How Grueling Star Trek: The Next Generation Was To Film, According To Patrick Stewart

Star Trek: The Next Generation Jean-Luc Picard Patrick Stewart CBS
(Image credit: CBS)

When it came to playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard the first time around, it turns out that Patrick Stewart had a pretty grueling schedule when it came to filming Star Trek: The Next Generation. If he'd known how tough it would be to film, Sir Ian McKellen may have tried to advise Stewart against taking his now-famous role as the beloved captain of the USS Enterprise for an entirely different reason.

Patrick Stewart serves as an executive producer on Star Trek: Picard. A role he could not have imagined taking on when he was filming Star Trek: The Next Generation in the early years. Asked if he always wanted to executive produce, Stewart told CBS Sunday Morning:

No, I was too naïve, too new at the game of series television [to executive produce]. I had so much work to do. Really, the first couple of years I didn’t have a social life at all. We’d work a 5-day week, 12, 13, 14, sometimes 15-hour days, especially toward the end of the week. Then Saturday, I’d allow a little sleep-in and do my own laundry—which I still do.

It turns out that former Batwoman star, Ruby Rose, is not the only one who apparently experienced a consuming work schedule. Patrick Stewart also knows more than a thing or two about facing a super busy workload. Stewart admits that his regular work-week was taken over by Star Trek: The Next Generation. What was Stewart’s ray of sunshine during a given week?

On Saturday, he got to enjoy sleeping in a bit later and catching up on his laundry. Who knew Patrick Stewart’s life during Star Trek: The Next Generation could be so relatable? By the way, Stewart still does his own laundry, and he seems to relish it. There goes one question you do not have to wonder about as you await the second season of Star Trek: Picard.

Patrick Stewart is a man of many gifts (poetry readings anyone?), but his schedule did not always allow for a lot of freedom. Portraying Jean-Luc Picard during Star Trek: The Next Generation was a pretty exhausting gig. No wonder the cast is still so close. Working those kinds of hours together can really bring an ensemble together.

If you thought that learning why Riker sat down with such a specific gusto in Star Trek: The Next Generation was explosive, how about this? Between that and Patrick Stewart opening up about his workload, there is still a lot to learn about the beloved series. Now that Stewart has been able to executive produce his non-sequel series, does this mean he has more free time than before?

I certainly hope so. Being the legend that he is, Patrick Stewart probably gets to call as many of the shots as he wants around the set on Star Trek: Picard, so I can imagine that having a bit more free time than when he was on TNG was likely on his list of requirements. Jean-Luc Picard could definitely use some down time to do his laundry after that emotional scene with his old friend, Data, in Star Trek: Picard. And, now that Picard is not wearing the same old uniform all the time, his laundry should be a bit more eventful.

You can watch Patrick Stewart and some of his co-stars from Star Trek: The Next Generation in Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access. While you wait for Stewart to return for the latter series’ second season, you can stay entertained with this summer’s premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.