People Who Kick BuTs: Jean-Luc Picard
Things are ony impossible until they’re not.
- Captain Jean-Luc Picard is a Star Trek character portrayed by Patrick Stewart. He appears in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and the feature films Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek Nemesis.
He also made an appearance in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- After the success of the contemporary Star Trek feature films, a new television series featuring a new cast was announced on October 10, 1986.
- Patrick Stewart, who has a background of theatre at the Royal Shakespeare Company, was initially considered for the role of Data; he has said that he would not have been interested in taking a supporting role “to sit around”.
- Roddenberry did not want to cast Stewart as Picard, however; he envisioned an actor who was “masculine, virile, and had a lot of hair”.
- Roddenberry’s first choice was Stephen Macht, and it took “weeks of discussion” with Robert H. Justman, Rick Berman, and the casting director to convince him that “Stewart was the one they had been looking for to sit in the captain’s chair”; Roddenberry agreed after auditioning every other candidate for the role.
Stewart himself was uncertain why the producers would cast “a middle-aged bald English Shakespearean actor” as captain of the Enterprise. He had his toupee delivered from London to meet with Paramount executives but Roddenberry ordered Stewart to remove the “awful looking” hairpiece. His stentorian voice impressed the executives, who immediately approved the casting.