Hiring Patrick Stewart for the role of Star Trek: The Next Generation's Jean-Luc Picard was a brilliant move, right? Most people thought so. But there was at least one person who believed casting him as a starship captain was a stupid idea—Patrick Stewart himself.
In a recent interview, Stewart, who played the role from 1987 to 1994 on TV and then later in film, shared his initial doubts about the part:
"Why would they cast a middle-aged bald English Shakespearean actor in this iconic role as captain of the Enterprise? It made no sense."
So why did he sign on for Star Trek? Because Gene Roddenberry INSISTED on it.
"I guess Gene... had some sort of instinct for it, and his producer Rick Berman was a champion of mine. ... Even so, it all felt borderline lunatic back then. It took me a good while to grow comfortable in that role."