So, Patrick Stewart is not a pizza virgin, after all.
"People misunderstood. There was a school of thought that I had eaten my first pizza, but of course how could that possibly be true? I would have had to have stayed locked up in a cellar," the British-born actor and Brooklyn resident, best known as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation
, told New York
Thursday in response to his Wednesday Twitter post
showing him enjoying, in his words, "My first ever pizza 'slice.' "
"But nevertheless," Stewart, 72, said in his own defense, "this was my first slice of pizza, which I was only eating because my fiancée and I were a little hungover yesterday morning and she said what we need is pizza and a soothing drink – and she was right. It solved the problem."
But as for the question about his past pizza experience, Stewart said, "In fact, it was my first slice, and when it was brought over to me, my first comment was 'There's no knife and fork.' "
Still, Stewart admitted that pizza was, for a time, a novelty to him – something he'd only heard about as a child, listening to songs on the radio with his brother.
"And one of them," he said, "was a Dean Martin hit called 'Amore.' And the song began, 'When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie.' Well, my brother and I had never seen a pizza, didn't know what a pizza was; we had never heard the word before, so it made no sense to us."
Rather than find out, Stewart simply dropped the word "pizza" from the line, explaining, "So for years, whenever I was singing along, I would sing those words, until one day somebody said, 'What are you singing?' And I said, 'A big piece of pie.' And he said, 'Idiot, it's pizza pie.' "
Stewart said he was in his 20s before he had even laid eyes upon a pizza. "I know that will sound bizarre to you," he said, "but I grew up in a small community in northern England."