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Patrick Stewart Remembers The Liberating Experience Of Playing His First Gay Character

card10_mainJeffrey was the first. It was 1994 and we had just wrapped the seventh and final season of Star Trek and I said to my agent, ‘Find me a job. I don’t care what i is but let it be as far removed from science fiction and outer space as possible!’ And very shortly he rang me and said, ‘I’e got it! There’s a move they’re making called Jeffrey…’ I had seen Paul Rudnick’s wonderful play here in New York and I met with the director. I think that was my first time playing an openly gay character and I enjoyed it immensely. Having led a life in the theater, I had been in the company of homosexual men and women from [the time I was] a teenager. It was familiar and completely normal. When we were prepping for the movie, the production designer said he wanted to have lots of photographs around Sterling’s apartment — of them on holiday and with friends and so forth — so how would you feel if you and Bryan [Batt] and Steve Weber [who played Jeffrey] go off and walk around the West Village. It was a Saturday afternoon during a hot summer, so without quite knowing exactly where he was with his camera we spent a couple of hours just hanging out and it was the loveliest experience. Liberating. And intimate. And fun.”

 

Patrick Stewart discussing his second-most famous role, Sterling in the 1995 film adaptation of Paul Rudnick’s hit play Jeffrey, in an interview with DNA magazine

Watch a clip reel from the film below.