More than just Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Professor Charles Xavier, Sir Patrick Stewart is a classically trained actor with a long resume in historical costume movies and TV shows. He was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1966-1982, and in 1987, he rather accidentally took the part in Star Trek: The Next Generation that catapulted him to worldwide fame. Stewart may have lost his hair when he was 19, but he’s been undeniably sexy all his life. His activism against domestic violence (inspired by unfortunate events he witnessed as a child) and declaring himself a feminist and a socialist makes him even more attractive. Man Candy Monday? Make it so!
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in Fall of Eagles (1974)
Well-reviewed BBC miniseries about the period between 1880-1917 and the collapse of the Romanov, the Habsburg, and the Hohenzollern dynasties. Obviously, Stewart’s Lenin is a key, but minor part in the drama.
John Thornton in North and South (1975)
Patrick Stewart plays the same role Richard Armitage does in this first BBC miniseries of the Elizabeth Gaskell story, and he’s just as swoony in the trailer, so I’m adding this to my list now!
Sejanus in I, Claudius (1976)
Continuing to rock it with the BBC miniseries, Stewart’s Praetorian guardsman is wily and power-hungry, trying to make a name for himself in the political hotbed of Rome.
Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1977)
At the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon, nope, it’s not a historical costume movie or TV show, but HELLO, SAILOR.
Claudius in Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (1980)
Perhaps the earliest of Patrick Stewart’s Shakespearean roles I can find on video, this version of the play stars Derek Jacobi as Hamlet.
Leondegrance in Excalibur (1981)
This is really a fantasy movie (and, unlike everyone else in the SCA, I can’t stand it), but Patrick Stewart being a badass in armor, so OK.
Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, in Lady Jane (1986)
I love Patrick Stewart in this role. Not only does he look FABULOUS (of course he can pull off Tudor garb perfectly), but he’s the kind, slightly hen-pecked dad who’s sorry his wife beats Jane and makes up for it by raising an army when his daughter’s brief queenship is deposed. And he loses his head for it. Awww.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994)
Wait, wut? Thought we weren’t going to talk about this because it’s sci-fi, right? Except we can’t forget the Holodeck (which we’ve mentioned before is a site of surprise historical costuming). Picard’s own favorite holo-novel series was about a 1940s noir detective named Dixon Hill — who shows up again as a plot point in the movie Star Trek: First Contact (1996). He also showed up in other people’s holo-fantasies (such as a Cavalier fencing instructor) and, of course, Q’s holo-tortures (like Robin Hood).
King Richard in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Kevin Costner had Sean Connery — in the parody, Cary Elwes has Patrick Stewart. Not sure who got the better end of the deal, except nobody wants Costner, that’s for sure.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Generations (1994)
The first post-ST:TNG movie kicked off with an epic Holodeck scene on a Napoleonic tall ship named the Enterprise, and the whole crew is in period military uniforms. Captain Picard looks snazzy, making me wonder why Patrick Stewart wasn’t in any of those Horatio Hornblower-type flicks.
Captain Ahab in Moby Dick (1998)
Stewart is so literary, and I love him for it! Even if it’s not my favorite book, he’s the ideal Ahab in this TV miniseries. Trust me, it’s more about obsession than (ew) killing whales.
Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (1999)
One of the best far-too-many versions of Dickens’ holiday deal. Stewart makes for an enjoyably menacing Scrooge, so his redemption feels that much more genuine. The actor also created a one-man stage play of A Christmas Carol where he played all the parts, because he’s just that good.
King Henry II in The Lion in Winter (2003)
If we had to have a remake of the 1968 classic, this TV movie starring Patrick Stewart and Glen Close is a pretty damn good way to go.
John of Gaunt in The Hollow Crown: Richard II (2012)
The entire Hollow Crown series appears to be an excuse for the best of Britain’s old-school Shakespearean actors to show some of today’s big-name British stars how it’s done.
William Shakespeare in Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death (2012)
Stewart has performed this 1973 play by Edward Bond several times, and I just love seeing him in period costume from a show at the Old Vic Theater.
What’s your favorite historical movie or TV role of Patrick Stewart?
I once saw Patrick Stewart in person, in this underwear. He was performing Arthur Miller’s “A Ride Down Mount Morgan,” and the character was changing his clothes on stage. They were the male equivalent of granny pants, not at all flattering.
As for the play, fun acting from him, not at all memorable writing from the script.
Clue for a favourite: ‘Make it so.’
A Patrick Stewart MCM is a lovely way to start my week! As for roles, I’d take Sejanus in I, Claudius for pure, sexy evil and his unusually sympathetic Claudius in Hamlet.
I rewatched I, Claudius recently & OMG Sejanus is so wicked & awesome! (Yes, full Frock Flicks review coming soon).
I am so looking forward to your I, Claudius review! Stewart was great in it.
I watched that miniseries for the first time a couple of years ago and absolutely adored it. I actually named my dog Claudius in its honor. . . .
Cor phoo-er yesssssssss missus. Patrick all the way. Those eyes! That voice! Oops- just slid off my chair
I met him at DragonCon a few years ago & had a photo made. Incredibly nice, but he’s so tiny in person! Fortunately I love petite bald men (just ask my husband!).
That voice, though!
My favorite line delivered by Sir Patrick is in the Japanese version of the movie Dune, where he goes full Shakespearean to deliver: “I go now, as an ass into the desert.”
I love that Patrick Stewart looks and sounds comfortable and great in whatever role he’s in. I’ve been told he’s also a classy man in person. Just saw a post, and apparently he has recently decided to seek US citizenship so he can have the right to vote in our [currently mildly insane] country. http://www.upworthy.com/patrick-stewart-is-applying-for-us-citizenship-for-a-really-great-reason?c=upw1&u=f418b61869cad1690d2b16d13ac413f8bfca48b0
Heh, I won’t deny that seeing that was a hint to write this MCM ;-)
What the heck is that pleated-skirt jumper with the leather jacket? I’ll have to watch Lady Jane to see the whole thing.
I loved him in all the period costumes in ST:TNG. I especially have a weakness for that Admiral’s outfit. I do love a man in uniform.
Yessssss, an awesome MCM! Who doesn’t love Sir Patrick…great actor, sense of humor, and an all-round awesome dude from everything I’ve heard! It’s amazing how much sexier being a declared feminist can make a man (not that he’s not inherently sexy anyway). And wears period costume to well to top it off! All the exclamation points!! <3
I’ve been an avid fan for a while, and saw his solo Christmas Carol. He was phenomenal. One did not doubt that he was every character, and it never seemed unbelievable.
I love his version of A Christmas Carol.
His & the Muppets version are tied for the best IMO :)
I actually sat through all of Excalibur once just for Patrick Stewart.
So many good actors wasted in that flick!
The only reason I excuse the existence of Excalibur is that it was my introduction to Helen Mirren.
What makes Sir Patrick so perfect in historical costume movies is that he is willing to commit completely to whatever he is wearing. He owns his clothes as clothes, even if they happen to be Elizabethan or Roman clothes.
This is precisely what I saw in Rathbone. Always in clothes, never in costume.
Patrick Stewart as Robin Hood in Star Trek was part of what taught me to be a woman,
I’ve watched The Fall of the Eagles and Patrick Stewart is great as Lenin. Absolutely perfect and the train station sequence is the top of everything. I’m really lazy, because I bought North and South DVDs and have not whatched it yet. I agree that he’s FABULOUS in Lady Jane, and I really like this movie. Lion in Winter for me is the 1968 vervion or nothing, I can’t stand the remake, even with Glenn Close and Patrick stewart. And I love him as Picard, I’m a trekker, so no excuses.
I’m sentimental about Sejanus because that’s the first time I remember seeing him act, long before enjoying his Leondegrance. (Yes, I’m pro-Boorman.) But I’ll pretty much watch him in anything, including the entirety of “Blunt Talk.”
He was great in the spoof of Godot on The Late Show the other night; I really wish I’d been able to see him and McKellen share the stage for that.
The best MCM choice since I’ve been visiting this site! An actor with presence, with gravitas! And that voice! (I had a tape of him reading “A Christmas Carol” and doing all the parts, even ringing the bell.) And as Alys says, no matter what he’s wearing, he’s wearing clothes rather than a costume. And he looks really formidable in that Royal Navy uniform.
I remember that when Star Trek: the Next Generation premiered, my sister called and asked if I’d seen it. “Guess who’s playing the new captain? It’s Sejanus!”
An actor well worth celebrating especially this week. I was never a treckkie and not a fan of Picard so did not really appreciate what a fine actor Patrick is until I saw him in I Claudius and then as Lenin in Fall of Eagles. I have made all the family watch the scene where he walks into the room and starts eating pancakes as an example of brilliant acting. We have the earlier N&S but I am so attached to the more recent version, (despite the costume and script flaws) that I have not watched it. He was also excellent as Claudius in the stage version of Hamlet opposite David Tennant. (though not in costume sadly)
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
YAAASSSSSSS, best MCM ever!
Patrick Stewart. There are no words which do him justice but I nevertheless really enjoyed your International Women’s Day homage. He is a worthy choice. Excalibur is one of my favourite films of all time (it’s up there with The Duellists) and I make no apology for that. We all have to start somewhere and the “sexy”‘ quotient in that film is super high. Patrick himself, Nicholas Clay (RIP), the aforementioned Helen Mirren and the Pisky Princess Cheri Lunghi, never mind the bloke who was Merlin (whose name I have temporarily forgotten), and Charlie Boorman, who has since become Macho Motorcycle Man after his adventures with Ewan MacGregor … need I go on? And some of the costumes are beautiful – Guinevere’s metallic veil, for example. And it is set in MythLand not History-world, after all!
Fantastic MCM! Hooray for Sir Patrick! I can’t help but love him best as Picard, probably because that was also my first intro to him in addition to being one of those ST nerds. I don’t really remember him from Excalibur but then I mostly only remember it for the jarring editing and being my intro to Orff’s “O Fortuna” (the goth remix of which I danced the hell out of in Toronto nightclubs in the late 90s). I liked him a lot in Lady Jane though was at the age where my eyes were mostly on Cary Elwes, lol. Loved his send-up of Connery in Men in Tights, lol! I think I must now be the only person who reads/visits/comments here who hasn’t yet seen I, Claudius but will endeavour to amend this as soon as possible; I know it’s an iconically classic production. I had no idea he was in a version of N & S but I’m so into Armitage’s performance….well……I’ll just have to check it out! I did listen to his narration of A Christmas Carol and loved it, so maybe I should give him a watch in that, too. I am unapologetically team Alastair Sim as Scrooge but should be open-minded.
I have adored Patrick Stewart since STTNG rocked my teenage world. Learning over time that he’s an authentic (feminist) gentleman, and a kick ass actor in all that he does, I appreciate this choice for IWD, and the inclusion of some roles I wasn’t aware he had taken on.
Jonathan Frakes was supposed to be the sex symbol on TNG but female viewers proved more discerning.