Jonathan Frakes calls Patrick Stewart "the real number one"


Patrick Stewart admitted in his autobiography, Making it So, that he wasn't the easiest guy to get along with on the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation during its first season. He came from a theatrical background, and the sets weren't known for levity. He lightened up over the course of the following six seasons, even getting to the point where Jonathan Frakes referred to him as "silly" in the Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross [via Screenrant].

That doesn't seem like a word that belongs with Stewart, but Frakes said that some shows need levity. Star Trek: The Next Generation was one of them, especially during dark moments like when Denise Crosby's character, Tasha Yar, was killed. Frakes said Stewart ran across the field singing "the hills are alive..." As that was an episode where every actor and characer were in tears, Stewart helped to lighten the mood.

"He’s the real Number One. Patrick became silly, which is his great Americanization. There are some shows where you need levity. When the show is light, you play it in the scenes. But I remember how silly we had to be when Denise’s character got killed off. Patrick ran across the field singing 'the hills are alive…' That’s an episode where we were all crying as our characters and ourselves. I was the morale officer. Sometimes I’m guilty of being an a**hole on the set, and then I’d see someone else misbehaving when I’m directing, and I say, 'Oy, Frakes, you’ve dug your own grave.'"

Jonathan Frakes

Frakes called Stewart "the real Number One" as apparently, lightening the mood was something Stewart did more than once. As stoic as his character was onboard the Enterprise, offscreen, he brought the silliness. And it worked for the actors who all became and have stayed good friends, even reuniting in the final season of Star Trek: Picard.

Stewart has spoken about how Star Trek changed his life. That's most likely something all of the actors who have played a role in the beloved franchise can say.

Next. Jonathan Frakes had a first on Walton’s Mountain. Jonathan Frakes had a first on Walton’s Mountain. dark