Imagine if he had followed his advice...

It's a well-known fact that Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are the best of friends - the former even officiated his friend's wedding to Sunny Ozell. So, yeah, BFFs for life and all that. However, it turns out that when the Patrick Stewart 'Star Trek' role was up for grabs, his theatre-minded best friend was all against it.

Speaking to The Guardian earlier this week, the thespian revealed that his friendly advice could have cost him his friend's Hollywood career. You see, before Stewart played the iconic role of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', he was very highly-regarded in the UK theatre scene.

Worried that his TV role might have an adverse effect on his theatrical career, McKellen advised him to turn down the role. He told the publication: "He’s long forgiven me my advice not to risk a solid career on the British stage by falling for an uncertain future in 'Star Trek'.

"How he got that job is a prime example of how luck can be a lady and it will be a riveting chapter in the memoir he must write. He has so much to tell."

The Patrick Stewart 'Star Trek' role of him as Picard turned into a critically-acclaimed portrayal of a fan-favourite sci-fi star. The character appeared on screen for seven seasons of the fantasy series, as well as four spin-off movies. He even got his own spin-off series earlier this year on Amazon Prime, entitled 'Star Trek: Picard'

The best of friends have both gone on to have amazingly successful careers on and off the big screen, with both actors taking up lead roles in the 'X-Men' franchise as mutants Magneto and Professor X (the first movie of which celebrates its 20th anniversary this July).

Stewart's role of Picard didn't lead to his demise in the UK theatre either of course, and he has gone on to appear in more than 60 productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company.