Today I got to talk to Bill Shatner.
I can call him Bill--he told me I could!
I interviewed Shatner for an article I'm doing on Bluewater Productions' William Shatner Presents comic book line; the interview was worked in around the shooting schedule for Boston Legal.
It's always a little awkward to talk to someone whose work you have enjoyed for many years; there's a constant struggle between the tendency to fall into fan mentality and the need to focus on the task at hand. But talking to Bill was comfortable and casual, largely because he made it so.
He was honest and down-to-earth for the duration of the interview; at no point did he try to give me pompous speeches about his comic book line. He was honest about his level of involvement, he seemed genuinely enthused about what was being done with his concepts, and he seemed quite happy that readers would be interested in these books.
He also spoke a little bit about how it never would have occurred to him when he took the Star Trek job more than four decades ago that it would make science fiction a permanent part of his life--one that he found himself enjoying even more now than he did then.
All through the conversation, I had to remind myself that I was talking to a 77 year old man. His energy, his exuberance, his gregarious nature all seemed more indicative of a personality at least thirty years younger. Would that we could all be so vital in our seventies!