Making It So by Patrick Stewart

Today’s review is about MAKING IT SO by Patrick Stewart. Rather than review it in my usual more objective style, this time I decided to go casual and offer some reactive, conversational thoughts. Theatre buffs and fans of Star Trek will appreciate learning more about how Stewart became the icon we know today.

Author: Patrick Stewart
Series: None
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: October 3, 2023
Print Length: 480

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Official Synopsis

The long-awaited memoir from iconic, beloved actor and living legend Sir Patrick Stewart!

From his acclaimed stage triumphs to his legendary onscreen work in the Star Trek and X-Men franchises, Sir Patrick Stewart has captivated audiences around the world and across multiple generations with his indelible command of stage and screen. Now, he presents his long-awaited memoir, Making It So, a revealing portrait of an artist whose astonishing life–from his humble beginnings in Yorkshire, England, to the heights of Hollywood and worldwide acclaim–proves a story as exuberant, definitive, and enduring as the author himself.

My Review

When I first saw Patrick Stewart had a memoir coming out, I didn’t hesitate to hop on the library waiting list. As a Star Trek fan, I absolutely wanted to read MAKING IT SO. While Stewart can’t not include memories of Star Trek and X-Men, most of the book centers around theatre, his true calling.

MAKING IT SO is a memoir about Stewart’s entire life, not just one particular aspect of it. I learned a lot about him as a person and as an actor. I knew, peripherally, that he has a background in theatre. What I didn’t know is how much it feels like home to him, especially when it comes to Shakespeare. Theatre is only something I dabbled in here and there. As a result, it isn’t something I personally feel passionate or knowledgeable about.

While I personally wasn’t as interested in knowing some of this detail, readers who are keen about theatre will certainly have a greater appreciation for this topic. However, I devotedly made my way through the many chapters about theatre because I appreciate Stewart as a TV and film actor. I will admit I really liked the theatre parts I could relate to. Those include his world tour with Vivienne Leigh or his time on stage with Ian Holm and Ian McKellan.

I knew nothing about his early life before reading his memoir. It surprised me to learn that Stewart grew up economically disadvantaged in Yorkshire. He mentions how he had to learn a more neutral accent, which is something that might not be pushed as much now. It was unsettling to read about his tense home setting when his father returned after WWII. It was clear to see he both respected and feared his father and probably has some complicated emotions about him.

His background appears to have kept him humble and living within his means. This lead to jokes decades later with his Star Trek family about it. Later in his life I was a bit shocked to learn he, well, wasn’t a faithful spouse. Granted, at the time he had been drifting apart from his spouse(s). But infidelity by another name is still not so sweet. He at least owned it and admitted his fault.

Finally, yes, there are a few chapters about his TV and movie roles! I skipped a couple of pages because I didn’t want to read Season 3 Picard spoilers. But it was fun to read about his Star Trek memories. It was even cooler to remember the episodes he mentions. I do wish he shared a few more stories about his Star Trek family or Ian McKellan, but I took what I got!

In the end, MAKING IT SO is more a “fan service” for theatre buffs. However, those who grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation or the X-Men franchise will appreciate learning more about Patrick Stewart’s origins. He accomplished so much, made so by his determination and faith and encouragement bestowed upon him by his mentors early in life.

Rating: 4
Content warnings: domestic violence, animal cruelty (brief mention), infidelity
Reading format: Library hardback

7 thoughts on “Making It So by Patrick Stewart

  1. I thought with the title it would be more focused on Star Trek, but I’m still interested in reading this some day. I was involved in theater in high school and college a bit so those sections would probably work for me. I’m so glad you reviewed this book!

  2. I loved this and it definitely has made me want to go and watch Next Generation. I’ve seen the film but never watched the TV series. I think it’s amazing that he has worked with so many legends past and present of stage and film.

    1. The Next Generation is great, but there are so many episodes per season. I’m astounded at how many they made. You don’t see that anymore…it’s usually 10 episodes per season now, maximum. I also think it’s awesome that he’s worked with so many legends. 🙂

  3. I completely agree with your assessment/reactions. I was surprised that so much of the book was devoted to theatre, but it makes sense now that I know how much he loves it. I can honestly say I learned a lot about him that I didn’t know and enjoyed it.

    1. I kind of braced myself for how much theatre there’d be…I think maybe because you probably had a small recap of it in a WWW or similar post? But agreed–I learned a lot about him as well. He seems like a classy fellow, meticulously citing photos and cast members and I think even saying a few times he got permission to include some conversation or whatever in his memoir.

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