Published on February 6th, 2020 | by gareth0
Michael Starr Talks About His New Book Shatner
How many times did you interview Shatner for the book?
I didn’t interview Shatner for the book. I contacted his management when I signed the book deal and was told he had an “overcommited production schedule” and was unavailable for an interview.
What are some of the things that most surprised you about Shatner?
I was surprised to learn, for instance, that, in the 1970s, he was considered as the original host of Family Feud (the job went to Richard Dawson). Shatner and his then-wife, Marcy, appeared on many daytime TV game shows in the early ’70s and Marcy’s father, Perry Lafferty, was a television executive — which, I guess, qualified Shatner for the job, at least in the TV execs’ eyes.
Aside from Star Trek; what would you say are his greatest triumphs and his biggest disappointments?
Professionally, I think his greatest triumph aside from Star Trek was Boston Legal, for which he won two Emmy Awards and had great on-screen chemistry with his co-star, James Spader, in a very memorable role. The fact that, throughout his career, Shatner has adapted to the ups and downs of show business and always remained relevant is, in itself, triumphant. I think his biggest disappointment was not forging a more successful movie career before the Star Trek franchise came along — despite co-starring on the big-screen opposite the likes of Spencer Tracy, Judy Garland, Yul Brynner and Burt Lancaster.
There has been some friction between Bill and some of his former cast mates. How would you say he has addressed this over the years?
That depends which way the wind is blowing. At times, he has acknowledged that, perhaps, he could have behaved better toward his co-stars, particularly during the original run of Star Trek. At other times, he has claimed he never acted anything but professional toward his co-stars and was unaware of their feelings and frustrations towards him.
How would you say Bill has changed in his attitude toward Fandom from the early days until now?
As he grew older he definitely embraced his Star Trek image, particularly since he has been able to branch out into so many different directions in entertainment. I think that, starting in the mid-1970s, when he attended his first Star Trek convention and realized how much the series means to its fans, his attitude changed. For the most part, he’s taken all the slings and arrows about his acting style in stride, at least publicly. After all, it’s better to be talked about than not talked about at all, and he’s always embraced the power of publicity.
You can pick up the book at most major outlets or the link below.