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From: fox@dcs.king.ac.uk (The Fox) Date: 30 Apr 93 07:58:09 GMT Newsgroups: rec.arts.startrek.misc Subject: Patrick Stewart Interview on Radio 1 Interview between Steve Wright & Patrick Stewart on BBC Radio 1 FM 29/4/93 SW: Well listen, I'm tempted to say "Welcome, Captain" PS: And actually, you know, that was not recorded appaluse, that was live. It's important to explain that because there's an awful lot of recorded applause these days, and I would like it to be known that there are at least six people here who actually put their hands together. SW: Listen, do you get fed up with all the Star Trek jokes, "Oh hello, Patrick. We expected you to beam down"? PS: Well, that doesn't qualify as a joke, that just qualifies as a banality. I did in fact hear my first Star Trek joke, my very first Star Trek joke yesterday. It was a joke about the ears. I won't repeat it will have heard it, but it was in fact my first. Any reference to "Beam me up", "Make it so", those things are no longer funny. You won't crack a smile from me with references like that. SW: How do you feel about being so famous as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and Mikey mentioned earlier, he mentioned you don't look French, by the way. So why did they give you that French name? PS: What is it in particular about me that doesn't look French, and how much of me have you seen to know that there isn't some part of me that looks French somewhere. SW: He's making a good point. Off_1: Yeah, I agree with him. SW: Okay, point taken. Can you live with it though? Can you live with the - PS: - with that part of me that doesn't look French? PS: I'm the wrong person to ask. SW(laughing): You're very good today. I like you. PS: Can I live with the fame? SW: Yeah. PS: Yes. Off: Next question! SW: And...? PS: And it has its, as we say, its downside in that along with it goes a certain amount of, sometimes, uncomfortable harassment. Sometimes potentialy lethal harassment. But it's modest, compared to say, being a policeman, or being a solier in Bosnia, you know? SW: You're actually a Shakespearian actor. PS: Yes. Amongst other things. SW: And a 'Lovey' of the highest order, right? PS: And a what of the highest order? SW: A 'Lovey' of the highest order. You're a proper London Actor, aren't you? PS: No. Strictly speaking not. You know why? Because I've never appeared in the commercial West End, and I know of course there are a lot of West End producers listening to your show in the middle of the afternoon - SW: There are! PS: - sitting with their feet up drinking brandy, smoking large cigars. SW: You're right! Everyone is! PS: So pay attention! Pay attention! Patrick is as yet a virgin so far, I beg your pardon? So far as the commercial West End is concerned. SW: Really? PS: I appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company for a couple of years at the National Theatre, and immediately before going to Hollywood, at the Young Vic, but never have I been paid a cent. Not even a penny for appearing commercially in the West End. SW: Would you do a musical or not? PS: Yes. I've auditioned a couple of times for musicals. I would like to flatter myself; I was reasonably short-listed for 'Les Miserables' for when it opened. I certainly sang for Mr.Macintosh and Mr.Nunn. SW: Well... PS: Would you like me to sing for you? SW: Later, later. Stay there, okay. We'll come back to Patrick Stewart a little later on. --------------------- SW: Let me just talk about Star Trek because the episode that I saw last night on Sky was the episode where you are captured as the captain by the Borg ship, and those that watch Sky would have seen it last night, or maybe those that have watched it on BBC2 would have seen it, but I don't know whether to watch it or not because it's quite late, ten-thirty, quite late for me. How soon does the captain get rescued and what happens in that episode? Can you tell us? PS: Yes, indeed. Rest assured. The captain will return to the Enterprise in so far as we can see with everthing intact, but his injuries so far as his kidnapping by the Borg is concerned, are not all external. Many of them are internal. And in fact that episode, you understand, was recorded more than three years ago. In fact, I tell you it was July 1990. And the repercussions of that experience have gone on in that we have just finished recording another Borg episode, and so Picard's relationship, that is psychlogical relationship with the Borg, still remains somewhat tense. And to reveal all of the nuances of that particular tension to you would be to give too much away. However, I docome back. I am, there is - SW: I didn't get an answer at all there, did I? Have you ever thought of going into politics? PS: Yes. SW: Because you successfully evaded that question there. PS: Do you know of a safe seat? SW: No. PS: I tell you, I've already been guaranteed in the United States that I could run for congress and then after the gentleman who proposed to me says that he could raise enough money to me to congress in two years, having heard me doing some public speaking. However, unfortunately, I am not a citizen, and it is required and I have no intention of giving up my British citizenship. Labour Party, are you listening? SW: How did you actually get the Star Trek gig then? I mean, how did that come about? PS: By accident. It was an absolute fluke. It falls into the 'Soda Fountain' category. I was in fact in California in a break after a production at the National theatre. I was foing a series of solo performances and Shakespeare lectures in universities, and I was assisting a colleague of mine at UCLA who was giving a public lecture one month by reading extracts of Sheridan and Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde and so forth. And the following day I was called to Paramount for a meeting with Gene Roddenberry and the other Star Trek producers, and my agent had no knowledge why I should be called, but it happens that one of the producers was signed up for that course of public lectures, heard me read one of the extracts, and he claims, and he's an honest man, as I believe. There are honest producers! And he claimed that he turned to his wife and said "We've found our captain". Well six months later that became a reality because it took all of that time to finally get cast. SW: Did your friends in the business say "Look, Patrick. Why are you doing this?" PS: One did. One friend and senior colleague at the RSC said "You must not do this. This is a terrible mistake. You'll ruin your career." SW: But it hasn't obviously. PS: Well I'm on your show! SW: Then you're at the pinnacle, obviously. PS: It's only downhill from now on. --------------------- SW: Let me just ask you some questions on behalf of the trekkies, especially Greg Berdard and all the trekkies and so many others. We've got another letter here from Starfleet Command, Fleet Operations Center Sole Sector. PS: Solihol(sp?) SW: Yes it is Solihol. PS: Starfleet command has a major department in Solihol. SW: Okay, you're right. This is a letter from Cathy and Dominic, can you believe it? So what do you make - PS: You don't know what I'm joking about? That's the problem at the moment. SW: But how do you feel about trekkies and this whole kind of fanatic? PS: I think that our show has got the most incredible collection of fans in the history of fandom. It's largely due to the support of the serious comitted fans that the original series was kept on and that this series of ours has been so succesful. We range from vice-chancellors of universities, chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff. The predecessor of Colin Powell (sp?) was a big fan of the show and asked my permission to sit in the captain's chair. Right down to five, six year old kids in school. It's a show which crosses all social boundaries, all ages, all races and that particular instance makes it something of a phenomenon. SW: Let's talk about some of the characters in the show at the moment. The chap with the eyes. PS: The chap with the eyes? We have one chap without eyes and one chap with mechanical eyes. SW: Data. The mad staring one. PS: Data, the android? SW: Is he the guy that used to be in Benson? PS: Data, the android, known as Brent Spiner. Brent is in fact a Broadway actor. There's a number of musicals on Broadway, and he's on the original cats album of Steven Sonheim musical, "Sunday in the Park with George" SW: There's some interesting relationships, I mean, obviously the character Data is an android. Now what about with your first officer there. There's no kind of warmth between the two of you, I've noticed really. PS: How do you interpret warmth? SW: Well, I mean, you don't seem like very good friends. PS: Really? It's full of, well, it's interesting that you should say that, and it's also interesting that you've seen the first three episodes. Obviously you haven't seen the one where we get married - - so that would be a surpise to you. SW: That will be a surpise! It'll be a surpise to him! PS: It's in the nature of the good captain that he is somewhat remote. Somewhat removed from the rest of his crew, and it's part of his command style, I think. But in fact there's an enormous amount of mutual respect between those two. SW: He likes Riker then? He actually likes him? PS: Yes. I think it's interesting. All kinds of paraphanalia attach themselves to our show, but for instance, I learnt the other day that when civilian airline pilots have to go for their refresher course, which they do I think every year, two years, they watch sequences from our show that are edited together in order to illustrate the 'On the Bridge' / 'On the Flight Deck' command style of Picard as it's being an illustration of command at its best. And that, that - your producer is snorting! You see what I would recommend to you as producer that you initiate some of that command style right here in this studio. SW: Hey. We're on your side now! PS: And a lot of that has to do with the way the officer in command relates to and responds to his fellow crew members. I's a very different command style to that of Captain Kirk. SW: Yeah. We'll talk about the old series and compare this series, and also, the new series and also take a few questions from the possy here. Would that be okay with you? PS: Very good. SW: Thank you, captain. We'll be right back. --------------------- SW: Do you speak any Klingon, by the way? You have a Klingon officer. PS: Oh yes. _Kapagh_, as I recall means goodbye. Until you've sat down to a dish of Bregitt Lung or Heart of Targ, or in fact the dish that the Klingons - this is all for real, by the way. I'm not making this up - the dish that the Klingons most like to serve to non-Klingons is Gagh, which moves around in the bowl. SW: Ah, it reminds me of the old canteen up here. What do you think of the old shows, and also the films that Bill Shatner and all those people are making now. Is there any needle between the two casts? PS: I have no personal experience of resentment. I do know that whilst we were in early production before this show had aired, that Bill on a television show had said that he felt that there could never ever be a replacement or substitute for the original show, which wasn't too encouraging for us. But I know of no animosity. Leonard Nimoy has done two very successful episodes with us. DeForest Kelley, who played Dr.McCoy made a brilliant appearance in our pilot episode, which was in a kind of a sense, a handing over of the baton. SW: Let;s have a question from Mick, the producer for Patrick Stewart, who is here today. PS: Mick is not actually the producer for Patrick Stewart. He's actually - SW: Could be, could be. He could work with you. He's a very gifted man. Mick: We're getting into semantics now, aren't we? When a new alien is introduced to the series, how detailed is the profile that is given to you. Do you get things like smells, heights, personal habits. SW: Do you check out the aliens first? PS: Uh-huh, yeah. Those are the things that you usually pickup in the first fifteen-twenty minutes on the set. In fact, the introduction of a new alien is always a very serious business. We've had several in the last two years. Most successfully a race know as the Cardassians, who have gradually developed in the last year or so as the principle threat to Starfleet, other than the Borg, whom you mentioned earlier. But a bible exists on every alien race, so you would have a detailed breakdown on that alien society, so although you may only see a brief appearance by one of them there will be a whole dtailed background. SW: You were talking about the character that used to play Dr.McCoy. I read the other day that he was once asked in a hospital, and they asked his opinion on something. "Can we get a second opinion from you, Doctor?" PS: Yes. A little of that pursues me. People assume that because I fly the most advanced piece of technology in the history of televison, that I can program my VCR. SW: I thought that you were going to say something like you come over on the plane and you're up there with the pilot and he looks round and says "This is nothing to you then, right?" PS: In fact, I have my own set of demographics for our show by profession. I mean, for instance, I've discovered that some of our fans are amongst the immigration authorities, which is very useful. Flight crew, both on the flight deck and the cabin staff seem to be big fans of the show. Musicians too. I think it's a lot to do with the hours that people keep. SW: But it's nice to be saluted when you walk through customs, isn't it. PS: There are many times when actually a certain amount of notariety can be of value. SW: We'll come right back and round off with Patrick Stewart in a second. --------------------- SW: We really appreciate you staying with us all afternoon, and it's been a fascinating afternoon. We could go on forever because there's just so much to ask about Star Trek. Where you work, for example, on the set there. I mean, don't spoil it too much, but there is no ship right? It's a studio, isn't it? It's just a studio isn't it, Patrick? PS: (mock horror) No ship!? Will you get me Commander Riker, please? PS: Actually, in fact, it's a major operation. We have three permanent sound stages at Paramount, and Deep Space Nine as three more. It is a massive undertaking and it is not known as 'the franchise' for nothing at Paramount studios. SW: Is this series the last, the series that you're doing now? Because you said that this was the sixth and with DS9 coming on - PS: Let's not confuse series with season. This is American studio terminology. We've just completed the sixth season. SW: But my question is are you going to continue to make it? PS: Yes, there will be a seventh season. SW: Okay. PS: And beyond that, I can also tell you that this time next year I would expect us to be in production of the first feature film of the Next Generation. SW: Brilliant. PS: Remember, you heard it here, ladies and gentlemen. SW: ..from the captain. Okay, we have a question here from Richard for Patrick Stewart. Richard: This is a fax that has come in since we've been on air. This is from Steve Close of Bridgend: Could you please settle a long running arguement between myself and my girlfriend. She claims that Patrick Stewart stayed at a caravan site in Gowering, Swansea. About ten or twelve years ago. He had long hair, was reading Shakespeare and had just appeared on Jackanory. I, however, don't believe that Jean-Luc Picard would choose to spend his shore leave in a caravan. Would you please help? This is important stuff, so where you in Gowering, Swansea about 12 years ago on a caravan site? PS: Abosolutely, categorically...yes! Richard: So now you know, Steve Close! You lose! SW: And had you just done Jackanory? PS: Yes I had. Richard: Well there you go. Glad to be of service. SW: Do you work now in America exclusively or will you work anywhere? PS: Well the series takes 10 months a year to film, so I don't have much opportunity. But while we were off-air just a moment ago, you mentioned a film called 'Death Train' which was made in conjunction with YTV, and we were filming that just 11 months ago in Croatia and Slovenia. I think that we were the last film company to pass through those troubled lands. SW: I wonder if we'll get to see that here? PS: Yes. Actually, it has not been seen here. In fact, it just aired in the US very successfully. It's an Alistair MacClean story about a United Nations anti-crime organisation, which I head, and I am told that there are another five stories, five novels to be filmed, so I'm looking forward to this becoming a mini-series of its own. SW: Okay. I've had so many calls from trekkies, and I've had so many faxes and so many letters. Would you please say something to them? PS: Yes, to our fans here in England. I;ve had a number of requests during the last five years to attend conventions here, to attend British conventions. It's impossible for me to attend. I give an absolute guarantee, that once I am released from this series, and this has to be the deal, then I will attend some of the conventions here in England. And actually, and it's always a mistake to mention particular items, one of the reasons that we were a little late arriving here was that I had just raided the BBC shop, on the corner, of cassette tapes, and fans here, from time to time, hearing that I've been a big BBC radio fan since I was a child, "Childrens' Hour" and all of that, they send me archivel tapes which I appreciate very much. However, I have just now raided the store and got my own collection. SW: What've you got? 'Round the Horne' and all that? PS: No. I was picking up, actually, a lot of cricket archivel material. Oh, and two Alan Bennett tapes, because I'm a big Alan Bennett fan. So that will keep me company on the freeways of Los Angeles in the weeks ahead. SW: And just taking you back into Loveydon just a little - PS: - Sweetie. SW: Listen, Patrick Stewart. Thank you very much for coming in. We enjoyed talking to you. Thank you very much. PS: I've had a grand time. Thank you. --- /^^\____________ The Fox \~~/ __ \ \/\____,<^ / \ | / \ \/| \| | \ / |

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