SIR IAN McKellen has admitted trying to discourage Sir Patrick Stewart from appearing in Star Trek because he was a “serious actor”.
Yorkshire-born Sir Patrick rose to fame in the 1980s as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the revived sci-fi TV series. Prior to that, he was a classical and theatrical actor, and had been a long-running member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
During an appearance on tonight’s episode of The Graham Norton Show along with Sir Patrick, Sir Ian said: “He told me he’d been asked to sign up for seven years to Star Trek and I said, ‘Don’t do it, you are a serious actor and you have a wonderful career in London. It’s where you belong and stay with the audience, you know.’ He paid no attention to me whatsoever and it changed his life.”
He told Sir Patrick: “I am sorry I gave the wrong advice and I am glad you didn’t take it.”
But the Lord Of The Rings actor joked he still has not seen any of his friend’s Star Trek episodes, adding: “I’m saving it up for my retirement.”
Sir Ian and Sir Patrick have been friends for years and appear together in the X-Men film franchise as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto and Charles Xavier/Professor X respectively. Sir Patrick confirmed his last appearance in the franchise is the newest film Logan. Logan also marks Hugh Jackman’s last film in the franchise in the role of Wolverine/Logan.
Sir Patrick said: “Last week we were at a screening in Berlin sitting next to each other and when it got to the very emotional ending and I noticed Hugh wipe away a tear, then I did the same and during the credits he held my hand and I was done, I was weeping and sobbing. While the credits were rolling I realised that if it was the end, there was no more perfect and beautiful way to say, ‘Au revoir, goodbye, adios.’”