William Shatner has a new book out—- Up Till Now. He was interviewed by the Archive in 1999– see what he talked about up until then.
Click here for his complete five-part interview.
Some excerpts from his interview:
On his speech pattern:
I admire phrasing. Frank Sinatra’s phrasing spoke to me. And so words… one doesn’t think in terms of sentences. One thinks in terms of the key word that you want to communicate… you can disperse with everything else. I want to communicate with you.
On the cameras in “live” television:
Cameras were very large, had a lot of hot tubes. And they had a fan in it. And the fan [had] a low noise, as minimal noise as possible. So, it made a little wurring sound as it cooled the innards of the camera. For all the- for all that you might know it was breathing. And there was this warm camera, and there was somebody behind it, but he was kind of hidden behind this massive thing. So the thing kind of moved. In fact, one time I saw two cameras on dolly’s, electrical dolly’s, from one end of- somehow they got loose, and they came at each other, two camera’s on electrical dolly’s, like two pre-historic animals, uh, boom, and they hit each other, and they fell over, like two pre-historic amphibians. So, I thought of the camera as alive, it- was like- if you stood beside it, it could make an entrance. Thing kind of purred at you. If you were gonna come on camera during a live television show, you might make an entrance beside the camera. Cue comes on – come past the camera. So while you’re standing by the camera, things going- wooo- and it never frightened me. It- I always loved that camera. I loved the little camera, and, and you could pet it. You could, you could savor it. Then its eye went on, little red eye.
On the appeal of Star Trek:
I think that the mystique of Star Trek, the legend, the mythological proportions of Star Trek provide something that’s missing in people’s consciousness, psyche. They yearn, look for- mythology, the Greeks had it to explain away things. We don’t have it in our civilization. I think Star Trek provides a myth, and it’s built like a Greek play. A leader and his band of men searching the unknown.
On Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy:
Well, Leonard Nimoy is one of the great men alive, he’s just a wonderful, warm, genuine, loving human being, and I don’t know how much I loved him uh, during the show. I don’t recall, I must of, he was different. He was silent, he told me later, he was being Spock, but the warmth I feel for him now is enormous. He’s my brother.
On T. J. Hooker:
T.J. Hooker, could have been a wonderful, could have been a wonderful show, it was a terrific show, I loved doing it, and I ran up and down the streets of Los Angeles, for five years, and I had a great time, but because it’s television, it couldn’t fulfill the original premise. The original premise was a guy, an older cop full of the previous- before the Miranda, reading of the Miranda rights concepts, now having to read, and apply to the Miranda rights, and having to be there when he knew the bad guy needed a- a poke in the eye, and that frenzy, that rage, that was in him, was the- was the pull and the tug. The push and the pull that- that should have been there all the time. It was only there occasionally.