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30 September 2014
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Interviews | Patrick Stewart
Becoming Picard

How did you take on the role?

Picture We had a very good pilot script which laid the foundations for all of the characters, particularly for Picard. Very clearly and very strongly. There were defining characteristics of the man in that pilot episode which remained in place and still do in fact.

I did have a meeting with Gene Roddenberry. He took me out to dinner to discuss Jean Luc Picard and we ended up not talking about Star Trek at all. The only thing he did say at the end of the dinner was that he wanted to give me some books to read because he thought they would be helpful perhaps, and it turned out that these were the Hornblower books and he said that he had had Horatio Hornblower very much in mind when he was creating the character of Picard. But of course I was already very much familiar with these books because Id read them as a teenager.

Somebody asked me what it felt like to be stepping into Captain Kirks shoes, but as I pointed out he was filling those shoes very satisfactorily still, because they made two feature films during the time that we were shooting the series and so the life of the original Star Trek was continuing.

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