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Breakfast Friday, 25 April, 2003, 05:26 GMT 06:26 UK
X Men 2: Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart in X Men 2
He's played Star Trek's captain Jean Luc Picard and now - in X Men 2 - he's a power crazed mutant.

But in real life, Patrick Stewart's main preoccupation at the moment is not so much world domination as the fate of second division Huddersfield Town, which faces relegation any day now.

The Shakespearean actor and science fiction cult hero joined Bill and Sian in the Breakfast studio this morning, to tell us all about his latest film, which opened last night (Thursday).

And he also happened to mention his preoccupation with football.

Filming science fiction is particularly challenging, because of the number of special effects which are added long after the actors have shot their scenes.
Patrick Stewart in the BBC Breakfast studio
Stewart used to feel Picard was taking over his life

"Filming is very fragmented when you have so much computer-generated stuff," he told us.

"You spend a lot of time acting in front of a green or blue screen, imagining what's taking place."

Patrick Stewart is currently rehearsing for Ibsen's The Master Butcher, which opens in London in June.

But it's his role as Jean Luc Picard, in Star Trek the Next Generation which has made him famous around the world.

"I went through a period when we were making the series when I felt I was losing my identity and being taken over by the captain," he told us.

"Now I have warm and tender feelings for him - he's an admirable character."

X men 2

X Men 2 comes out in cinemas across the UK on 1 May, and it won't have escaped the notice of Star Trek Fans that Patrick Stewart will make a return in the film.

Stewart played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the sci fi series and in X2, as the film has been dubbed, he reprises his character of Professor Charles Xavier.

  • You can see Patrick Stewart live on Breakfast at 0850 BST

    X2 tells the story of the X Men who have extraordinary powers thanks to a genetic mutation.

    Despite the fact that they are feared and loathed, the X Men under the tutelage of the of Xavier - a powerful and gifted telepath - direct their powers for the greater good of mankind.

    In X2, the X Men face their most dangerous mission ever and must stand united with their enemies to combat a menace that threatens mankind, and mutant-kind alike.

    The X Men films are based on 40 year old comics created by Stan Lee. The stories tackle prejudice, misunderstanding and what it's like to be an outsider.

    Director Bryan Singer says the film has evolved since the first one and that they are designed to expand, he says "these stories can go on forever."

    The cast includes Ian McKellen and Famke Janssen but Stewart does not think he has been typecast by his role in Star Trek.

    "I think perhaps when I first walk in front of the camera they'll say 'Aha, there, Jean Luc, we recognize him.' I believe that audiences are really smart enough to let go of that pretty quickly.

    "But that's also my job as an actor to persuade them that, you know , Jean Luc Picard is left behind and this is someone entirely different".

    Patrick Stewart Facts:

  • Is married to former Star Trek producer Wendy Neuss

  • Awarded a star on Hollywood's walk of fame in 1996

  • Has won Olivier, and New York Theatre critics awards

  • Appointed an OBE in January 2001

  • Was convinced he would be sacked after his first season in Star Trek the Next Generation in 1987

  • Began to lose his hair at the age of 19

  • Has a human rights scholarship named after him from Amnesty International

  • X2 is released on 1 May
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