William Shatner turns 80 on March 22, but he is busier than ever. The Montreal-born actor, who gained fame in the Star Trek TV show and movies, stars in the series $#*! My Dad Says, is host of the Discovery Channel series, Weird of What?, and has a program called Shatner's Raw Nerve, in which he interviews celebrities. He is also writing a book (following his memoir Up Till Now), and is recording a new album of music. On Thursday, he comes to Ottawa to be host of the 31st Genie Awards, and in May he will return to receive a Governor General's Performing Arts Award for his life's work. He took time out from his favourite pastime, horseback riding - he owns a farm in Kentucky - to speak to Postmedia News movie writer Jay Stone:
Q: Congratulations on, well, everything.
A: Thanks. I just got off a horse and I should be congratulated for getting off a horse in one piece. But for whatever that is, I will take congratulations.
Q: I'm talking about winning the Governor General's Award and hosting the Genies . . .
A: Don't forget McGill is giving me an honourary degree. I'm getting a doctorate. It's great. I was barely able to get passing grades at McGill.
Q: Can you give us an idea of what kind of show we can look forward to on Thursday?
A: I think it will be a fast-paced, very funny, extraordinarily dramatic hour show.
Q: Did you learn anything from the Oscar broadcast of what to do and not to do?
A: I think that the people at the Genie awards made a brave and intelligent choice. They saw that youth wasn't working. Now they're trying old age.
Q: You're approaching a big birthday. It's a time of life when people look back. Are you doing that?
A: Looking back is not a good idea when you're this age. Looking forward is a better idea, because you can be blinded by the sun looking forward.