[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the season two finale of Star Trek: Picard.]
As a gentleman patrick stuart watched the season two finale of Star Trek: Picardhe became flooded with emotion.
The distinguished and emblematic actor who has embodied Jean-Luc Picard since 1987 Star Trek: The Next Generation pilot “Encounter at Farpoint”, made for him and actor Q John de Lancie, the adventure they had started 30 years before had officially come to an end. And the timing was perfect.
Of course, that wasn’t the only scene from “Farewell” that struck a major chord with the picard star as he watched the finale episode of the second season of the Paramount+ series, but the final exchange between the two left an indelible impression, a different feeling than filming at the time.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter On the eve of the season two finale, Stewart explores a number of topics from the show, while explaining that the experience of doing the upcoming second and final season, while hugely rewarding, was also hugely rewarding. challenging due to the pandemic. Stewart also addresses the mental health aspect of this season and why it was personal to her.
I must start by saying that this season has been extraordinary. You all did a terrific job with an action-packed and quite emotional roller coaster star trek season.
Thank you. It was hard. You know, we were set for the second season when the pandemic hit, so we were shut down and sidelined. About eight months later, I was called and said, “Look, here’s the plan: we’ve wasted a lot of time and we have to tape seasons two and three back to back. Normally, there is a long break between filming in a season. But, we finished season two around 7 p.m. and started season three at 7 a.m. the next morning. We worked for about 14 months without a break. It was thrilling and exciting most of the time, but it was also for me – who I imagine is more than twice the age of anyone else on this show – challenging. (Laughs.)
There have been a number of deeply beautiful and profound moments this season for Picard, especially in the finale. I loved that last conversation with Picard and Q. Was it overwhelming, you two starting this adventure in “Encounter?”
I watched the episode for the first time this morning, and I was so moved by those scenes with John de Lancie and the content of those scenes because he made himself, as a character, vulnerable. John can bring complexity to the simplest line. I say that as a compliment. I am envious. His whole attitude and the things he was saying and his sweetness and his sensitivity, it suffocated me.
And then when we got to the moment [Borg Queen] Alison Pill took off her mask. We had this curious angle of shooting, rather low on his face, looking into his eyes. I’m afraid I started crying, it was so touching. Because, of course, that meant saying goodbye to John and Alison, who are both wonderful actors.
Mental health has been at the forefront and has had a profound impact this season. I’m curious if Picard’s trauma from his mother’s death has changed your perception of this character, whom you’ve known for 30 years. We viewers now understand this complicated man better. How did you have to assimilate and execute this new information?
My only regret is that once Jean-Luc revealed these hidden facts about his childhood to us, I almost wished that we could immediately put him back on the bridge of the Enterprise to hear and see the impact that this revelation had on him. But we couldn’t do that.
There are so many emotional complexities in this whole series that we haven’t delved into it very much. The next generation. I grew up in an abusive household and over the years, through many very expensive American therapies, that’s something I think I’ve come to terms with. But the harm he could do while he was compressed and kept away and held back and unrecognized, it was very dark. I realized it was the same with Jean-Luc.
Now, if you watched episodes 9 and 10, you will hear that my voice sounds different. Every time smoke is used on stage, I have to protest because – I know it’s not toxic, it’s not going to hurt – it gets into the vocal cords. I suffer a lot from it. And that pissed me off a bit. So at first we were going to re-record a lot of what I said, but I insisted [executive producer] Akiva [Goldsman] and my fellow producers for not doing it because the weakness of my voice reflected the weakness of the character.
Jean-Luc putting the key back behind the brick knowing his younger self would find it, from where his trauma would take place reminded me of the GNT episode “Tapestry”, where, after being stabbed in the heart, he laughs, knowing his timeline is secure. Have you had any glimpses of those moments during this series, those reminders that you Actually experimented?
The fact is that during the seven years of filming GNT, I really began to understand that I didn’t know where Patrick Stewart stopped and where Jean-Luc Picard began. In those early years they just merged and I found that, as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, I was becoming more and more like Patrick Stewart. So when you get those moments of a character’s situation or their actions or their risks and dangers, it’s something that you recognize as a person.
There’s an acting exercise called “sensory memory” that I learned at my drama school when I was 17. The basic principle of sensory memory is that Nope experience is never wasted on an actor. For example, I recently had injections in my hands, in my joints because I have arthritis. Eight injections. And the first one was tolerable, I thought, “I can live with that.” And then the doctor put in the second needle and I screamed! I don’t think I ever screamed as an adult. Of course, they had to do it six more times after that. And each time I said to myself: “Patrick, feel the memory. Remember every part of it, how you feel, how you reacted to it.
One of my all time favorites GNT moments is the final blow, when Jean-Luc finally joins his command team for a game of poker.
Do you remember the last line?
“Five card stud, nothing wild. And the sky is the limit.
Yes! [Claps hands]
Yeah, I’m kind of a big fan. Anyway, I’m bringing this up because I’d love to hear what it’s like, after 30 years, to still be playing in the cosmic sandbox with the amazing GNT actors, as we know, several of whom will appear on picard next season.
We have been connected for years and years in different ways and for different reasons. I adore them, and I love them all deeply. What they brought to my life in 1987 was rich and complex. They’re all as committed as any group of actors I’ve worked with. And yes, we had a lot of fun, and we joked. But nevertheless, we were a serious group of actors, and I was so proud of the work we did.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.