Wil Wheaton Explains Patrick Stewart Facepalm Photo

When Captain Jean-Luc Picard (and the actor who portrays the character, Patrick Stewart) is frustrated or generally unimpressed with what’s going on, it’s easy to tell. As Star Trek: The Next Generation fans are well aware, the “Picard Facepalm” is a dead giveaway. However, this is a gesture which is normally associated with some kind of problem on the Starship Enterprise or on the set of his latest project rather than a very touching proposal of marriage, although a photo currently making the rounds online seems to suggest otherwise.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard Facepalm

Patrick Stewart was in attendance at a recent Star Trek: TNG event where fans could have their pictures taken with cast members; and one attendee decided that this was the perfect occasion to propose to his girlfriend, which surprised her as well as the crew of the Enterprise. A photo of the moment shows everyone looking surprised or confused, but Patrick Stewart appears irritated. However, Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: TNG’s Wesley Crusher) took to Reddit to tell the real story of this viral photo.

“I’m not sure why this picture is being circulated online, like Patrick is giving the literal Picard Facepalm, because that’s just not what happened,” said Wheaton. Wheaton explained that the cast were all happy for the couple and felt honored to be present; and that Stewart was simply wiping his brow at the moment the photo was snapped.

A second photo taken just afterwards provides an accurate portrait of what really happened, with Stewart looking delighted and clapping, along with Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis and LeVar Burton, who look overcome. For his part, Wheaton looks more surprised than anyone, even the bride-to-be. According to Wheaton, the couple had met Marina Sirtis earlier that day; she had given the fan some good natured ribbing about not having married his girlfriend and was moved to tears when the young man proposed. One waggish Reddit user commented, “I guess when the cast of Star Trek tells you to engage, you make it so,” to quote Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Wheaton also explained his appearance in the photo, telling Reddit readers that he’d been ill with the flu and had nearly missed the shoot; as he put it, “I sat there and smiled for everyone as best as I could, grateful that I’d spent the entire night throwing up so there was nothing left in me to vomit all over the fans like I was cosplaying from the Exorcist.” He added that he was pleased that he was able to tough it out and be there for this once in a lifetime moment.

  1. Hosting, 29 June, 2017

    In honor of their final performances on Broadway in No Man’s Land and Waiting for Godot, co-stars and best friends Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart recently decided to say goodbye to New York City by releasing some funny outtakes from their adventures throughout New York. In honor of their final performances on Broadway in No Man #39;s Land and Waiting for Godot, co-stars and best friends Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart recently decided to say goodbye to New York City by releasing some funny outtakes from their adventures throughout New York.

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