Old School Americana & Nostalgia


William Shatner Gets Honest About ‘Star Trek’ and His Role as Captain Kirk

William Shatner Gets Honest About ‘Star Trek’ and His Role as Captain Kirk

William Shatner’s career spans a staggering eight decades. However, his most famous role remains Captain Kirk from Star Trek. He’s played roles in The Twilight Zone, has a successful music career, and even became an astronaut in real life. It might not come as a surprise that he’s a bit over questions about Captain James T. Kirk.

During a recent interview with Sarasota Magazine, the 92-year-old actor was asked about the significance of his role as Captain Kirk. While promoting a screening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and a special Q&A event, Shatner responded candidly to the question. The veteran actor shared his honest thoughts on whether the character of Captain Kirk is the most meaningful role of his career.

“I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I started long before Star Trek,” Shatner told the outlet. “So I’ve had a multitude of things to do and say and perform, been given a lot of opportunity.”

Shatner’s Captain Kirk Comments Shouldn’t Come as a Big Surprise

These recent sentiments align with William Shatner’s complex history with the franchise. From feuds with franchise vets like George Takei, to controversial comments about newer installments, his connection to Trek is bumpy. It’s not surprising if he has mixed feelings about the character that made him a pop culture icon.

Of course, William Shatner made his mark in other classic TV shows. He played the lead in the 70s cop drama T.J. Hooker and took a comedic turn in as Denny Crane from Boston Legal from 2004 to 2008.

Still, it’s a curious answer considering Shatner was promoting a screening of Star Trek II. One would think the Hollywood veteran would be psychologically prepared to field a few questions about Kirk.

William Shatner Does Have Thoughts on ‘Star Trek’s Enduring Legacy

However, William Shatner did marvel at the show’s legacy elsewhere in the interview. “It’s such a show biz phenomenon. It arose like a phoenix after it was canceled [back in 1969], but then, to have the plethora of other Star Treks over and over again… I never watched them, but there’s got to be a half dozen out there right now.”

Shatner speculated on the franchise’s endurance and place in pop culture. “I think one answer is science fiction offers us a glimpse that is essentially as real as glimpses go,” he said. “The concept of the future is intriguing to everybody.”