William Shatner is headed back to television with a new comedy pilot for CBS, and he's also busy in the world of comics with his assorted projects for Bluewater Productions. We sat down with Shatner, 79, at the recent Anaheim Comic-Con for a conversation.
Los Angeles Times: You've had such an interesting ride through pop culture, going all the way back to the 1960s, but in recent years, with the role of Denny Crane on 'Boston Legal' and 'The Practice,' there was a new level of acclaim from your peers. They awarded you the first Emmy of your career in 2004, and two of those trophies are on the shelf at home. What do you think about now when you reflect on your odyssey as an actor?
William Shatner: I wish I knew the truths or the verities of acting or performing. I wish I knew, really. Nobody knows. What is not talked about often are the intricacies of the decision of staying in acting over the years when it's a game for the young and the beautiful. When you're young and beautiful and talented, you have a real shot. When you're a little bit older and you're not as beautiful and the next beauty is coming up, more often than not you're starting to see the end of your career. What do you do with the rest of your life? When do you make the decision: Should I try something else, or do I hang on and hope for the best? It's a critical, life-changing decision, and it has to be made clear-eyed and not with an emotional point of view. And that's difficult because you're already emotional.
There will be another 'Star Trek' film coming from J.J. Abrams and his team, and I'm wondering what you thought of the first. For me, I loved the spirit of the movie.
I agree with you. That's my opinion too. It was a wonderful ride. I think J.J. Abrams did a wonderful job in enlarging the franchise and constructing a foundation for the sequel. I don't know anything about that sequel. I didn't know anything about the first one. I know even less about the second one. I know less than nothing about the sequel, if that's possible.
You also have a new network television project.
Yes, there's a new pilot that I did that's based on the Twitter that this son did about his father. ... We're calling it "$#*! My Dad Says," and that's a whole new concept in that somebody twitters a statement and it gathers an electronic audience of 2 million people, and as a result a network and a studio make a pilot. It's a whole new world that we're all barely getting into.