Sir Patrick on swearing, memoirs, and “Fresh Air”

The last few weeks have been busy for Sir Patrick Stewart. He’s back on the interview circuit, as the television production companies jostle to remind Emmy voters about their shows. CBS All Access is not alone in this, and Stewart is “virtually” everywhere.

Stewart appeared on the NPR show Fresh Air, where he spoke with show producer Sam Briger about his early days on Star Trek and the return to the character of Jean-Luc Picard. Stewart also revealed that he did attempt a French accent for the Trek mantra (Space, the final frontier…) when the producers were trying to figure out if how French the captain should be. It is hilarious, and sounds much like when Stewart was cutting up in the Picard episode Stardust City Rag! Listen:

Stewart also spoke with TV Guide’s Keisha Hatchett, who he told her that he was not comfortable with his character using “swear words.”

“I think that Picard had actually taken an active decision not to abuse language that would be unpleasant for people to hear whether it is abusive or offensive in some way, and he stuck to it,” said Stewart in the interview. “Even if he wanted to say, ‘Damn, blast,’ or whatever, he would, for the most part, manage to deny himself that pleasure.

“When I came across the first swear word in the first script, I can honestly tell you, I was deeply shocked. I grew up in a family where swearing was second nature. Every other word was a swear word, and yet when I read… it might have been the F-word that I read and I was shocked and unsettled by it. I think I did have a conversation with Michael [Chabon] about this use of language and how comfortable were we with it. It was something that had never been a part of previous Star Trek.”

Stewart went on to say that he hoped the nature of the Picard show came through, in light of the protests surrounding the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Read the entire interview here.

And, perhaps, most interesting, Stewart announced that he is working on a memoir.

“The idea of writing a memoir based on my life and career has been in my mind for several years, but always the demands of work have pushed it into the background. Today there are no demands, nor is there a prediction when there might be,” Stewart said in a statement.

This might be the best announcement yet for Trek fans, as he would likely go on a limited signing tour after the book’s publication — pending a COVID-19 vaccine or cure. If that happens, this might be a wonderful opportunity to see Stewart in-person, as most of his schedule appearances for 2020 have been canceled.

And finally, Stewart spoke with Wil Wheaton on the Ready Room show, which usually aired after an episode of Picard during the season. This time, Sir Patrick spoke with Wheaton from afar, and the episode also featured Todd Cherniawasky (who gave a tour of the La Sierna), Neville Page on his creatures from Picard, Christine Clark, who spoke on Picard’s costumes, and make-up department head James MacKinnon. Check it out: