Capt. Kirk, what a charmer.
William Shatner is coming to Wizard World Comic Con Minneapolis May 2-4 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. When I interviewed him by phone Wednesday, I admitted to being more thrilled as a fan of “T.J. Hooker” than of “Star Trek.”
“I am grateful that you’re talking to me,” said Shatner. “You’re very important to me to tell the people to come to the Minneapolis Comic Con. I’ll be there Friday night and Saturday, but Comic Con itself is on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And on April 24, the movie of my one-man show will be playing at theaters in Minneapolis. For the price of a movie ticket you can see an award-winning, highly-claimed Broadway show.”
But first, there’s Wizard World Comic Con Minneapolis. In addition to Shatner, who is a definite, others scheduled to appear include Nathan Fillion (“Castle,” “Firefly”); Michael Rooker (“The Walking Dead”); Ralph Macchio (“The Karate Kid,” “My Cousin Vinny”); Karen Gillan (“Oculus,” “Doctor Who,”); Sean Astin (“The Lord of the Rings,”); Adam Baldwin (“Serenity,” “Full Metal Jacket”), Robert Englund (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”); James Marsters (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,”), Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk,”); Ian Ziering (“Beverly Hills 90210,”); Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”).
Normally, when I type up Q & As I give you a sense for whether the celebrity was having any fun by noting when they laughed. During this interview, I did most of the laughing.
Q: What is it about the schtick of overacting and having an air of self-importance that seems so endearing and entertaining?
A: I don’t do that.
Q: Have you ever dressed up for Comic Con -- and not as Capt. Kirk -- to go observe your fans?
A: No. I dress up in my costume, which is a T-shirt, jeans and sandals.
Q: Do you think people at Comic Con need a hobby?
A: Comic Con is their hobby and they’re having a great time. It’s true that a lot of people getting dressed up and going to a Comic Con doesn’t seem real, but to a lot of people it’s like they are having a party. And you can’t fault them for that.
Q: You’re one of those people who always brings it when there’s an interview?
A: You mean people don’t?
Q: You know. You’ve seen “Entertainment Tonight”?
A: Oh my god. That’s terrible.
Q: Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting also brings it to an interview. So I imagine your interactions with her, when you are shooting those Priceline.com commercials, must be extremely real?
A: I’m telling you, she is such a talent. Such a delight. I’m in love with Kaley.
Q: Are those Priceline.com commercials you do with Kaley as close as you’re going to come to being on CBS’ “Big Bang Theory?”
A: Apparently. They talk about me a lot, apparently, but I’m not on it. C.J., you’ve got to write about that.
Q: For some reason “Big Bang” co-creator, producer and Twitter’s @billprady has responded to wisecracks from me, so I’ll make sure he sees this.
A: Tell him you were talking to me and telling me I had to be on “Big Bang” and I was saying, ‘They don’t want me.”
Q: Done. Would you be willing to take off your shirt as James Earl Jones did in his “Big Bang Theory” romp with Jim Parsons?
A: Of course. I’ve got a six-pack you wouldn’t believe.
Q: Who’s a better kisser: Candice Bergen or James Spader [Shatner’s “Boston Legal” co-stars]?
A: James Spader has the fullest lips. You know that.
Q: Have you, um …[I paused to reword a question.]
A: Yes, I have on many occasions.
Q: At what age should we be too old to tell Uranus jokes?
A: It’s always appealing to the child in you; until you die.
Q: You’ve been called an “Intergalactic Don Juan?”
A: Don Two, too.
Q: Have you cleared up those stories about having an off-screen romance with Capt. Uhura [Nichelle Nichols]?
A: No. Not only have I not cleared them up, I’ve muddied the waters.
Q: Do you think George Takei is doing all his own social media work or are his people making him look interesting?
A: I’m not quite sure what George Takei does. [Chuckle.]
Q: What’s your relationship with Takei these days? I read reports of a rift but don’t know if this is true.
A: See, I knew George briefly about 50 years ago. I don’t think I’ve seen him twice, since then. So I really don’t know him.
Q: Do you have a Twitter account on which you tweet? I ask because Morgan Freeman just said that he has nothing to do with Twitter and Facebook accounts purportedly written by him.
A: I am very much into Twitter and Facebook. Absolutely [I’m doing my own tweets].
Q: How often do you change your personal cellphone number?
A: Constantly. I can never dial myself because I never remember.
Q: Who are the first five people to whom you give the new number?
A: First of all, I keep it away from my wife.
Q: Are you impressed with the advancements in hair restoration since “Star Trek?”
A: I really am. Those plugs, if you need them, you should do plugs. Same way as when I am trying to sell something, I put in a plug.
Q: I appreciate your time and look forward to laying eyeballs on you when you come to the Twin Cities.
A: How about a hand and a finger?
I was laughing too hard at that answer, Shatner laughed, too. Interviews are edited. To contact C.J. try firstname.lastname@example.org and to see her watch Fox 9’s “Buzz.”