Doesn't Jean-Luc Picard French origin bugs you?

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NCC1966
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Doesn't Jean-Luc Picard French origin bugs you?

Postby NCC1966 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:53 pm

It always bugged me.

Why they picked a British actor to play a role of a French character? It doesn't make any sense for me, specially because his behavior has all that characteristic pedant style of Britain. Unless by his name I just can't see a French guy when I look at him. He doesn't even have a minimal trace of a French accent.

The questions that remains in my mind are:

1) Why they didn't pick a French actor for the role? I think that Jean Reno would play an excellent Federation ship captain.

2) If they wanted badly to use Patrick Stewart why they just didn't make him a British?

I really never will understand the point. What am I missing here?
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Re: Doesn't Jean-Luc Picard French origin bugs you?

Postby TonyG2 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:22 pm

I can see your point. I would suggest that in the early days of Next Gen, Picard was more French than in the later shows. Even to the pint of discussing national flags and how the French Blue White and Red was more appropriate than an Anglo American Red White and Blue :D

I suppose part of it is the idea that Earth had become more homogenous and it didn't really matter if you were French, Japanese, English or American by birth. At least not officially.

In interviews, even Patrick Stewart wasn't sure why he was cast. After all a balding middle aged Yorkshireman playing a Frenchman seems odd. Then again, he is an actor so playing parts that are not you is what its all about. He had said that as time passed he made Picard more like himself to the point
"it was impossible to tell where Jean Luc started and Patrick Stewart ended


Why they didn't just make him English I will never know. All the "tea, Earl Grey, Hot" business. Maybe Picard just wished he had been born British :D

Jean Reno? Yes I agree he would have made a superb captain. Different type than Picard. More the action man and less the scientist/diplomat but would certainly have liked to see him in a captains chair.

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Re: Doesn't Jean-Luc Picard French origin bugs you?

Postby Tesral » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Valid points all. They even sent him home once, to France.

The Picards have been famous for exploration since at least the 19th century. I get the connection.

HOWEVER you are exactly right. Why didn't they get a French actor? If they were determined to use Steward, why not a British background? Hudson, Cook, Shackleton, all brave British explorers. The man is as un French as one can get.

All said, it is what it is. The hand once written, moves on.
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Re: Doesn't Jean-Luc Picard French origin bugs you?

Postby Tesral » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:30 pm

TonyG2 wrote:He had said that as time passed he made Picard more like himself to the point
"it was impossible to tell where Jean Luc started and Patrick Stewart ended



I think this happens with any long term role, unless that role is very different from yourself. Frank (Ferret Face) Burns on M*A*S*H is a perfect example of that. The character is a despicable fool. Larry Linville who played him is a sweet lovable guy.

Bill Shatner said much the same thing. He played the role close to his chest. But he also added he was not given much background to base the character off of.
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Re: Doesn't Jean-Luc Picard French origin bugs you?

Postby Hossfly72 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:30 pm

Something that has bugged me since the very first episode aired.
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Re: Doesn't Jean-Luc Picard French origin bugs you?

Postby dJiPi » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:42 pm

And what should a French Captain should look like ? (could be useful in real life :mrgreen: :lol: )
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Re: Doesn't Jean-Luc Picard French origin bugs you?

Postby Drop_Bear » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:01 am

Like Patrick Stewart, but with the right frickin' accent.
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Re: Doesn't Jean-Luc Picard French origin bugs you?

Postby Greyryder » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:28 am

When they were trying to determine what nationality to make his character in Masterminds, Patrick Stewart told the producers "If, you make him British, I can make him really annoying."

Maybe, it's best he played a Frenchman in Star Trek.

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Re: Doesn't Jean-Luc Picard French origin bugs you?

Postby Drop_Bear » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:51 am

But that's the issue raised by NCC1966. Picard has a French name, but he comes across as a British person. The tea, the Shakespeare... you could brush it off as Picard's personal tastes if only Patrick Stewart had effected a general French accent. Using the same kind of logic here I could adopt my grandfather's surname, add a diacritic to my first name and declare myself a native of the Czech Republic.

Personally, I find it amusing rather than annoying. Picard just has to be an unabashed Anglophile who speaks in the 24th Century equivalent of a Mid-Atlantic Accent. :)
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Re: Doesn't Jean-Luc Picard French origin bugs you?

Postby dJiPi » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:29 am

Drop_Bear wrote:Like Patrick Stewart, but with the right frickin' accent.


As I am lazy (sometimes) I watch Star Trek in French so Cpt. Picard has the proper accent :lol:

For sure he doesn't look like a French Cpt; I don't drink so much tea but a lot of coffee instead, my uniform is not so neat, I use much more crude words in dire situations, I am not as straight-ram as if I had a broom handle stick in the -censored-, I do eat French bread (baguette) and drink, occasionally, red wine (no romulan beer) and I'm not bald but have, like many other colleagues, a beard (white for instance) :mrgreen:
Riker is more like a French officer (women, adventurer, bearded,...).

But it is quite understandable that they put a French Cpt. in charge: Federation have some headquarters in France and the Enterprise is l'Entreprise !
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