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    Posted: 19:14:44 on June 29 2002
    By: Steve Krutzler
    Dept: Star Trek: Nemesis

    In a new Q&A with British entertainment magazine Empire, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION star Patrick Stewart reveals that intense contract negotiations with Paramount Pictures for the upcoming STAR TREK: NEMESIS almost had Jean-Luc Picard sitting this one out.

    "I was a breath away from saying this is not worth the time. An absolute breath away," the actor says when asked about rumors of his uncompromising contract negotiations for the tenth STAR TREK feature. "They were negotiating so uncompromisingly that it had reached the point where humiliation was the only way of settling this and I wasn't prepared to do that. But luckily the nice thing for actors is that you don't actually have to walk into those rooms yourself, and you don't have to answer the phone when they call. It's a very curious place, Hollywood, in that in the space of the day, someone's attitude can shift from downright brutality to treating you as a member of the family."

    The August 2002 (#158) issue of the magazine is on sale now in the UK and also confronts Stewart with the reality that many fans may have read the script for NEMESIS.

    "That annoys the hell out of me," he says when the interviewer tells him he's just read the script on the Internet. "I don't know why people want to know what's going to happen. What satisfaction could you get out of that? I understand people wanting to know who's in it, who are the villains, but blow-by-blow accounts mystify me. On X-Men 2 I have a script with my name and code number printed across every page. It's a case of 'read your script and eat it'. Bryan [Singer] actually said, 'I don't think they'll let you see your script until the last day of filming.'"

    The accomplished actor also reveals that had he know ST:TNG wasn't going to fail, he might have reevaluated his decision to join such a frenzy-generating franchise.

    "Had I know it would be like this, I would never have done it. I had no idea what the contractual obligations were of being in a series. But everybody I talked to not the Star Trek people, but everybody else in Hollywood reassured me that there wasn't the remotest possibility of this series being successful, so there was no harm in making a bit of money fro a change. And getting a suntan.

    But he's grateful for what STAR TREK has afforded him: "It has had a tremendously beneficial impact on my life and career."

    Finally, Empire poses the following to Patrick: "Trekkies are geeks and nerds, and to be avoided. Discuss." To which he responds:

    "That's not fair. Star Trek fans get a bad press. They're a very knowledgeable group of people. Although somebody approached me the other day and said, "I love everything you've done. I thought you were fantastic in Star Wars and most of all I loved you in the X-Files [laughs]."

    Read more in the August issue of Empire and thanks to 'Antony' for these excerpts.

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