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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old August 28 2013, 08:03 PM   #1
Makarov
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Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

I like Tom Hardy in everything he's done, and I'm excited to see him as Mad Max. But I can't help feeling that Nemesis might have been more fun if Patrick Stewart had played both roles. Especially after seeing a recent Sam Rockwell movie set in space.

Is there a reason they didn't go that route? What do you guys think?
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Old August 28 2013, 08:18 PM   #2
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

it would make sense, since it was supposed to be his clone
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Old August 28 2013, 08:43 PM   #3
CorporalClegg
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

I really don't think it would have made any difference. A shitty concept is a shitty concept no matter how you try and package it.
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Old August 28 2013, 08:44 PM   #4
Christopher
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

KaraBear wrote: View Post
it would make sense, since it was supposed to be his clone
Except that a clone is not actually a copy or identical twin, despite the tendency of fiction to misrepresent it that way. Your clone would be your offspring, your child -- just a child born without a second parent being involved.

And dramatically, thematically, Shinzon was indeed written and played as an estranged surrogate son for Picard. The emotional core of the film is that father-son dynamic between Picard and Shinzon. Picard sees himself reflected in Shinzon but is disturbed by the path his heir has taken and tries to guide him into making more of his potential. But Shinzon resents existing in the shadow of his overachieving "father" and is thus rebelling against him violently. The generational difference between them, the young upstart versus the wise elder, is essential to the character dynamic of the film.

Not to mention that watching Stewart and Hardy perform scenes together and play off each other is much more interesting and energetic from an acting standpoint than one guy doing a bunch of split-screen shots would be. Actors do better when they have other actors to respond to, when they can have a real dialogue rather than just talking to an tennis ball on a stick where a special effect will be stuck in later.
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Old August 28 2013, 10:51 PM   #5
Makarov
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

The father/son angle is definitely there, but with the "I'm a mirror for you" stuff I think them being the same age would be cool too.

There's a couple moments the movie I think would work better. For instance when Shinzon is revealed the characters are shocked, but the audience isn't really because he doesn't look like Patrick Stewart.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Actors do better when they have other actors to respond to, when they can have a real dialogue rather than just talking to an tennis ball on a stick where a special effect will be stuck in later.
I used to agree with this until I saw Sam Rockwell's recent performance in Moon. I don't know if it's just that the splitscreen technology has improved since then. Also half of Star Trek seems to be actors having dialogues with viewscreens that aren't there, I think they would be more prepared for it than any other actors.

It worked out pretty well in Time Squared, although unfortunately with those two Picards the conversation was pretty one-sided.
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Old August 28 2013, 11:00 PM   #6
Hober Mallow
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

Tom Hardy never sold me on being a Picard clone, but even if he had, or if Patrick Stewart had played Shinzon, it still would have been the same crappy story.
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Old August 28 2013, 11:09 PM   #7
dub
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

This was briefly discussed in the Nemesis thread, but yes I agree. I know it would change the father/son dynamic, and I know it's more difficult to act against something you can't see, but I definitely think Patrick Stewart could have knocked it out of the park and I have no doubt it would have been 10x better. Nothing takes me out of the story more than knowing Tom Hardy looks nothing at all like Patrick Stewart aside from the bald head. Yes, the story would need to be tweaked but I think the dramatic impact of seeing Stewart as both the bad guy and the hero would have been incredible.
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Old August 28 2013, 11:15 PM   #8
Hober Mallow
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

I can't imagine any possible way they could have salvaged the "Picard has an evil twin" story to my satisfaction.
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Old August 28 2013, 11:26 PM   #9
Christopher
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

Makarov wrote: View Post
The father/son angle is definitely there, but with the "I'm a mirror for you" stuff I think them being the same age would be cool too.
That's there in the rhetoric, sure, but if you look beyond the words to the underlying emotions and motivations, it's very, very much a story of a wayward son resenting his father. At least that's the way it played out with Hardy in the role. If they had gone with Stewart in a dual role, it would presumably have altered the script accordingly. But I don't think that would've been nearly as interesting. Maybe for a younger Stewart/Picard it would've worked, but this movie showed Picard at a point in his life where he'd been forced to confront his mortality and the prospect of dying without an heir (Generations), so presenting him with what's effectively a long-lost son has a much deeper emotional impact at that stage in his life than a "twin brother" would.


There's a couple moments the movie I think would work better. For instance when Shinzon is revealed the characters are shocked, but the audience isn't really because he doesn't look like Patrick Stewart.
That's just a matter of suspension of disbelief. Lots of actors cast as parents and children don't resemble each other, but we're supposed to pretend. I once saw a stage production of Hamlet where Hamlet was white and Claudius was black, and this was never acknowledged or addressed in any way. We accepted that they were actors playing roles and let the script and performances define their relationship rather than dwelling on their appearance.



Christopher wrote: View Post
Actors do better when they have other actors to respond to, when they can have a real dialogue rather than just talking to an tennis ball on a stick where a special effect will be stuck in later.
I used to agree with this until I saw Sam Rockwell's recent performance in Moon. I don't know if it's just that the splitscreen technology has improved since then. Also half of Star Trek seems to be actors having dialogues with viewscreens that aren't there, I think they would be more prepared for it than any other actors.
I'm not talking about talent or skill. There's no question that Stewart's technical skill is masterful enough to handle anything. I'm talking about the energy and vitality that comes when performers are able to play off each other, react to each other, give each other inspiration through their performances. It can generate a feedback, a synergy that's greater than the sum of its parts. This is why animation voice directors like Andrea Romano prefer to have their voice casts perform together rather than separately as is the norm in animation, and why the casts of The Simpsons and Futurama usually record together. This is why so many actors enjoy performing before a live audience, and why so many comedies use them. Because performance is intrinsically an interactive, communicative process. It works best when a performer can play off others directly and respond to their energy, whether other performers or a live audience. There's something extra there that just isn't there if the performer is working alone. Countless actors and directors have talked about it over the years.
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Old August 28 2013, 11:33 PM   #10
Hober Mallow
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

Maybe Tom Hardy may have benefited from Stewart's acting masterclass...
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Old August 29 2013, 12:32 AM   #11
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

Maybe have your cake and eat it too. Hardy as the young Picard. Stewart as the contemporary. Think of the incarnations of Spock from STIII culminating in Nimoy.
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Old August 29 2013, 05:45 AM   #12
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

It would've been better if they'd had Sir Patrick play both parts and dropped all pretence of Shinzon trying to be nice and dignified and had him just be a major badass--the whole mirror thing was tedious and felt very forced, plus I think most people know and understand the nature-vs-nurture debate.

Tom Hardy is a decent enough actor but I never envisioned him as Picard, there was nothing about him that hinted at who he'd become.

Though I have to agree, even with Sir Patick playing both parts the story would need work done to it to make it bearable.
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Old August 30 2013, 02:43 PM   #13
austen_pierce
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

The ENT two-part episode "In a Mirror, Darkly" proved that mirror universe could be done well. Re-imagine Nemesis as a mirror universe with Patrick Steward as Shinzon commanding Scimitar pitted against Enterprise E under Captain Riker. Since it's MU, all bets are off (as was the case with IAMD) in terms of what can happen and who can die. No real need for a happy ending either...
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Old August 30 2013, 04:37 PM   #14
Timo
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

The story already had a number of elements that would have allowed Stewart to do part of the Shinzon role - probably to the dramatic benefit of the whole.

The Romulan plot was that Shinzon was supposed to eventually become Picard. The Shinzon hope and fear was that he would become Picard; the Picard hope and fear was much the same. There was a lot of unused potential there...

What if Shinzon does undergo the rapid aging thing after all? What if the only person to witness this final development is Picard, possibly strugging with the villain aboard the Scimitar as in the aired movie? And what if, after a struggle between two Stewarts, the winner is left ambiguous - and the only thing we know for sure is that the man left alive demonstrates his fundamental goodness, saves the day, and sits (back?) on the center chair of the E-E?

Considering who wrote the damn thing, the least I'd expect would be "triumph through death" somehow worked in there...

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Old August 30 2013, 04:57 PM   #15
Gaith
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
I can't imagine any possible way they could have salvaged the "Picard has an evil twin" story to my satisfaction.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph.../AllJustADream ?


Bottom line is, Stewart probably had no interest in putting in the extra time and effort needed to play Shinzon, and he certainly had veto power if that idea ever did come up in discussions.
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