“The argument… is a resistance to creativity”: Even Patrick Stewart Couldn’t Escape Cancel Culture That Wanted to Skewer Him for Playing Professor X

As the industry starts doubling down on authentic casting and inclusivity, Patrick Stewart does not want actors to be denied creativity and experimentation.

patrick stewart as professor x

SUMMARY

  • Patrick Stewart has played Professor X in the X-Men films for more than 20 years.
  • Amidst the discourse of inclusivity and authentic casting, some people have criticized his casting in a differently-abled role.
  • Stewart understands the concerns of people wanting authentic casting but does not want people to be denied roles due to that.
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Patrick Stewart has played an umpteen number of iconic characters in his long career. The actor is as versatile as one can be and is unafraid to take on roles that one might not necessarily see him in. His most popular role is undoubtedly his long run as Professor X in the Marvel Universe. The actor has played the character since the 2000s and most recently in 2022’s Doctor Strange 2.

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Patrick Stewart as Professor X in X-Men | 20th Century Fox
Patrick Stewart as Professor X in X-Men | 20th Century Fox

In current times, inclusivity and representation have become a very important necessity in any workplace or industry. Charles Xavier famously moves with the help of a wheelchair as he is paralyzed below his waist. With the question of whether a new Professor X should be played by a differently abled person, Stewart feels that putting that kind of specificity restricts creativity.

Patrick Stewart’s Professor X Casting Is Controversial for Some But He Laments Restrictions

Patrick Stewart has played the character in multiple X-Men films including X-Men : the Last stand | 20th Century fox
Patrick Stewart has played the character multiple times including in X-Men: The Last Stand | 20th Century Fox

Patrick Stewart has played Professor X in the X-Men films for more than 20 years and people have loved his portrayal of his character. Over the years, the actor has brought out different shades of the character and his complexities to the screen. No one questioned the ability of the actor to portray the role perfectly.

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The world has changed significantly from the 2000s and the idea of authenticity, and inclusivity have become a big part of the industry. Under-represented or under-looked sections of people are now finding their place and are showing their impeccable talent in front of and behind the screen.

Many have also put into question the roles that one is ‘accepted’ to play or should play on screen. People are now very strict on LGBTQ+ and differently-abled characters being played by actors who belong to those communities or are differently-abled in real life. This has caused some to criticize past casting decisions including Stewart as Professor X. Charles Xavier moves in a wheelchair and Stewart does not.

This has created a discourse that the next Professor X must be played by a differently-abled man. Stewart addressed the discourse by stating that putting such specificity will cause resistance to creativity. While he understands the point of view of the said discourse, he feels that one must not be denied to play a range of characters just because it’s not ‘appropriate’ for one to do so. Stewart told The Guardian,

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I think the argument, while coming from a very good place, is a resistance to creativity in the work that we do. I respect and understand the feelings but I think we would be denying people experiences and performances by saying, ‘No, no, no, it’s not appropriate you should do that.’

Stewart is vying for actors to get creative freedom in the roles they get to play, although some stories are better reflected by people who have lived those experiences being told. The discourse of authentic casting and ‘appropriate’ roles for actors continues to this day.

Patrick Stewart Teases Professor X Is Still Lingering Around in the MCU

Professor X most recently appeared in Doctor Strange 2 | Marvel Studios
Professor X most recently appeared in Doctor Strange 2 | Marvel Studios

Patrick Stewart returned as Professor X in Doctor Strange in The Multiverse Of Madness as part of the Illuminati. However, the character is killed by Wanda Maximoff (in addition to many deaths he has faced in the past). In an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the actor teased that the character is still around in the MCU.

Stewart further claimed that discussions regarding him appearing in Deadpool & Wolverine came up and there has been a certain ‘process’ regarding that. The X-Men star said,

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I have every confidence he’s still around. It has come up, there’s been a process.

With rumors of the X-Men being a big focus of Deadpool and Wolverine, it feels most likely that he will pop up as Xavier in the upcoming MCU film. A reunion between him and Hugh Jackman will be a delight for fans to see. All will be known when Deadpool & Wolverine hits theatres on July 26, 2024. 

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Written by Rahul Thokchom

Articles Published: 1027

Rahul Thokchom is a content writer at Fandomwire who is passionate about covering the world of pop culture and entertainment. He has a Masters Degree in English that contributes to the richness and creativity in his works.