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Things You Didn't Know About Patrick Stewart

Updated November 16, 2020 931 votes 104 voters 4.9k views20 items

Sir Patrick Stewart has been acting for more than half a century, and in all that time, he's been in some of the most important franchises in film history. He got his start in the theater, and his eventual pathway into films and television put him into everything from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Excalibur to X-Men and American Dad. He's in his 80s, but doesn't appear to be stopping anytime soon - but how much do you know about him?

Stewart is beloved by his fans, and they certainly know much about him, but odds are, there are things you didn't know about Patrick Stewart. This list hopes to rectify any gaps in knowledge his fans might have, so take a look down below, and if you find something interesting you didn't already know, go ahead and give it an upvote to see which fact rises to the top!

  • 5

    He Never Learned To Play Chess Until 'X-Men'

    There are numerous scenes throughout the X-Men franchise that show Professor Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (AKA Magneto) playing chess. They often discuss important things while doing so, and the scenes dramatize their deep bond. Interestingly, neither Sir Patrick Stewart nor Sir Ian McKellen knew how to play before they began filming X-Men.

    While they could have simply faked it for the cameras, they didn't. A chess master was brought in to teach them how to play. Stewart explained the situation in an interview with Godfrey Powell:

    Yes, [director] Bryan Singer set up a scene where Ian and I were playing chess. He said, "Okay, why don't you all just make some moves." I said, "Well, I don't know how to play." He said, "Ian?" Sir Ian said he didn't know how to play either. Bryan rolled his eyes and said, "Get someone on the set. We just need to believe that they are making the right moves." The next day we arrive on the set, and yep, there's someone there who knows chess. A Canadian Grandmaster. I told him you are so overqualified for this job. He said, (whispering) "I've never been on a set before." And he stayed all day.

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  • 6

    He Hated His Fish On The 'Enterprise'

    Captain Jean-Luc Picard kept a lot of interesting items in his Ready Room aboard the USS Enterprise, but there was one item Stewart didn't like. He hated the fish tank, but not because it was a pain to keep it clean or anything so mundane. Stewart felt it was an affront to the series - premised on valuing the dignity of all species - to keep some encased in an aquarium aboard his vessel.

    Ronny Cox, the actor who played Captain Edward Jellico in the episode "Chain of Command," explained Stewart's position on the tank and its most prominent inhabitant, Livingston, a lionfish. Stewart is a strong animal rights activist who felt that the tank should have been removed, and he petitioned the producers in that regard for a long time. According to Cox, the tank's removal in "Chain of Command" was a "sort of a bone they threw to Patrick."

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  • 7

    Patrick Stewart Is Crazy For 'Beavis And Butt-Head'

    You wouldn't think it to look at him, but Sir Patrick Stewart is absolutely in love with Beavis and Butt-Head. He was asked about his love of the series in an interview, and he laughed at the question but answered with something of a surprise:

    I love that show. I’m so sorry that it’s gone. I don’t know why it appealed to me, but it did. It was brilliant, that’s why. Incredible characters. Heh heh heh heh.”

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  • 8

    He Narrated 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'

    Video: YouTube

    If you've seen The Nightmare Before Christmas, you probably know that the movie isn't narrated by Patrick Stewart. That's true of the final product, but initially, he was the film's narrator, and he recorded everything for the film. Unfortunately, Tim Burton didn't like the narration, so he cut Stewart's voice and changed it.

    Fortunately, Danny Elfman, the composer on the film, loved Stewart's reading so much that he incorporated it into his soundtrack. This means that the movie has the opening and closing narration of Edward Ivory while the official soundtrack replaces it with the original reading by Stewart.

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