TV Weekly cover: "Blunt Talk" unleashes the full comic force of Sir Patrick Stewart
STARZ, 9:00 PM ET, premieres Saturday, Aug. 22
By Ryan A. Berenz
Whether he’s on the bridge of the USS Enterprise as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” leading heroic mutants as Professor Charles Xavier in the “X-Men” films, or performing on the classical stage, Sir Patrick Stewart is an imposing presence, bringing gravitas and authority to his roles.
Providing the voices of Stonecutter Number One on “The Simpsons” and CIA deputy director Avery Bullock on “American Dad!,” and guest-starring as a slightly off-kilter version of himself on Ricky Gervais’ “Extras,” Stewart proved he can take that gravitas and flip it on its head.
Stewart makes his biggest flip yet starring in the new Starz live-action comedy series “Blunt Talk,” premiering Saturday, playing nightly cable news show host Walter Blunt, a Brit who uses his platform — imagine “Piers Morgan Live” by way of FOX News Channel — to proselytize on how Americans should think, feel and act. Meanwhile, his own life is filled with neuroses, drugs, alcohol, fetishes and just generally poor decisions on both personal and professional fronts.
“You have a man with a very rich knowledge of the arts, of movies and literature and drama, and it’s something that he draws on without really attracting too much attention to them,” Stewart shares. “Blunt Talk” is best viewed with smartphone at the ready to Google things like Burt Lancaster’s trapeze movie, Renée Richards, “The Once and Future King,” The High Decibels’ “Miss Cindy,” fecal impaction therapy and why Great Britain went to war with Argentina.
“I hope people will have fun connecting those references and maybe asking, ‘Where exactly does ‘Blunt Talk’ fit into a reference about the great Spanish film director [Luis] Buñuel?’” Stewart says. “I like that there is a high level of thoughtfulness and of intellect behind what is going on.”
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