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Sir Patrick Stewart's Orlando Shakes appearance enthralls both Trekkies and Shakespeareans

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Performing for film versus stage: "Stage acting is about action. I don't mean swordfights and running around; it is to do with the action of the mind as well as the body. It is a very active process … whereas film is about thinking. The beautiful thing about cameras is that [they] photograph thoughts. … Doing a soliloquy on camera is exhilarating because you don't have to strive for anything. You simply have to let the thoughts happen, and the camera sees them."

Roles he still hopes to play: "Yes, Lear; yes, Falstaff. Absolutely. It's too late for Richard the Third, it's too late for Romeo, I'm never going to play Hamlet. But there are non-leading roles I'd love to play, and people wouldn't cast me in. I've wanted to play Bottom [the jackass in Midsummer Night's Dream] all my life. … Comedy is something that has begun to interest me more and more and more. I remember years and years ago hearing Lawrence Olivier being interviewed, and he said, 'It's marvelous to hear audiences sob, but it's so much better to hear them laugh.'"

In response, Helsinger rapidly suggested, "If Michael Kahn [of D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre Co.] won't do your Bottom, then I'll produce it." Count me among the fans who would love to see Sir Patrick accept that offer.

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