Sir Patrick Stewart helped to make a young Star Trek fan's dreams come true by meeting with her at a convention earlier this month (Sep14). Dawn Garrigus, who suffers from mitochondrial disease, won the chance to attend the Dragon Con event in Georgia through the Make-A-Wish foundation, but there was another big surprise in store for her when she got there.
The X-Men star, who portrayed Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek TV and film franchise, had arranged a personal meet and greet with her.
Recalling the encounter in an email to the Huffington Post, she writes, "I was shy at first, not sure what to say or talk about, but he kept talking to me. I felt like I was on the Enterprise talking to the captain. And suddenly, I was OK. I was soooo (sic) excited... I could not believe it."
Stewart posed for pictures with Garrigus and her family, and her parents explain the meeting has had a positive effect on the 11 year old as she battles her disease.
They say, "We have seen a very positive response. Her illness can be very depressing and leaves her feeling separated and causes her difficulty to relate to other kids her age. Her brief visit with Sir Patrick has alleviated that feeling."
In a message to the British star, they add, "You have made a mark on her and our life (sic) that will never be forgotten!"
X-Men: Days Of Future Past director Bryan Singer made good on a bet with his assistant after agreeing to get a tattoo if the film crossed the $700 million (GBP422 million) mark at the global box office. The latest X-Men movie opened in cinemas in May (14) to overwhelming success, raking in $110 million (GBP69 million) in the U.S. in its debut weekend alone.
When the superhero film passed the $500 million (GBP301.5 million) benchmark, Singer's assistant inked the official round X-Men symbol on his calf, and challenged his boss to do the same if and when the film passed $700 million.
Singer shared a photo of the new tattoo on Instagram.com last month (Jul14), and wrote, "My assistant kept his end of the bet. Tattoo at 500mil. Sucka (sic)! Yet now we are passed 700 it's (screenwriter Simon) Kinberg and my turn."
And on Wednesday (20Aug14), Singer made good on his wager, posting a photo of himself getting inked at Los Angeles' Shamrock Social Club tattoo parlour.
Offering moral support, Sir Patrick Stewart, who plays Professor X in the franchise, was on hand during the session to observe as the tattoo artist got to work on Singer's calf.
The director added the caption, "Getting my X-Tattoo with @sirpatstew witnessing midnight," while Stewart tweeted, "I'm great support staff."
The success of the film is a real tonic for Singer, who pulled out of promoting the movie after he was accused of sexually assaulting a teenager. The case has since been dismissed.
Veteran British actor Sir Patrick Stewart is among the celebrities who have given a voice to statues as part of a new art project in the U.K. Dozens of stars have recorded monologues for the Talking Statues Speak Their Minds project, which provides voices for famous sculptures in London and in Manchester, England.
Stewart has provided a voice for the statue of the Unknown Soldier at London's Paddington Station, The Wire's Dominic West read a piece for the Achilles monument in the city's Hyde Park and Doctor Who star Jenna Louise Coleman took on The Reading Girl statue in Manchester Central Library.
Other famous voices taking part include actors Russell Tovey and Hugh Dennis.
Sir Ian Mckellen helped South African director Brett Best propose to his boyfriend in a YouTube.com video.
Best originally wanted McKellen's good friend Patrick Stewart to film the part but The Lord of the Rings actor stepped in when Stewart became unavailable.
In the clip, he talks to the camera while holding a clapperboard that reads "Will you marry me?"
Michael Douglas, Sir Mick Jagger and Dame Judi Dench are among more than 200 stars who have come together to support a new drive to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom. BBC historian Dan Snow has put together a letter signed by hundreds of celebrities backing the 'No' campaign ahead of the Scottish referendum vote on independence in September (14).
A giant copy of the note was unveiled in London on Thursday (07Aug14), and is set to go on a tour of the rest of the United Kingdom countries so English, Welsh and Northern Irish members of the public can add their names to the star-studded list.
Snow says, "We think it is the most extraordinary list that has ever been compiled in modern British political history. It has taken my breath away."
Other celebrities to sign the list include Helena Bonham-Carter, Sir Patrick Stewart, Steve Coogan and Simon Cowell.
Actor Levar Burton is rounding up his former STAR TREK co-stars for live readings in support of a Kickstarter.com campaign to bring back his popular U.S. children's show Reading Rainbow. Last month (May14), The Roots actor launched a crowdfunding drive to revive the educational programme on the Internet, quickly reaching his initial goal of $1 million (£625,000) in less than 24 hours.
Burton now aims to raise $5 million (£2.95 million), and in a bid to entice more fans to back the project, he has set a special reward for anyone who donates $1,200 (£708) or more.
A series of four Star Trek reading events will be held in Los Angeles, including one featuring the male castmates Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, and Robert Picardo, and one with the franchise's female stars, Kate Mulgrew, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, and Jeri Ryan. Former captains Sir Patrick Stewart and William Shatner will also take part.
Burton has raised $3.7 million (£2.12 million) as of Thursday (12Jun14), with 19 days left in the campaign.
British actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Patrick Stewart and Toby Jones have marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day by re-recording the original news bulletin scripts from 1944. The trio took part in the special BBC coverage on Friday (06Jun14), starting at 8am (GMT) when Cumberbatch was heard reading the radio announcement about the Allied landings in Normandy, France which was broadcast at the same time exactly 70 years ago.
Stewart also read out a news bulletin from 6 June, 1944, along with Jones.
U.S. President Barack Obama and British monarch Queen Elizabeth II are among the dignitaries who travelled to Normandy on Friday to remember the soldiers who lost their lives in the historic World War II battle.
Veteran actor Patrick Stewart has voiced his support for legalising assisted suicide after revealing his personal experience with the controversial issue in a new interview. The wife of a close friend suffocated herself after a long battle with cancer, and now the X-Men star is calling for reform to British laws to allow terminally ill patients to choose the way they die.
Writing in Britain's The Mail On Sunday, Stewart explains, "At the age of 73, I have to consider the fact of my own mortality. I have come to see planning for death is simply another aspect of planning for life. It is part of a process of making sure the people you love will be taken care of, emotionally as well as practically."
Stewart adds he has written a 'living will' - a set of instructions to medical staff to withhold care from him in particular situations - but laments that U.K. law prevents him from including any instructions about assisted death should he become severely ill.
He adds, "I believe that choice at the end of life should include a change in the law to permit the option of assisted dying for people who are dying. Who is the current law protecting...? The current law is forcing people, who may simply want to end the unhappiness and indignity of the end of their lives, into an even worse situation. It is piling stress upon unimaginable distress."
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Get a good look at the destitute world presented in the very first scenes of X-Men: Days of Future Past, because you won't be spending much time there. In a swift few moments, the movie introduces the stakes (mutant-killing robots called Sentinels have wiped out the majority of the superpowered race and any sympathetic humans), the surviving players — Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Prof. X (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellen), and a few other marginally present regulars — and the one plan that's just crazy enough to fix everything: send Wolverine back in time to the 1970s, courtesy of Kitty Pryde's (Ellen Page) nifty new sending-people-back-in-time power, so he can prevent the impetus for this colossal nightmare from ever happening. Quicker than Peter Maximoff can divert a league of military bullets while rocking out to Jim Croce, we're out of the black hole of grim turmoil and frolicking about the groovy tunes and alabaster hues of 1973. And from there on out, it's all fun.
Wolverine's mission is simple: stop Mystique (Jennifer Bluerence) from killing government scientist Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), the very man who invented the Sentinels... turns out the act of vigilance was a bit counterproductive. But even simpler than Days of Future Past's hero's journey is its quick fix on the time travel problem — you know, the web of logical paradoxes present in every piece of time travel fiction from H.G. Welles to Marty McFly to Looper that draws ire from sci-fi adherents the world over. Kitty spells out the rules from the getgo:
Go to sleep in '14Wake up in '73Do stuffWhen you wake back up in '14, that stuff will have been doneThe stuff that everyone did before you went to sleep in '14 will have been undone
Bing bang boom. As upfront and easy as high-concept time travel gets. In fact, the guidelines of Days of Future Past's space-time continuum could stand in as the film's general maxim to all viewers: Don't think too much. About any of it. Don't hang too tight to the old stuff, don't worry about the stuff to come, don't even get particularly hung up on the stuff that's happening now. Just enjoy yourself.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Although framed around a time-bending journey to preempt the inception of a mutant genocide spanning decades, Days of Future Past isn't as much about the legacy of mutants as its premise might have you believe. All of its stories take place within and between '70s-era Charles (James McAvoy), Erik (Michael Fassbender), and Raven (Bluenifer Lawrence), battling their respective Cold War demons — drugs, political unrest, racial inequity — and shared personal discord. As a young Xavier riddled with pain and depression, McAvoy is a tremendous hoot, stealing scenes from all but one of his screen companions: the fast guy.
Even more of a testament to Days of Future Past's true nature than its "get in, get out, what happens happens" mentality on time travel is its breakout character, Peter Maximoff, a.k.a. Quicksilver (Evan Peters). Wrangled in as a deus ex machina midway through the picture and offering nothing more than hearty chuckles and flashy action sequences, Quicksilver stands far and beyond the more substantive characters and devices as Days of Future Past's foremost highlight. Not because the laugh-a-minute performance has got much running under the hood, but because DOFP is far more interested in having fun (which he does) than in saying anything (which the others do).
Peters is merely the beacon of the movie's joy, not the sole supplier of it. Wolverine's jaunts about the '73 Atlantic coast are deliciously merry. The grab bag of mutants popping out of the movie's seams is a delight. McAvoy's maudlin decadance as a rock bottom Charles is the stuff on which British comedy was founded. Future Past gets its gravity out of the way in the opening sequence; after that, it's all good times.
And that's why it gets away with what might otherwise be frustratingly clandestine references to X-Men film history. As lax as Days of Future Past is in its adherence to "the old stuff," picking and choosing what material from the previous films it wishes to deem canon, it seems to bank on the fact that all watching have every one of the franchise's cinematic contrivances fresh on their minds when they arrive for the new chapter. Stingy allowances to the backstories of characters and concepts — William Stryker (played here by Joshua Helman), the memories of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), and even Raven/Mystique (Bluenibler Bluebluence) — land inches from agonizing obstruction. But even if you're weighted down by your confusion over the nature of elements like these, you're likely to let the joy take hold, because the movie makes it terribly clear that the cool stuff is its top priority.
Although it might lack in the flare of some of its big screen comic book competitors, Days of Future Past does have plenty of "cool stuff" in its arsenal. At the expense, perhaps, of a story that feels perfectly woven, characters that come off as grounded, or a universe that's altogether cohesive, series pioneer Bryan Singer's return to the mutant world is plain ol' enjoyable enough to warrant the scope that it seems like it should have.
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"Wouldn't you think Ian McKellen and I were a shoo-in for Harry Potter? Not one phone call. It hurts. It still hurts!" Sir Patrick Stewart jokes about missing out on a role in the Harry Potter franchise, which featured a string of top British thespians.