William Shatner Explains How He Landed ‘Star Trek’ – The Hollywood Reporter

William Shatner He recalled how he was able to land the role Captain James T. Kirk The original 1966 version Star Trek series.

During His keynote interview was at South By Southwest In Austin On Thursday, Alamo Drafthouse Founding founder Tim League Frequently Asked Questions Shatner How he achieved his career-changing job.

“Talent,” Shatner He first deadpanked, to audience applause. But then he started telling the story.

As All Trek Fans know: Jeffrey Hunter wAs cast in the NBC show’s first attempt at a Star Trek pilot, “The Cage,” as Captain Christopher Pike. “Jeffrey Hunter, good-looking guy, he was quite a name,” Shatner says. “They presented the pilot to NBC and then there’s that moment when the gods — and, in this case, NBC executives — decide to buy or not to buy. To buy, or not to buy, that is the question! They said, ‘No, we’re not going to buy it, because we don’t like it. But we like the idea. So rewrite, recast and we’ll give you the money to do it.’ I’ve never heard of that happening before or since.” (To be fair, it’s actually happened many times since).

“So they went around looking for a new captain,” Shatner continued. “I was in New York doing some work. They called me and said, ‘Would you come and see the pilot?’ With the idea of me being the captain. And I watched the pilot [and thought], ‘Oh my God, that’s really good. Why didn’t they buy it?’ Yet [the actors] were a little ponderous. Like, [soberly] ‘Helmsman, turn to the Starboard.’ You’ve been out five years in the middle of space, wouldn’t you say, [casually] ‘Hey, George, turn left’? ‘There’s a meteor coming!’ … ‘Well, get out of the way!’ So I added a little lightness. Then it sold. And that’s the answer.”

Shatner Also, he said that his worst was yet to come. “role” He attempted to do stand-up comedy once. Captain KirkThe joke goes that Kirk would say cliche one-liner jokes and not understand why he wasn’t funny. Yet The bit was a huge success. “It was probably the the worst thing that ever happened to me,” Shatner said.

League Also, you might be asked how Shatner This would be a discussion about someone texting or talking during a movie at a theatre. “Shut the fuck up!” Shatner roared, then proceeded to talk about the benefits of the f-bomb for getting people’s attention.

During The interview. Shatner He was decades younger than his age and more sharp than his peers, often standing on stage and pacing energetically while sharing an anecdote. At At the end, the audience stood to applaud him.

The 91-year-old Star Trek The festival was also attended by icon to support his documentary biopic. You Can Call Me BillThe book chronicles his six-decades as an author. EmmyActor, author, recording artist, and environmental activist. The Tonight’s premiere of the film is tonight

Shatner Last year, the oldest person to ever go into space made headlines around the world. The Actor flew in a suborbital capsule piloted and controlled by Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin. In His memoir Boldly GoHe shared his deep sadness and how he was able to overcome it. “I wept for the Earth because I realized it’s dying,” Shatner wrote. “I dedicated my book, Boldly Go, to my great-grandchild, who’s three now — coming three — and in the dedication, say it’s them, those youngsters, who are going to reap what we have sown in terms of the destruction of the Earth … I saw more clearly than I have, with all the studying and reading I’ve done, the writhing, slow death of Earth and we on it. It’s a little tiny rock with an onion-skin air around it. That’s how fragile it all is. It’s so fragile. We hang by a thread. … We’re just dangling.”

Shatner At the moment, is the host and executive producers of The UnXplained On The History ChannelWhich? “explores the world’s most fascinating, strange and inexplicable mysteries.”

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