Patrick Stewart credits the Next Generation cast for his long life and happiness

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Apr 27, 2017, 1:47 PM EDT (Updated)

We know Sir Patrick Stewart from his real-world adventures as much as we know him from his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation. His work with Amnesty International against domestic violence. His bromance with Sir Ian McKellen. His surprise hug for a girl with mitochondria disease .

But had you met him a few years ago, he would have been "boring and tiresome."

Sir Patrick is the first to admit it, as he did in a recent interview on Conan. On the set of Next Generation, he was a disciplinarian who wanted his fellow cast members to stop laughing and joking together. Denise Crosby told him, "Patrick, we have to have some fun." He responded, "We are not here to have fun!"

He credits the officers of the Enterprise for his more relaxed attitude. As he told O'Brien:

"It was all thank to my pals on Star Trek, who said, 'Patrick, for heaven's sake, come on, you'll enjoy the work more if you have fun, a few laughs every day, it will go quicker, contrary to what you're saying.' And of course, they were right, and we had a great time. So thank you, all those guys, because I think they made me live longer. I think maybe I wouldn't be here if they had not taught me how to laugh more, because I didn't laugh very much at all."

There may be some wisdom in his words. According to research done by the Longevity Genes Project, laughter may be one of the factors (along with sleep, exercise and having a strong social network) in increasing lifespan.

So if you're excited about the continued antics of Sir Patrick Stewart (and his new foster dog), you have lighthearted moments like this to thank for it:

(via TrekNews)