it was his lack of social skills that would lead to his failure.
“On the evening Tom wrapped his role, he characteristically left without ceremony or niceties… I said quietly to Brent and Jonathan, ‘And there goes someone I think we shall never hear of again.’ It gives me nothing but pleasure that Tom has proven me so wrong.”
While Hardy hasn’t made any comments on this revelation yet, it is worth noting that the actor suffered from severe drug addiction and substance abuse during his early adulthood, which might be the reason for his lack of socialization.
The Star Trek franchise can be streamed on Paramount+.