While Patrick Stewart was knighted by the Queen last year, he has yet to be dubbed an Emmy winner despite four nominations. However, that could change this year as he is a strong contender for recreating his Tony-nominated performance in a TV version of “Macbeth.” This new interpretation from director Rupert Goold sees the Shakespearean tragedy staged in a Soviet-like subterranean fortress during the Cold War.
Patrick tells Gold Derby that without pubcasters PBS and the BBC, “the production simply would have existed only in the memories of those who saw it on the stage.” It originated at the Chichester Festival in 2007 and then transferred to the West End before sell-out engagements at both the Brooklyn Academy of Music and on Broadway in 2008. “MacBeth” reaped six Tony nominations, including that bid by Stewart (he lost to Mark Rylance in “Boeing Boeing”).
“Macbeth” aired as part of the ‘Great Performances‘ series (watch it HERE) and was honored with a Peabody Award for taking “Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy on location to the countryside and the trenches to riveting effect.” Earlier this year, Stewart reaped a SAG Award bid but lost to last year’s Emmy champ Al Pacino (“You Don’t Know Jack”).
For Stewart, an Emmy nomination “would be the final accolade for this extraordinary production and for its extraordinary history.” And, as he says, “I’ve been nominated several times for the Emmy Awards but have never walked away with one, and it would be especially gratifying to do that for a 400-year-old play!” Discussing his lack of success with the Emmys, Stewart wryly reveals that “at different times I have presented at awards shows, and you’re standing in the wings and there are all the awards all lined up that you’re going to be giving to someone else.” As he jests, “It is a temptation to grab a couple of them and run!”
Stewart came to fame as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Despite strong ratings and solid review, the series did not contend at the Emmys until it earned a Drama Series nomination for its seventh and final season in 1994. “We were immensely gratified. As the years had gone by we had just gotten used to [being ignored] … but we were a syndicated science-fiction remake of an original series, and somehow that translated into the work that we did not being quite taken seriously, and that hurts at times.” He recalls the joy felt by cast and crew at receiving that recognition; the show was bested by “Picket Fences” which picked up the second of its two Emmys.