There are a lot of ways to get to know a character. You can study all their appearances, get really into the heads of the people who made them. Or, you can just be a brilliant actor who’s played that character for several years. That works, too.
According to Michael Chabon, who’s signed on as a producer for the upcoming Star Trek series starring Captain Jean Luc Picard, that’s the approach they’re taking. In a new interview with IGN, Chabon shared that, alongside the show’s core of writers and producers, Sir Patrick Stewart has played a major role in shaping the character and his story.
“We brought in Sir Patrick himself, and he has the kind of master grasp of the character,” he said. “He has been really influential in both helping us understand the character, and also pushing us and challenging us. And I think more than anything — and I don’t think it’s revealing anything for me to say this — he’s really pushing us to try to do something new and different with the character. And that’s why he wants to play it, so that he can play something that honors the character, that’s true to the character. And like I said, he’s a very fierce protector of the character, but at the same time, he wants to see Jean-Luc Picard having experiences, having adventures, and be put in situations we haven’t seen before.”
It makes sense that Stewart would be a bit less reverent than the writers. After all, he’s the one who has to play Picard—and after years being the captain on The Next Generation, one has to imagine the lure of doing something new with him is a big reason why Stewart signed on.