Patrick Stewart has played two of the iconic characters in genre cinema. He was Professor X in the X-Men movies, and he remains Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek. In conversation with Henry Cavill, who played an iconic hero himself, Stewart reflected on how playing these characters can help an actor become a better version of themselves. “There was a touch of that with both Jean-Luc Picard and Charles Xavier," via Variety. "I felt with both of them that they do have an impact, like you have described, on my private life. In that there was a sort of standard of morality and behavior that you needed to uphold because if you didn’t they would reflect badly, negatively, on the character that you were playing. I, over the years, have had so many extraordinary stories told to me by people who watch Next Generation.”
During the conversation, he also talked about his goals for returning to Picard in the new CBS All Access series, which revealed another intersection of Star Trek and X-Men. "What I did want — to the writers, I cited the movie Logan that I did with Hugh Jackman, the last of the X-Men movies. That movie found the two of us in conditions that were totally unlike anything that we experienced before, and it was thrilling for both of us because we were continually being challenged. I said to my fellow producers, 'I would like the same thing.' The contrast between the Picard that I had been in Next Generation, and how the years that have passed had changed him. He was now angry, moody, guilty, sad, lonely, which he had never been before."
In another interview, he said he expects to push the envelope even further in Picard's upcoming second season. "There was no socializing [between the actors] for the first five months — we were shooting," Stewart said. "When we came to the end of the series, we had promotional activities to engage with, and we were traveling together on airplanes and got to know one another so much better. This is going to be a new element in Season Two, that there is a lot of mutual respect everywhere. If you know you can take risks, and there is a network around you that if you crash land, they will catch you, it's a wonderful feeling. That's how I feel now. I feel safe."
Star Trek: Picard's first season is streaming now on CBS All Access.