Ian McKellen told Patrick Stewart not to take Star Trek role

The Lord of the Rings star said that Stewart had "long forgiven" his advice.

Patrick Stewart is undoubtedly best known for his role as Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and subsequent spin-offs, but if Ian McKellen had had his way that might never have been the case.

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The Lord of the Rings actor has said he advised Stewart – his long-time friend – against taking the role when it was originally offered to him, claiming that to take the job would be a risk.

Speaking to The Guardian, McKellen said, “He’s long forgiven me my advice not to risk a solid career on the British stage by falling for an uncertain future in Star Trek.

“How he got that job is a prime example of how luck can be a lady and it will be a riveting chapter in the memoir he must write.”

In total, Stewart spent seven seasons as the captain of the USS Enterprise in addition to four feature films – and he has recently returned to the role for Amazon Prime series Star Trek: Picard.

And he has previously spoken about the advice given by McKellen. During a conversation on This Morning earlier this year he said, “He was in Los Angeles at the time and I told him I had been offered this role in this series and he seriously warned me not to take the job because it wouldn’t be good for my career.

“That I was doing quite well in London in the theatre and I shouldn’t abandon myself to this. He has since admitted that he might have been wrong.”

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Star Trek: Picard is available on Amazon Prime. Find out what else in on with our TV Guide