Sir Patrick Stewart says he 'will be like a hermit' during the World Cup

Martin Rogers
Yahoo Sports
Sir Patrick Stewart says he 'will be like a hermit' during the World Cup
Sir Patrick Stewart says he 'will be like a hermit' during the World Cup

There's something about a World Cup summer that brings out the bandwagon Hollywood types.

Four years ago, through the months of June and July, you could scarcely turn your head by a supermarket cash register without seeing a fresh tabloid nugget about an A-lister and their newfound appreciation for the beautiful game.

It was all a bit confusing. Was that really Woody Harrelson slotting home a game-winning penalty kick at Wembley Stadium? Did Brad Pitt, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Spike Lee and Morgan Freeman really play a starring role as the United States' ambassadors in its doomed bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup?

But those passing phases soon, well, passed, and celebrity America quickly found other distractions and hobbies and ways to occupy their glamorous lives.

There is one star of the silver screen, however, for whom soccer will never be a fad or a craze or a summer fling.

Sir Patrick Stewart is currently lighting up cinemas in his latest role as Professor Charles Xavier in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" while embarking upon a global promotional tour. One that will end, thankfully, just in time for him to indulge his greatest passion of all – soccer.

"I will be like a hermit this summer," Stewart told Yahoo Sports recently in a chat that was supposed to be about his movie but ended up a bromantic conversation about soccer. "I will be sat with my son in front of that television screen and immersing myself in the World Cup.

"I may pause to breathe, eat and sleep occasionally, but not for long, before the serious business of watching football starts again."

Stewart admitted to be "moderately heartbroken" that, while the exhausting schedule he undertook to promote the new X-Men movie took him to Brazil in May, he would not be able to make the journey back there during the tournament.

Time at home is precious to the 73-year-old, who married his third wife Sunny Ozell in 2013, but the upcoming weeks will predominantly be spent on the couch yelling at a TV screen.

Stewart is, of course, known to Star Trek fans as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, soccer fans as the voice of the FIFA 14 video game commercials and to pretty much everyone who reads the internet as half of this mass-viewed and side-splitting exchange with his pal Sir Ian McKellen.

Yet Stewart's love of soccer runs deep, with a lifelong affinity for Huddersfield Town, which plays in the second-tier English Championship, and a position as the honorary president of the team's youth academy.

"It is in your blood," Stewart said. "It is part of the fabric of your life and it is the most wonderful, terrible, magical and agonizing game in the world.

"I will revel in this World Cup, the passion and drama and beauty of it, but I fear a lot more disappointment due to my unfortunate affliction of supporting the England national team."

That particular brand of suffering is one that doesn't discriminate among different members of the English population, affecting spaceship captains, professorial superheroes … and actors, alike.

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