Excerpts From Shatner GQ Feature + Bill On ‘Texting’ JJ Abrams

The January issue of GQ Magazine has an extensive feature and interview with the original Kirk, William Shatner. The article explores Shatner’s multi-faceted nature from actor, spokesman, and self-aware pop culture figure. We have a first look at some excerpts, plus links to Shat-tastic cutting room floor audio from his interview.


Shatner as SHATNER
Andrew Corsello’s feature on William Shatner explores distinguishing "Shatner the man from the aurora that is SHATNER." From spending time with the man, Corsello writes in GQ:

Near the end of the last century, during a Late Night with Conan O’Brien appearance, Shatner said that for years he’d wondered about this SHATNER he kept hearing about at Star Trek conventions, some kind of mythical presence. A man? A god? Finally, Shatner said, he realized: He was SHATNER.

The rest of the excellent article looks deeper into the various facets of Shatner and SHATNER!, with some interesting insights from the man himself, as well as friends and colleagues. Such as this insight from a Boston Legal producer

"There may have been a point in Bill’s career when the jokes stung, where people were not taking him seriously enough," says Bill D’Elia, who executive-produced Boston Legal and directed seventeen episodes. "But by the time I met him, he didn’t care, and I think that freed him to play Denny in a way he might not have been able to earlier in his career. I think he was able, at that point in his life, to embrace the parody and then let it go, so that it wound up being a perfect—and perfectly timely—melding of actor and role."

The piece also delves into the mind that is Shatner. At one point Shatner tells the story of accidentally bidding (and winning) for a horse at an auction, when he was actually just having an ‘animated’ discussion with a child he was sitting with and waving his hands around. However, Bill still bought the horse, and explains thusly:

“I believe that when things happen, they happen with a PURPOSE,” Shatner declares. “You can’t change them. I have been accused of never saying no. I am INDISCREET, it is said, is it not? With my roles. With my endorsements. With my books. With all that I am involved in. But I am not a big believer in No. What if I had tried to renege on that horse? I’d only have embarrassed myself. A flaky actor pretending at being a cowboy. No, I ACCEPTED it. I moved with it. I believe in MOTION. I believe in CHAOS. I believe in taking what happens as inevitable. Lightning STRIKES. It RAINS. You get ILL. You get NOMINATED. The photon SHATTERS the molecule, the electrons SHOOT OFF in all directions, and I BEHOLD the mineral around me!”

It is a great  read and you can pick up the January issue  of GQ on newsstands on December 22nd. More info at GQ.com.

Shatner in January GQ

Shatner Audio – talks archery, guns, Trek delivery, Sabotage and Abrams
GQ have put some audio highlights from their Shatner interview online. You can listen to the man was poetically on archery, guns, and much more. He also explains his famous Kirk delivery of dialogue. Go listen to it all to enjoy the Shat-tasticness.

While talking about his infamous "sabotage" recording incident, they got to talking about the new Star Trek movie. The interviewer asked him if he knew about the inclusion of the Beastie Boys song "Sabotage" in the movie (which he didn’t). Here is what he had to say about his recent meeting with JJ Abrams

AUDIO CLIP: Listen to Shatner Talk "Sabotage" and Abrams

Shatner: [JJ]’s so funny. I texted him. He wants to have a meeting with me. He told me a couple months ago…so, a couple weeks ago I texted, I said "when the f–k is the meeting, I’m not going to live much longer, and you better have a meeting with me before I die. And he texted back saying "well, don’t die before next week"

(The interview was presumably done a few weeks ago, last week on Jimmy Kimmel Live Shatner talked about having his lunch with Abrams.)

Go to GQ.com for the rest of the clips

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Go shat!

Gotta love the Shat!

Shat’s the sheeit!

Bring Back The Shat!
Star Trek 2, The Wrath of Shat!

So, now Shatner says he’s working out, trying to attain the perfect body, not just for his age but any age. If pulls that off, and he gets in the next Star Trek movie, is he going to want Kirk to get his shirt ripped off yet again?

William Shanter??? Sacrilege!

#5, Well he did it in FUTURAMA!

Shatner’s the king.

He’d best be in the new Trek film.


I love the Shat, he made Kirk the character that I love.

However, if Bill really wanted to come back as Kirk he should volunteer to star in a New Voyages (Phase II) episode. That is where I really want to see Kirk. Back in the real TOS universe not the JJ universe. (The movie was fun a great, don’t get me wrong…. ) But I like my Enterprise to have red doors, red railings and classic black consoles. I love what Cawley has done. I wish Shat would watch how great the Sulu and Checkov episodes were.

After all Trek has done for William Shatner I wish he would give back to the fans Kirk one more time.

This is great news,,

I cant wait to hear what was said at the “Lunch Meeting”


We just have to cover Shat with ping pong balls and do a Gollum/ Neytiri and voila! Young Shat! Vintage Kirk!

Unless there’s some sabotaaaaaage.

Its cool that Shatner and JJ Abrams actually text eachother….

If Shatner is God, then what does Shatner need with a starship…?


Never in a million years will that ever happen.


They should rename Star Trek: The Original Series to Shat Trek: The Shattastic Series! He’s awesome!

#14 SPB:

That was a good one! Now which movie did that line come from – oh yea -The Final Frontier , I think.

I just Shat myself.

The reality to me is that it’s hard to image that Star Trek would have succeeded without him. While all the other actors, writers and producers brought some element to the show that made it iconic, I think Shatner and Roddenberry are the parts that without them, there would be no Star Trek as a legacy and probably wouldn’t have lasted past 1 season let alone 3.

@ 20

Agreed. Shatner is the Godfather of Star Trek. Just think, if Jeffrey Hunter had been kept on as Capt. Pike. The actor died in 1969, three years after the pilot. There would have been no movies. No movies would have led to no additional Star Trek TV shows (TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise). Like Shatner said in the interview, everything happens for a reason. It was meant to be. He was meant to be Capt. Kirk.

The way Shatner’s done everything conceivable, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he wrote a book about death – after he died! Knowing him, he’d find a way!

BTW in the TNG “YesterdaysEnterprise”Guinan sensed how the timeline changed?DId Guinan change the STXI’s timeline change?

Regarding Guinan.. They were doing the “linear” timeline on those previous time travel stories. She was there in the Nexus, too, with Picard. The new Star Trek move used the “alternate” timeline scenario of time travel (a new timeline, running parallel to the original one.. not replacing it). Therefore, there would (should) be nothing “wrong” with it in Guinan’s mind.

Pic looks cool
Looks 25 yrs younger than his actual age
Love to see Bill get in fighing shape one more time

I want a poster version of that photo of Shatner for my dorm’s wall!

– I love the Shat, he made Kirk the character that I love. –




The timeline would have been changed. EVERYTHING would be different.

“History will be irrevocably changed”

“…and a new future will have been created. “

Shatner is cool.

And, he’s a Shakespearean actor from Canada. ;)

He’s Canadian, and he’s proud! ;)

I love how it sounds like Shatner is scarfing down a cheesburger during the interview.

Damn, I want that picture on my desktop. *wipes drool*
Where can I get it a higher quality?

@ #14: Amen!


Eh– they “had a meeting” last time too. Nothing came of it other than bitterness among Shatner fans. Let Abrams make an announcement that Shatner will be in the movie, and I’ll wake up.

Interesting point on Guinan. No reason she wouldn’t sense the changes–unless she no longer exists in the future timeline. That’s possible, given that the E-B saved her life and now likely won’t be around.

The beauty of the nexus is that it is such a broad plot device that even if Abrams still wants people to buy into his alternate universe theory, it could be used to bring in Shatner as Kirk Prime without even altering the events of ST11.

That’s a GREAT picture of The Shat. He looks great indeed. 78, but he could pass for 60. Put him in the next Trek movie, and I’ll be a happy fan.

Excellent picture!

The Shat, exercising his “cowboy diplomacy”

@ # 21


Although there is no denying that Shatner has made a major and invaluable contribution to Star Trek, he is far from being the Godfather of Star Trek, let alone a God. If you want to label someone as a Godfather of Star Trek, then choose Gene Roddenberry who created it in the first place!!! Without him, there would have been no Star Trek and no Captain Kirk.

I think Shat should play Khan in the sequel.

I feel so sad that we probably have no more than 10 more years of this great man among us.

that would be messed up if THE SHAT was to play khan in the new movie. Cool but aint gonna happen

Shatner would be great for Phase II. Once Spock received news of Kirk’s disappearance, and determined the Nexus’ composition, he certainly would have mounted some kind of rescue of Kirk, especially considering Kirk’s saving of Spock in STIII. Maybe Phase II could address this kind of story someday. I would like to see Shatner in an Abrams film, but only as Kirk, with an important part.

I say give Shatner a role as Tiberius Kirk, from the Mirror Universe. Let Pine play Captain Kirk, against Shatner’s scene chewing Tiberius and you have an film for the ages.

The Shat has lost quite a bit of weight. I wonder if he is in training to be the Kirk once again.

Who is William Shatner?

I must buy the magazine!

@ 39. Julian – December 18, 2009

@ # 21

Although there is no denying that Shatner has made a major and invaluable contribution to Star Trek, he is far from being the Godfather of Star Trek, let alone a God. If you want to label someone as a Godfather of Star Trek, then choose Gene Roddenberry who created it in the first place!!! Without him, there would have been no Star Trek and no Captain Kirk.

I can if I want to. You’re not the boss of me.

I think Star Trek was very lucky to have Bill (as he was to have it!). Aside from creating a performance that is still famous today, there is also the longevity factor. If some of the other choices for Captain … Hunter, Jack Lord, Lloyd Bridges … had been selected, we wouldn’t have gotten as many TOS movies as we did.