CelebWatch: Stardate 08.28.08

This week, the Celeb brings you news on how Christopher Plummer‘s sex escapades made William Shatner a star, J.J. Abrams discussing the science of Fringe, George Takei being roasted, and a new Priceline ad with Shatner and the father the new Jim Kirk. All that and celeb spottings of Wil Wheaton, Patrick Stewart and more.


Plummer tells Shat’s success story
In his upcoming autobiography, In Spite of Myself, actor Christopher Plummer (General Chang) claims that his Star Trek VI co-star William Shatner (he who was Kirk and who always shall be Kirk — there, you happy?) owes his success to Plummer and one of his sexual escapades. As reported by The New York Post, Plummer was to star in a production of Henry V back in 1956, with Shatner as his understudy. The night before the play, however, Plummer decided to have a one-night stand with someone he met at a bar. He woke up the next morning in immense pain – turns out he dislodged a kidney stone during playtime. Plummer says that, while he was in the hospital getting the stones removed, he came to this realization:

It began to sink in … Shatner, my understudy, would have to go on … [It] instantly brought back the pain. I screamed for a nurse who jabbed me with more morphine. I knew then that the SOB was going to be a ‘star.’

Of course, with major roles in movies like The Sound of Music, The Man Who Would Be King, The Insider, and A Beautiful Mind, we don’t think Plummer’s done bad for himself, regardless of how many spotlights the Shat took away from him. Just an observation. Anyway, Plummer currently stars as Julius Caesar in Caesar and Cleopatra as part of Ontario’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Plummer as Caesar, still has an eye for the ladies

Shatner and Pine together
The two Spocks (Nimoy and Quinto) have appeared together many times, but we have yet to see the new Kirk (Chris Pine) appear with William Shatner, but we have the second best thing. Check out the new Priceline commercial featuring William Shatner and Robert Pine, Chris Pine’s father, who is himself a Trek alum (having appeared on Voyager and Enterprise).

Abrams talks ‘Fringe’ science and multitasking
JJ Abrams (along with fellow ‘Supreme Court members Bryan Burk, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman) were in New York this week, promoting their new show Fringe.
In an interview with Popular Science, the Star Trek director discussed the how he approaches science in his shows. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Popular Science: How do you account for the recent rise in shows about science and scientists?
Abrams: Popular culture is a mirror, and we are living in a time where every day some kind of shocking or amazing announcement is made. To read today, for instance, that researchers have found a way to destroy HIV or help 80 percent of Alzheimer’s patients, it’s amazing. These types of things are becoming more commonplace. There’s more science in our lives, so there’s more science on TV.

In the meantime, Abrams tells Canadian Press why he loves to multitask:

I’m naturally more comfortable working on multiple things. For better or worse – and it’s not always for better – it is my natural state. I can’t help it.

On the fans of his TV shows:

The truth is that the fans of ‘Lost’ or ‘Alias’ are the people we are beholden to. I actually don’t think of them as ‘fans’ – the people who are into those shows are also fans of the shows that I am interested in.

(L-R) Executive Producer Jeff Pinkler, Co-Creators and Executive producers J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci attend “Fringe” New York premiere party at The Xchange on August 25, 2008 in NYC.

(L-R) Executive Producer Jeff Pinkler, Co-Creators and Executive producers J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci

Takei roasted + talks ‘Heroes’, ‘Trek’, and marriage
George Takei (the original Sulu) was recently ‘roasted’ at the Friar’s Club in New York. One of the roasters was comic, sci-fi and Star Trek writer, Peter David, who blogged about it. Many video clips are now available at friarsroast.com, here is just a sample….


To promote this weekend’s Dragon*Con, Takei also talked with Access Atlanta and gave some details on his impending marriage to Brad Altman. He also dropped some spoilers about the third season of Heroes and a bit about the upcoming Trek film.


Woodard (and Burton) still getting political + Abrams too
Actress Alfre Woodard (Lily Sloan) was the emcee at the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s late night Red Hot Affair on Sunday night at the Cable Center on the University of Denver campus, according to Denver Post. She was later among the celebrities who attended the Democratic National Convention in support of presidential candidate Barack Obama, as reported by New York Daily News. LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) also attended this event, where he spoke about he importance of literacy programs (see Rocky Mountain News). Today, Woodard spoke at Denver’s Unity Breakfast event to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s historic March on Washington… at least, she was scheduled to do so, according to The Washington Post.

Alfre Woodard (center) with Barack Obama’s advisor, Rick Wade (left), and Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson at The Red Hot Affair (image from The Denver Post)

The Watch has previously reported that Star Trek director JJ Abrams is also a big supporter of Barack Obama. Abrams took time out from promoting Fringe this week to go to Denver. While there he attended the ‘History of Progressive America: Performances‘ panel put on by the SeaChange group. Here he is chatting with fellow director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous).  

Abrams and Crowe at the DNC (WireImage)

Stewart visits son in ’80 Days’
Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier… er, I mean, Jean-Luc Picard) attending a showing of the Irish Reparatory Theatre’s Around the World in 80 Days in NYC this past week and paid a visit to the star of the play – his son, Daniel Stewart (young Batai in TNG’s “The Inner Light”). As reported by Playbill, Daniel Stewart plays 19th-century traveler Phileas Fogg in the play, which runs through September 28th.

Like father, like son: Patrick and Daniel Stewart in NYC

Wheaton stands by painting + attending PAX
Last week the hot Hollywood event was the Crazy4Cult art show and
Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) was there. He can be seen below posing with a painting entitled “Stand by Snooch” which features Wheaton and his Stand by Me co-star Jerry O’Connell with Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith). Read more about the show on his blog (where he also talks about Kevin Smith’s visit with JJ Abrams). In more Wheaton news, Wil will be on several panels at the 2008 Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle this weekend, in addition to his own booth; you can check out his schedule on his blog.

Snooch to the motherf***in’ nooch!

Jordan brings Carpet to Tennessee; talks Southern Ferengi
Vertically-challenged, award-winning actor and comedian Leslie Jordan, who played the Ferengi Kol in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “False Profits,” will be performing his acclaimed one-man show, My Trip Down the Pink Carpet, at the Terrific New Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 6th and 7th. He will then move the show to the Belcourt Theater in Nashville, Tennessee, for the night of September 8th, according to Out & About Newspaper. Jordan gave Out & About an interview (which you can read via the link), but it’s his interview with Everything Alabama that Jordan talks a little Trek. It appears that before he played a Ferengi on Voyager, the southern-accented actor was actually cast in an episode of DS9, but it didn’t go over well. Jordan explains:

I was hired one time to play [a Ferengi] on ‘Star Trek.’ They had these enormous ears. I had been hired because of my size, 4-foot-11. I walked onto the spaceship, and I hero­ically delivered my first line, and they all just burst out laugh­ing. The director said this is ‘Deep Space Nine,’ not ‘Deep South Nine.’ Can you bring that ferengi above the Mason-Dixon line?

Leslie Jordan and the Southern Ferengi [inset]

Neal McDonough’s Golden Rules
Neal McDonough (Star Trek: First Contact‘s Lt. Hawk) can be seen in the thriller Traitor, which opened in theaters on Wednesday. Over at MovieMaker, McDonough gave some “golden rules” he’s learned while working in Hollywood. They include:

A little nervousness is good, because that’s what gets you going.

Just hang around the set, be quiet, don’t talk to anybody and just observe. That’s how you really learn to conduct yourself on the set.

If you’re going to give me that job to do, I’m going to make sure I give you 100 percent of me and not cheat you out of anything. I don’t want to waste any of the producer’s money, either.

Steven Spielberg told me: “I just want you to do one thing for me… On every take I just want you to be great.”

In the meantime, McDonough talked with Buddy TV about his experience thus far on the set of Desperate Housewives, which returns to ABC on September 28th:

It’s like Disneyland, it’s the happiest place on Earth. [Actress] Nicollette [Sheridan] is terrific, she’s great. It’s just this great cast.

On his character:

There’s definitely a past to the guy that no one else knows about and he’s hell-bent on revenge as the year goes on. The audience is gonna like this.

Trailer for "Traitor"


  • Anton Yelchin (the new Chekov) talks not about Star Trek but about that other big May 2009 film he’s in, Terminator Salvation, at CanMag.
  • Armin Shimernan (Quark) discusses the current tensions and lack of a formal deal between the Screen Actors Guild and the Association of Talent Agents at BackStage.com.
  • Linda Park (Hoshi Sato) will star in the The Arts Council of the Trussville Area production of The Canterville Ghost in October. The Leeds News)
  • James Cromwell (Zefram Cochrane, etc.) will star in the film A Lonely Place for Dying, an espionage thriller in which he will play Washington Post Editor-in-Chief Howard Simons. (Moviehole)
  • Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun, Brunt, Shran, etc.) has an interview with Fangoria discussing his new movie, Dark Horse.
  • Actors Keith Carradine (A.G. Robinson) and Alan Ruck (John Harriman) addressed and answered questions from actors at the MembershipFirst campaign in Beverly Hills on August 23rd. (BackStage.com)
  • Miss January, a film starring Kim Cattrall (Valeris), is slated to start shooting in Michigan early next month. (Variety)
  • Ron Perlman was at Paramount Studios this past Sunday for the premiere screeing of his new TV series, Sons of Anarchy. (The Press Association)
  • Kirstie Alley (Saavik) will be playing poker for charity at this year’s Monte Carlo Night and Texas Hold’em tournament in September. (Poker Listings)
  • The teaser trailer for Tom Hardy (Shinzon)’s film Bronson is available at Kung Fu Cinema.
  • Wallace Shawn (Zek) will return as the voice of Rex the dinosaur for Toy Story 3. (/Film)

The Trek Continues…
Several Trek luminaries celebrate their birthday in the coming week (which kind of goes without saying). This week, there’s Anthony Call (David Bailey in TOS: “The Corbomite Maneuver”) and Larry Hankin (Gaunt Gary in three episodes of Voyager), both of whom turn 68 on August 31st. Gene Roddenberry’s daughter, Dawn, who appeared in “Miri,” turns 55 that same day. Then there’s Lycia Naff (Ensign Gomez in TNG’s “Q-Who” and “Samaritan Snare”), turning 47 on August 29th; Rosana DeSoto (Azetbur in Star Trek VI), who turns 58 on September 2nd; Padma Lakshmi (Kaitaama in ENT’s “Precious Cargo”), who’s 38 on Sept 1; and frequent TNG stuntwoman and actress Patricia Tallman, who turns 51 on September 4th. This is nowhere near a complete list, of course, but to those listed here and to those who are not, TrekMovie.com wishes you all a very happy birthday!

Ensign Gomez is all grown up, Happy B’day Lycia


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