Shatner On Being Poor, Almost Dying, & The New Movie January 15, 2008by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Shatner , trackback
Details Magazine has a new interesting interview with William Shatner where he talks about living out of his car after his run on Star Trek The Original Series, dealing with the death of his wife and (of course) what he thinks of JJ Abrams new moive (and his lack of involvement). Plus in a new video Bill talks about what keeps him going and what is next for the Shat.
Details Interview excerpts
Details: Is it true that after Star Trek went off the air you lived out of a car?
Shatner: A pickup truck, actually. It was the early 1970s and I was recently divorced. I had three kids and was totally broke. I managed to find work back east on the straw-hat circuit—summer stock—but couldn’t afford hotels, so I lived out of the back of my truck, under a hard shell. It had a little stove, a toilet, and I’d drive from theater to theater. The only comfort came from my dog, who sat in the passenger seat and gave me perspective on everything. Otherwise, it would have just been me counting my losses.
Details: Speaking of loss, there’s a spoken-word track on your 2004 album, Has Been, about discovering the body of your third wife, Nerine, after she’d drowned while mixing Valium with booze. Did you find recording it cathartic?
Shatner: I don’t understand closure, if that’s what you mean. That word never resonated with me. The epiphany I had, making that, was that we grieve forever. It’s as much a part of our life as eating, sleeping, and love. We live in grief for having left the womb, for having left the teat, then school, then home. In my case, it was leaving marriages, and the death of my wife. Making that recording was simply my way to express very deep feelings. . . . Death is an absolute marvel. I once had a great horse rear up and fall back on me, and in that moment I thought I might gain some clarity about the mystery—you know, the meaning of the universe suddenly illuminated, like in an orgasm—but it never came.
Details: So did you want to take another crack at Star Trek in the new JJ Abrams film version?
Shatner: He talked to me a few times this past year, but they shot in November and Leonard [Nimoy] is in it and I’m not. I’m disappointed. I’m not outraged, but I think it’s a stupid business decision, a stupid box-office decision. Here I am, still alive, still popular, on a hit show. It makes sense to put me in the thing. If they don’t, that’s fine. I just think it’s a silly oversight.
Details: So is that how you think of your Emmy for Boston Legal? And the millions of lives you touched as Captain James Tiberius Kirk?
Shatner: Careers are here and they’re gone. I enjoy performing, and I feel lately like I’ve reached the apex of what I can do as a performer. Even my memory for dialogue has never been sharper. But no matter how great we think we are, we’re nothing but the temples of Ozymandias—we’re ruins in the making.
Check out Details Magazine for the full interview
Shatner on what’s next for him
Here is another clip taken by the ShatnerVision team from Shatner’s appearance on PalTalk