How Patrick Stewart’s Private Life Was Impacted by Picard and Professor X

Many actors have made the comment that they don’t know where the character begins and their own persona ends, but only a handful can truly able to make this mean something, and Patrick Stewart is definitely one of them. The two most iconic roles that he’s known for, Captain Picard from Star Trek, and Professor Xavier from the X-Men movies, have become the two roles that he’s been known by for so long that trying to separate himself from them has been nearly impossible as he’s grown with each character and even managed to feel what they’ve gone through at times as he’s delved deeply enough into the characters to really understand them. This is one of the goals of any actor as it allows them to perform at their best when they truly get the gist of who the character they’re playing is, was, or is being made out to be. Being that both characters are fictional, Patrick had to know just about everything that had to do with their character arc and had to know something about them in order to really step into each role and make it work. At this time though it’s safe to say that no one else could have made this happen in the same way that he did since fans would likely agree that he’s been one of the most well-defined characters in either franchise for years now.

One of the best ways to say it is that no matter how upstanding or how noble each character has been in the movies and on TV in the case of Picard, they’re not perfect. When they both started out they appeared as stalwart and benevolent leaders, but as time went on it became obvious that as noble as their intentions were they were bound to be fallible at some point and their morals would be questioned more than once. In the case of Captain Picard, his character has gone through several changes throughout his time on TV and in the movies, but it’s been seen more than a couple times that he’s had to make hard decisions, judgment calls, and his character has even been called into question a few times. In other words he’s been a regular human that has to deal with issues of morality and his own conscience when it comes time to decide which is stronger. As time has gone on Patrick has noted just how Picard has changed from an idealist, with plenty of realistic views of the galaxy, to a different man in the show Picard, who is older, hopefully wiser, and has a lifetime of experience to back up his cynicism.

Then there’s Professor Xavier, who has been seen as another leader figure for the X-Men for quite some time. From the comics to the cartoon to the movies, Professor X has usually been viewed as a very serious and respectful guy, but he’s had his own moments when he’s not so squeaky clean. He even kind of skirted that line in X-Men 2 when he told Logan that he’d make him think he was a young girl if he smoked inside of Cerebro, and allow Jean Grey to braid his hair. Okay, so that was more jest than anything, but by X-Men 3: The Last Stand, Charles’ meddling had become something of a problem since he’d been repressing the Phoenix force within Jean to ‘keep her safe’ when at the very least if he’d told her the truth and worked with her, Jean might have been able to overcome the murderous force and master it a little better. But this kind of showed that while Charles was in fact the leader and benefactor of the X-Men he was also fallible in his own ways since he made unilateral decisions for the X-Men that weren’t always the most popular but were made because he felt it was the right course. As Picard, Patrick had to do the same at times, and this was why both characters were destined to become cynical old men at one point. Well, it’s one reason anyway.

In Logan, Charles wasn’t as cynical as all that, but he was dangerous since his seizures had the effect of shutting down the mind of everyone within his radius, which was obviously quite large. If anything, Charles was simply tired and desired some kind of rest, but he was far more hopeful than Picard appears to be, though the life experience of both men was unique. Seeing how close Patrick has been to both roles is easy since both roles have demanded quite a bit from him over the years, and as a result he’s had to become both men alternately, putting everything he has into them and essentially bringing them to life repeatedly as he’s continued their stories. Something indicates however that this has never been a hardship, but has instead been a joy.

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