Legendary actor Patrick Stewart has reflected on his time spent on set alongside an unproven Tom Hardy for the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis.
“The 2002 release of Nemesis was especially poor. There wasn’t a single thrilling sequence in the film that I was a part of, and the guy who played the villain, Shinzon, was a strange, lonely kid from London. Tom Hardy was his name, Stewart wrote.
To say that actor Patrick Stewart’s experience as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the last theatrical release involving the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation was less than stellar would be an understatement. Hardy’s nasty performance as Shinzon, the clone of Capt. Picard, was the film’s most memorable moment, but according to Stewart, the actor didn’t strike out as a particularly impressive performer behind the scenes.
Why Tom Hardy avoided getting too close to the Star Trek crew
The USS Enterprise-E crew faced off against Shinzon and renegade members of the Romulan Star Empire in Star Trek: Nemesis, the tenth film in the Star Trek film series. After the box office and critical failure of 2002’s “Nemesis,” Paramount put the big-screen series on hold until 2009’s “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” which J.J. Abrams directed. Stewart’s legendary character as Picard would be revived for three seasons on Paramount+’s Star Trek: Picard.
A-list success with films like Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and Venom helped Hardy rise beyond the flop of Nemesis. In his autobiography, Stewart describes how he was pleased to learn that the shy actor from the set of Nemesis had become a famous star.
In preparation for Star Trek: Nemesis, directors Stuart Baird and Rick Berman looked for a mid-20s actor who resembled Patrick Stewart. The casting team originally wanted Jude Law for the role of Shinzon, but eventually Baird opted to go elsewhere. Hardy had already been in a few films and TV shows by the time he was 25. These included Black Hawk Down and the HBO series Band of Brothers. Stewart recalls that although he and his TNG co-stars had an easy rapport from the start, Hardy tended to stay to himself.
Tom refused to interact with any of us socially. According to Stewart, he never said hello to anyone in the morning or evening and spent his downtime with his girlfriend in his trailer. There was no sign of hostility from [Hardy]. It was simply hard to connect with him in any meaningful way.
“On the evening Tom wrapped his role, he walked out the door without any ceremony or niceties,” Stewart writes. “As it ended, I whispered to Brent [Spiner] and Jonathan [Frakes], ‘And there goes someone I suspect we will never hear of again.’ It brings me nothing but joy that Tom has shown me so wrong.”