CHICAGO - Sir Patrick Stewart is best known for characters who soar into outer space and hang out with X-Men.
To many Trekkies, Stewart will always be steering the Starship Enterprise on a voyage. But at the Chicago International Film Festival, accompanied by his wife, Stewart was honored with the Gold Hugo Career Achievement Award.
"I'm so pleased to be back in Chicago, my wife and I love coming here, we have great friends and there have been some important encounters, certainly career encounters here in Chicago," Stewart said.
One such encounter is improv, thanks to a chance meeting at a fundraiser with a Chicago group.
"After a glass or two of wine they said to me, why don't you join us, and only four days later I was on stage in New York with the Chicago Improvised Shakespeare Company, they have become, among the most important, significant group of people in my life," Stewart said.
The 77-year-old actor's recent film fame has been in the X-Men series and now people are talking about an Oscar nomination for Stewart, his first.
This film broke that format, and I think it is unlike any other superhero there has ever been because it's essentially about human beings and the crisis they can find themselves in and it's a film with great heart and great humanity. And Ioved making it every moment on the set was just thrilling because I was spending all my time with Hugh Jackman and with this dazzling child, Dafne Keen, who is so extraordinary," Stewart said.
Coming soon, Sir Patrick is playing the role of Merlin in another reincarnation of the King Arthur legend, which is filming now.