Wil­liam Shat­ner’s

Ahead of his re­turn visit to Aus­tralia, the leg­endary Star Trek ac­tor talks about his un­usual ca­reer – and why he can’t slow down

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page -

repar­ing to in­ter­view Wil­liam Shat­ner – or Bill, as he will later in­tro­duce him­self, his deep, res­o­nant voice in­stantly recog­nis­able – feels like a nearim­pos­si­ble task. He is a writer, spo­ken-word artist, singer, award-win­ning horse breeder and beloved ac­tor best known for play­ing Cap­tain Kirk in Star Trek and Denny Crane in Bos­ton Le­gal, as well as films like 2000’s Miss Con­ge­nial­ity and its 2005 se­quel. So it’s hard to know ex­actly which vari­a­tion of Shat­ner might show up. But if his lat­est project – a 90-minute one-man stage show map­ping out the highs, lows and hard-to-be­lieve mo­ments of his mon­u­men­tal life – is any­thing to go by, it seems that for Shat­ner him­self, all of them seam­lessly come to­gether as one.

“Talk about a chal­lenge!” he tells Stel­lar over the phone from Los An­ge­les. “How do you keep peo­ple in their seats who paid good money for an hour and a half? How do you do that? That’s what I had to learn.”

The process scared him, but it also kept Shat­ner aligned with the phi­los­o­phy that has de­fined his ca­reer: just go with it. “Many times I’m think­ing, ‘I don’t know if I should do this, but what the heck?’ And I’ll do it,” says Shat­ner, 87, who last toured the show in Aus­tralia in 2015. Of his en­core, he says, “Why not? It’s a great week; I’ll see every ma­jor city and en­joy the coun­try. And so by say­ing yes to all th­ese things – the pro­duc­ing and the act­ing and the writ­ing and the books and the al­bums and every­thing per­tain­ing to en­ter­tain­ment – here I am. As I go along, there’s more and more to do and more chal­lenges. And I don’t want to let one go.”

It’s likely the bulk of his au­di­ence knows him from Star Trek, and Shat­ner tells Stel­lar he is proud of the road the cult 1960s se­ries paved. “How in­sight­ful man­age­ment was,” he says, point­ing to its legacy of di­ver­sity in both story and cast­ing choices. Still, in the past year Shat­ner has grap­pled with the many ways in which his in­dus­try fell short – and has had to re­con­sider what it means to be a celebrity who came of age at a time when misog­yny and bad be­hav­iour were both ex­pected and ac­cepted.

He men­tions an Elvis Pres­ley movie he caught on TV a few nights prior. “Elvis was singing a song to his lead­ing lady,” he ex­plains, “and every time she went to go out the door he’d stop her, and she’d take a flower and he’d take it away. He pressed on, ro­manc­ing a girl who pre­tended to be reluc­tant… and at the

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.