Screen and stage legend Sir Patrick Stewart celebrates his 77th birthday today, July 13, 2017. However, with his advancing age, he admitted to the Mirror that he has begun to feel the weight of his age pressing down upon him.
“There is not a day goes by where I don’t think of my mortality. I am 76 years old. I am married to a much younger woman and I cannot see her without reflecting on the differences in our ages and expectations and so forth.”
Sir Patrick Stewart has seen numerous of his contemporaries pass on, including fellow Star Trek stars Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin. The loss of other friends, including Alan Rickman and Alan Howard, has also made him feel his years.
Still, Sir Patrick Stewart is adamant not to dwell on the morbid. Instead, he uses the pains and fears to feed his acting. Indeed, Sir Stewart is adamant that nothing in life is wasted when you’re an actor.
According to Sir Stewart, even getting painful cortisone injections into his hands for osteoarthritis is an experience that he can use for acting. Sir Stewart inherited the condition from his mother and regularly has to get treatments to deal with the pain and stiffness. During the most recent process, he found himself ready to throw in the towel after the third of eight shots, thinking that the unpleasant procedure wasn’t worth the pain. Then he reminded himself that the pain itself was a good experience. One day, a future role might need him to pretend to experience pain, and now, he knows “what the hell it feels like.”
Of acting, Stewart has often said that it’s one of the most interesting aspects of his life.
Patrick Stewart’s Next Movie
His next role is one that he has expressed excitement about. In the upcoming animated feature, The Emoji Movie, Sir Patrick Stewart will be playing the role of the Poop Emoji. Stewart has said that despite being Poop, the Emoji is actually very refined, a very proper and upright Englishman.
In an interview with Conan O’Brien in March of 2017, he spoke about playing the role of Poop, saying that this is a role that he might not have accepted in his younger acting days. Now, he said, he’s been preparing to play this role his entire life.
Sir Patrick Stewart has had a long and storied life as an actor of the stage and screen. He started acting when he was just a child. He began studying drama at a young age, and by the age of 15, he was a regular participant in his local theater.
When Stewart was 26, he became a member of the Royal Shakespeare company, staying with them until 1982. During this time, he had numerous television and Broadway roles, but none provided him with household recognition. However, in 1987, despite his distaste at that time for science fiction television, he accepted a six-year contract to revive an old science fiction television show, Star Trek. Stewart had never seen the original series and had no idea of its place as an American cultural icon. He thought that the show would fail rather quickly, and he could go back to the theater after making some easy money.
Of course, Next Generation became a rousing success, making Patrick Stewart a recognizable face in American pop culture. The success of the series and its resulting movies forced Stewart away from the stage for quite some time, making his return difficult. The role did, however, open a great many doors for Stewart, leading to numerous awards and award nominations for him on both the small screen and the stage.
Stewart also ended up starring as Professor Charles Xavier in seven X-Men films. After the 2017 feature film Logan, Stewart announced that he would be leaving that role behind him as well.
Sir Patrick Stewart remains a kind and affable gentleman who champions a great many causes. Because of his abusive upbringing, Stewart works with Amnesty International, speaking against domestic violence. He also supports a scholarship at the University of Huddersfield, which funds a postgraduate study about domestic violence. Sir Stewart is a patron of the U.K. charity for abused women, Refuge.
Stewart is a well-known spokesperson in favor of LGBQT+ rights and partners with his long-time friend Ian McKellan on many campaigns aimed at raising awareness about LGBQT+ rights in both the United States and Great Britain.
Stewart has been married three times and has two children from his first marriage to Sheila Falconer. His current wife, Sunny Ozell, is a singer/songwriter from New York who met Stewart when he was performing Macbeth at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
[Featured Image by Jordan Strauss/AP Images]