The Rake


Source: Oat double-breasted cashmere cardigan, Ralph Lauren Purple Label; sea-green cotton, long-sleeved T-shirt, Giorgio Armani.

Shakespearean gravitas is Patrick Stewart’s stock-in-trade. Applying it to roles in two blockbuster sci-fifranchises — X-Men and Star Trek: The Next Generation — has made his sternly avuncular persona as recognisable to global cinemagoers as it once was to the RSC faithful and viewers of quality weeknight television in his native Britain. Which is why, from around early 2013, Stewart began posting tweets, from the self-deprecating to the downright daft, that he hoped would strip away the veneer of grandeur from his public image and expose what John Lennon once referred to as “the little child inside the man”.

One shot featured him wearing a lobster onesie. Another captured him fashioning a bust of his own head in pink candy floss. Perhaps the most heavily retweeted post to date, though, was part of what became known as the ‘bromance tour’, a series of online escapades featuring Stewart and his close friend Sir Ian McKellen, then his co-star in the Broadway run of Waiting for Godot. In it, both actors, posing in Times Square, are wearing matching bowler hats and are flanked by a fully costumed Elmo from Sesame Street.

Will the online japery continue indefinitely? “I don’t see why not,” he tells The Rake from Mexico, where, a few days after the photographs on these pages were taken in London, he is taking some time out following a hectic 2016. “Of course, there is an individual in the United States who is giving Twitter a very bad name, but I think it would be a narrow-minded point of view to stop because of that. What I do on social media — a lot of which is with the support and advice of my wife, who has a much more intensive and surefooted way of understanding social media than I have — is meant for humour and for storytelling, and occasionally for making statements that are serious and on which we hope to have an impact.”

Navy wool, double-breasted Ziggy jacket, The Gigi; charcoal grey brushed cotton shirt, Drake’s; navy and grey linen, checked pocket-square, Brunello Cucinelli.

If this 76-year-old, a knight of the realm since 2010, has been feeling existentially sprightly of late, don’t expect to see him channelling that into his next cinematic outing, , the latest (and perhaps final) instalment in the franchise, which is released on March 3. “Its two principal characters, Logan — a.k.a. Wolverine — and Charles Xavier, are significantly older than they were the last time you saw them,” Stewart says, “and Xavier’s powers are

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