‘Green Room’ Is a Chance for Patrick Stewart to Use His Powers for Evil

By  · Published on October 22nd, 2014


There’s something inherently calming about Patrick Stewart. The rich Shakespearean importance of his voice. His association with characters like Jean-Luc Picard and Charles Xavier, characters we cherish for their stern, all-knowing wiseness. Even his baldness is soothing (mostly because trying to picture Patrick Stewart with hair is so unsettling – Google Images and the phrase “Patrick Stewart with Hair” will supply you with a few of his rare hairpieced performances, but he doesn’t really look like Patrick Stewart…just somebody’s dad).

Because of this, Stewart is almost always the hero, the voice of reason, the wizened old sage instructing our heroes with nuggets of English wisdom. And he’s almost never the villain. How could he be? We’d love and respect him too much, and end up supporting his plans for world domination or killing all the koalas in the eucalyptus patch or whatever his villain goals are. So it’s with great surprise that Stewart has just signed on (which we know thanks to The Wrap) for a very ungood role in Green Room.

Green Room, the follow-up to Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin, has already cast most of its leads – Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots and Alia Shawkat as members of a punk rock band that witness a party of skinheads commit a horrible crime, then have to fight back against white power when the neo-Nazis decide they’d rather not have any witnesses around. And Stewart will be playing perhaps the least Patrick Stewart-y role of his career: Darcy Banker, the top dog skinhead. There’s really no further point from “authoritative Englishman” than “white supremacist powermonger,” as far as we can tell.

It’s a given that Stewart will rule this role. All his mainstream work for the past decade or so has been fairly safe – the majority of it having to do with Charles Xavier, Jean-Luc Picard or Seth MacFarlane (there’s a working relationship no one predicted – Stewart has done 14 Family Guys, 62 American Dads, Ted and A Million Ways to Die in the West). But never forget that Stewart’s gravitas stems from a firm tradition in Shakespeare, and once he taps back into the roots, Green Room will have a white power skinhead who speaks in the same calming cadence as Professor X.

And it’s not like Stewart’s never played a villain before. It’s just that in a 50-year career, the guy’s only ventured across the good guy line a handful of times. Luckily, we’ve prepared a primer on those rare occasions when Stewart’s gotten a little nasty.

Like any good Shakespearean, Stewart’s early roles were primarily period pieces – and among them contained the odd turn as a bad guy. Claudius in a TV version of Hamlet; Sejanus (a soldier and poltician who killed his way to power, then, in the ancient Roman tradition, was killed himself) in the BBC drama I, Claudius. Then, a quickie turn as the menacing Karla in BBC’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and its follow-up, Smiley’s People. Fun fact: despite appearing as George Smiley’s arch-nemesis in both BBC adaptations, Stewart doesn’t do anything in either besides stare at Alec Guinness while keeping every muscle in his face perfectly frozen.

Once the eighties hit and Star Trek: The Next Generation made Stewart a household name, he capitalized on his newfound fame the way every actor of quality should: playing the villain in subpar action movies. But again, only a chosen few. In Gunmen, Stewart played a wheelchair-bound drug lord, while Conspiracy Theory showed him off as an evil CIA headshrink with a penchant for brainwashing Mel Gibson. Neither was particularly well-received or well-remembered.

Once Stewart hitched his gravitas to the X-Men franchise, his villainous turns petered out almost entirely. He dubbed his voice over a pig for one of the ruling swine triumvirate in the live-action 1999 Animal Farm, and dazzled audiences with his drive to eat Jimmy Neutron’s parents as King Goobot in Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.

Today, the only Stewart of ill repute who remains is Hilariously Sleazy Patrick Stewart. He doesn’t champion white power or eat people’s parents, but he is an unrepentant womanizer and tends to be kind of a dick about it. You may have seen the short film where Stewart called some guy’s sister the C-word, or when he wrote sexy Charles Xavier fanfiction on Extras.

Green Room’s neo-Nazi villain might have a few shades of these various Evil Stewarts in him. Or this could be entirely new territory for the former Shakespearean. Either way, we put our full faith in Stewart’s extremely capable, commanding hands. All we ask is that after this, he throw in a few more Xaviers and Picards just to balance things out.