March 16th, 2011

Seishiro Sakurazukamori

Interview: Captain Kirk rocks on at 80

Captain Kirk rocks on at 80
On Tuesday next week William Shatner will turn 80. ''It's monstrous,'' the Canadian actor told The Diary. ''Horrible and terrible fall short of describing it. It's just monstrous.'' So, how will the Star Trek, Boston Legal and $#*! My Dad Says star be celebrating the milestone? He'll be working, recording a new album with Brian May, Peter Frampton and Zakk Wylde. (It will, of course, be a concept heavy metal album, detailing what happened to David Bowie's Major Tom after Space Oddity. You can take Shatner out of the Starship Enterprise, it seems, but you can't take him out of space.) He will also be collating material for a speaking tour to Australia, which brings him to the State Theatre on April 5. Still as sharp as a Klingon's bat'leth, Shatner - ''please, call me Bill'' - says the last time he travelled to Australia was long before anyone in the country was born. He vaguely remembers building a bridge across Sydney Harbour. ''I also hunted wallabies with a bow and arrows in Tasmania. When the sun went down, we got around a campfire and they taught me the song Waltzing Matilda and what a 'billy' was,'' Shatner says. When pressed, he insists the Tasmanian hunting episode did actually happen. Apart from appearing at the State Theatre for Kirk, Crane and Beyond, Shatner will be appearing at the Command and Conquer Star Trek convention at UNSW on April 2. ''I was first invited to a convention and I didn't think it was something that a serious actor, as I considered myself at the time, would be interested in doing. Hanging around with people wearing nothing but green paint? No thank you, sir. I agreed though, and when I got up on stage I had nothing to say, but from that point in my life, that's when I first learnt to improvise. It's been useful all through my career.'' But how does he feel about having to the skip past a career that's garnered Emmys and Golden Globes to concentrate on a short-lived TV show from the '60s and a few campy film spin-offs? ''Wonderful, absolutely wonderful. Why would I want to run from something as iconic and fantastic as Star Trek?''

That's Mister Shatner to you, kid
ShatnerFest: William Shatner 80th Birthday Marathon

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