September 6th, 2009
02:49 PM ET
A long line, something of a Dragon*Con mainstay, stretched across the third floor of Atlanta, Georgia's, Marriott Marquis hotel, all the way into the skywalk which connects into the Hyatt Regency across the street on Saturday. Another mainstay of the convention: asking "What is this line for?" was repeatedly answered with "Patrick Stewart."
One convention staffer described it as a game of "human Tetris" in order to get as many of the thousands lined up to see the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "X-Men" star into the hotel's enormous ballroom as possible.
In a talk show interview setting, Stewart fielded questions about his career and memories of his tenure as captain of the Enterprise. He was barely aware of "Trek" when he got the role and was "guaranteed" by friends and others that the show wouldn't work.
He discussed how horribly uncomfortable the show's uniforms were originally, leading his doctor to contact the production office demanding that they be changed.
When asked about fellow convention guests Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, Stewart talked about how much he respected Nimoy. As for Shatner, he paused and said, "He's a piece of work, isn't he?"
He was also particularly pleased to be able to recall the plots of some favorite episodes mentioned from the titles.
When the discussion turned to "X-Men," Stewart, who had a cameo as a younger Professor Charles Xavier in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," said that from what he had heard, audiences have probably not seen the last of the professor. He mentioned he recently co-starred in a production of "Waiting for Godot" with Ian McKellen and the two agreed that they would like continue exploring the relationship between Xavier and McKellen's "X-Men" character Magneto.
As for that other franchise, Stewart thought that this summer's reboot of "Star Trek" was "terrific," but didn't see a future for Jean-Luc Picard in the franchise, leaving open only the possibility that he would agree to do a cameo in a sequel. Stewart mentioned a proposed final "Next Generation" film, but after the disappointing box office for "Star Trek: Nemesis," it never materialized.
"I feel that I have left behind a legacy as Picard," he said. "In my head and heart, I've moved on."
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