Patrick Stewart and the rest of the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” cast weren’t exactly seeing eye to eye during the show’s first season.
In an excerpt from Stewart’s new book on The Hollywood Reporter, “Making It So: A Memoir,” the actor discussed the rift.
Stewart first discussed how anxious he was going into the large sci-fi role as the series was being predicted to fail. He talked about plans to take the role very serious as it was hist first regular TV series and he was coming from the British Shakespearean stage.
“I could be a severe bastard,” he wrote. “My experiences at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre had been intense and serious… On the ‘TNG’ set, I grew angry with the conduct of my peers, and that’s what I called that meeting in which I lectured the cast for goofing off and responded to Denise Crosby’s, ‘We’ve got to have some fun sometimes, Patrick’ comment by saying, ‘We are not here, Denise, to have fun.’”
“In retrospect,” the book continues, “everyone, me included, finds this story hilarious. But in the moment, when the cast erupted in hysterics at my pompous declaration, I didn’t handle it well. I didn’t enjoy being laughed at. I stormed off the set and into my trailer, slamming the door.”
Stewart then writes about co-stars Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner coming to his trailer to talk things out.
"People respect you,” Spiner said during the chat. “But I think you misjudged the situation here.”
“He and Jonathan acknowledged that yes, there was too much goofing around and that it needed to be dialed back. But they also made it clear how off-putting it was — and not a case study in good leadership — for me to try to resolve the matter by lecturing and scolding the cast. I had failed to read the room, imposing RSC behavior on people accustomed to the ways of episodic television — which was, after all, what we were shooting,” Stewart recalled.
“Making It So: A Memoir” is available now.