20 Questions: William Shatner

William Shatner, Captain Kirk, Cultural Icon Extraordinaire. Shatner Rules. Like all great American actors – he’s not American. We’re not even sure he’s human. We’re certain, however, that he’s The Captain of Everything -- not least PopMatters 20 Questions.

William Shatner

Seeking Major Tom

Label: Cleopatra
US Release Date: 2011-10-11

Shatner Rules: Your Key to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large

Publisher: Penguin
Price: $21.95
Author: William Shatner
Length: 272 pages
Format: Hardcover
Publication date: 2011-10

The Captains

Director: William Shatner
Cast: William Shatner, Patrick Stewart
Distributor: Entertainment One
Release date: 2011-10-18

William Shatner, Captain Kirk, Cultural Icon Extraordinaire. Shatner Rules. Like all great American actors – he’s not American. We’re not even sure he’s human. In human years, he’s 80 (with the unstoppable mental energy of an eight-year-old Vulcan) -- but he could be just a youngster in Akritirians, Bejorin, Betazoid -- to name but a handful of the humanoids that have infected, er, appeared in Star Trek (and those are just some of the 'A' and 'B' names of humanoid aliens found on Wikipedia. Shudder.)

Indeed, we've been under the influence of Star Trek since it was first beamed, I mean 'aired' on NBC 45 years ago last month. That was our first contact with the starship U.S.S. Enterprise and her crew. Since then, Shatner has so thoroughly integrated in his role on this planet the role of the explorer of strange new worlds (get it?), we're only now beginning to realize that he's just getting started with us, he's just beginning to mess with our minds (he's even dabbled in our legal system under another of his clever guises)! This month alone he continues to mesmerize his loyal Trekkie following with a DVD (The Captains) a book (Shatner Rules: Your Key to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large) and a CD (Seeking Major Tom). He'll be making contact with the Canadians soon, too. This is why we’re certain that William Shatner always has been, and always will be, The Captain of His Universe. And ours.

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – it was so bad I was in tears.

2. The fictional character most like you?

The ape in Rise of the Planet of the Apes because he had noble ambitions, some of which came true and some of which didn’t, all of which were a futile exercise, anyway.

3. The greatest album, ever?

Seeking Major Tom is one of the major albums of our generation.

4. Star Trek or Star Wars?

DUH!!!! Star Wars, of course.

5. Your ideal brain food?

Jazz – inspirational in all of its creativity.

6. You're proud of this accomplishment, but why?

I can chew gun and walk at the same time because I am told doing two things at once is impossible. The brain cuts off… not mine.

7. You want to be remembered for ...?

Chewing gum and walking at the same time.

8. Of those who've come before, the most inspirational are?

Stunt performer Steve-O, because he can get hurt and recover in a flash. I take a day or two.

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?

If I could have only re-edited Rise of the Planet of the Apes… but they didn’t ask.

10. Your hidden talents...?

The dexterity of my toes. I can pick up a pen and write a short story but only with my small toe.

11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?

“Go west young man,” said by American author Horace Greeley. Hollywood lay at the end of the map.

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?

I stole a bag of candies when I was five. The grocery clerk caught me, told my father and I never stole another thing again. Except a scene or two.

13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or...?

Running shorts. I have great legs and washboard abs.

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?

Fred Astaire. He would dance with me, order wine and he would listen to me sing.

15. Time travel: where, when and why?

I want to go back in time to the invention of fire. Who’s thought was it? Who thought of using it? He must have been the most creative brain to have ever been. I’m assuming it’s a ‘he’ because so many ‘shes’ have played with fire.

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?

I might take some Prozac on a spa vacation and have the hit man’s phone number.

17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or...?

It would have to be espresso coffee, Belvedere vodka, and chocolate cigarettes

18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?

I’ve got a little spot of heaven right here in Los Angeles.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?

Get your rear end off the toilet and run this country like our lives depend on it.

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

I have a new book coming out called Shatner Rules on October 4th, a new album called Seeking Major Tom releases on October 11th and my one-man Canadian tour, How Time Flies: An Evening with William Shatner, launches in Vancouver on October 19th. My recent documentary, The Captains, is also available on DVD October 18th.

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