The meeting was quick, strange, and bad. Stewart was essentially rejected before he had a chance to say much. He recalls being happy to have gotten out of there. He wrote:
“It was all very awkward. A few pleasantries were exchanged among us, but I was not invited to sit down. Indeed, it was a matter of mere minutes before Roddenberry called the conversation to a halt, turning to me abruptly and saying, ‘Thanks for coming.’ Clearly, the meeting was over. Robert Justman escorted me to the door and again warmly shook my hand. He was lovely, but the whole experience had felt very uncomfortable and I was relieved to get out.”
Stewart’s name never dropped off of casting lists, even though Roddenberry clearly hated him for the part of Captain Picard. It was later revealed to the actor that Roddenberry was quoted as saying “Patrick Stewart’s name should never, ever be mentioned in my presence again!” Yikes. Stewart left the meeting, contemplating becoming a championship squash player instead of an actor. It took him months of consideration to think that pursuing TV or film in America might be a good move for his career. “What about Hollywood?” he asked himself.
The first impression was a bad one, but Stewart would go on to play Jean-Luc Picard in seven seasons of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” in four “Star Trek” feature films, and in three seasons of “Star Trek: Picard.”For a moment, it seemed that Stewart would forever associate “Star Trek” with green shag carpets and an awkward meeting with some bloke in a run-down Hollywood home.
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