Patrick Stewart Reveals ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Illuminati Cameos Were “All Shot On Their Own”, Decries The Experience As “Frustrating And Disappointing”

Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) enters the mind of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabethj Olsen) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Marvel Entertainment
Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) enters the mind of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabethj Olsen) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Marvel Entertainment

To the surprise of very few given the franchise’s ever-growing over-reliance on CGI technology, long-time Professor X actor Sir Patrick Stewart has revealed that, much to his self-admitted frustration and disappointment, each actor who appeared as a member of Earth-838’s Illuiminati in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness shot their respective cameos alone and separate from their cast mates.

Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) unleashes his powers upon the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Marvel Entertainment
Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) unleashes his powers upon the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Marvel Entertainment

RELATED: Patrick Stewart Hints At Marvel Cinematic Universe Return Of Professor X And Magneto: “We’re Not Done, Sir Ian And Myself”

The storied stage and screen actor revealed this insight into – as well as his dismay towards – his most recent Marvel outing while making an appearance on the January 4th episode of entertainment reporter Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast.

Patrick Stewart talks MAKING IT SO, STAR TREK, PROFESSOR X I Happy Sad Confused

[Time Stamp: 38:30]

Following a lengthy retrospective discussion on the actor’s career, Stewart was eventually turned to the topic of his ongoing role as the resident namesake of Marvel’s Merry Band of Mutants by Horowitz, who in wrapping up their time together pressed his guest, “On the X-Men front, I would be shocked if your buddy Hugh Jackman, who is returning in Deadpool 3, one of his phone calls was not to you. I’m gonna guess I might see Patrick Stewart in a Deadpool-Wolverine movie.”

“It has come-up,” Stewart teased in reply, “there’s been a process, but you know the last two or three years have been so difficult with both the labor problem and the health problems [Stewart underwent emergency surgery in 2021 after it was found that an undiagnosed cardiac disease had caused major blockages within his heart], and COVID, you know.”

Wolverine hauls away Deadpool on Tyler Kirkham's variant cover to Wolverine Vol. 7 #20 "Trigger Warning" (2022), Marvel Comics
Wolverine hauls away Deadpool on Tyler Kirkham’s variant cover to Wolverine Vol. 7 #20 “Trigger Warning” (2022), Marvel Comics

Opining that “There was nothing sentimental about the way they dispatched you in the Doctor Strange movie”, Horowitz then moved to ask Stewart, “I talked to a lot of the actors that were doing the Multiverse of Madness movie, that was a very interesting production. I’m just curious, were you alone? Were you with the actors? Do you remember, like, the circumstances of that?”

In turn, the actor bluntly confirmed, “I was alone.”

Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell) watch on as Black Bolt (Anson Mount) obliterates Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Marvel Entertainment
Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell) watch on as Black Bolt (Anson Mount) obliterates Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Marvel Entertainment

RELATED: Marvel Comics Exec Tom Brevoort Pushes Back After Fans Hope New ‘X-Men’ Event Ditches Ideology-Driven Storytelling, Claims Team Is Rooted In “The Message”

“I think the big scene [in which the Illuminati assemble on screen], I think each one of the leading actors had the same experience,” recalled the Star Trek: The Next Generation icon. “They were shot on their own.”

Drawing his thoughts on his time in Professor X’s iconic yellow hover chair to a close, the actor ultimately opined, “It was frustrating and disappointing, but, that’s how it has been. The last few years have been challenging.”

Reed Richards (John Krasinski) leads fellow Illuminati members Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch) against the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Marvel Entertainment via Blu-ray
Reed Richards (John Krasinski) leads fellow Illuminati members Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch) against the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Marvel Entertainment

Notably, Stewart is not the only cinematic Marvel mutant in recent years to have voiced his frustrations with the industry’s recent turn to technology over actual theatrical craftsmanship.

In an interesting meta-parallel between their respective characters, longtime cinematic Magneto actor Sir Ian McKellen recounted feeling similarly disappointed towards his time reprising the role of Gandalf in The Hobbit film trilogy.

Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) attends a Dwarven dinner at the home of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), New Line Cinema
Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) attends a Dwarven dinner at the home of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), New Line Cinema

Recalling his return to his wizard’s robes during a 2018 interview with the London-based entertainment magazine Time Out, the veteran performer admitted, “I was miserable. It may be my impression but I don’t remember a green screen on The Lord of the Rings [trilogy].”

“If Gandalf was on top of a mountain, I’d be there on the mountain,” he told the outlet’s Phjil de Semlyen. “The technology was being invented while we were making the film. [In The Lord of the Rings trilogy] I wasn’t involved in any of that, I was away acting on a mountain. I tend not to remember the bad times, but I don’t think there were any. I think I enjoyed every single moment of making those films.”

Gandalf the White (Sir Ian McKellen) draws his blade against the forces of Mordor during the Battle of the Morannon in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003), New Line Cinema
Gandalf the White (Sir Ian McKellen) draws his blade against the forces of Mordor during the Battle of the Morannon in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003), New Line Cinema

At current, Deadpool 3 – and the potential return of Stewart’s Professor X – is set to slash its way into theaters on July 26th, 2024.

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