Decades after joining the iconic space exploration franchise, Patrick Stewart reflects on the extraordinary impact that Star Trek has made over the years.
While promoting his new memoir Making It So, Stewart spoke to NPR about his time on Star Trek and how the show shaped his personal spirituality. Its impact on so many people has been extraordinary,” he said about the show. “Ranging from people saying that it became their education to others who said, I was going to end my life, but I couldn’t because I wouldn’t be able to see Star Trek anymore.”
When asked how the series continues to impact others significantly, Patrick Stewart stated it is more than just a franchise. “It was about truth and fairness and honesty and respect for others, no matter who they were or what strange alien creature they looked like. That was immaterial. They were alive. And if they needed help, Jean-Luc Picard and his crew, his team, were there to give it. So, yes, in a sense, we were ministers.”
Stewart went on to share that he has spoken to many Star Trek fans over the years and how they tell him about their personal lives so openly. “I have heard now so many times from individuals who have been honest enough and brave enough to tell me aspects of their life, of their health, of their mental health, and how it was all saved and improved by watching every week.”
Patrick Stewart Says He Is ‘Proud’ Of What He and the ‘Star Trek’ Cast Have Done
Meanwhile, Patrick Stewart spoke about how he and the rest of the Star Trek cast are incredibly proud of the show.
“I was so proud of it and what we did,” he explained. The long-time actor stated that he still talks to his Star Trek castmates such as Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, and LeVar Burton We talked about this kind of thing often.”
Although he loves acting and having fun, Patrick Stewart explained that it doesn’t feel at all incongruous because of the role he was playing. “[Jean-Luc Picard] was a man of such profound understanding and empathy,” he said. “And to feel like that as a person was such a reward for what we were doing because we were enjoying our work, our job.”
In regards to whether or not playing Jean-Luc Picard made him a better person in real life, Stewart added, “It gave me an idea of how I might become a better person, yes. I was able to absorb that and make those feelings a strong and firm part of my life.”
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