Everything I read of Herbert Solow's writings in "Inside Star Trek" suggested Shatner was a very professional actor who did a fine job with what he had to work with. There isn't any solid evidence at all of an ego mongering Shatner. Would you agree?
Dale Sams wrote:
I don't think Ellison (Not the most trustworthy source i know) made up that Shatner was counting his lines, or that Nichols had to be the one to make Shatner see that he really had been an ass.
...overall, if I HAD to choose between viewpoints – I would say that Shatner had been something of an ass.
There's no contradiction between those two positions. Shatner could have been both a very professional actor who did a fine job – showed up on time, knew his lines, accepted direction, never was drunk or high on set, fulfilled all the promotional assignments the studio or network wanted him to do – and a raging egomaniac who was obsessed with how he was presented to the audience (along with his screen time and line count) and dismissive of the lesser co-stars around him.
I think it's a little weird to listen to an interview a guy gives 40 years later, and conclude from it that he wasn't
a raging egomaniac back in the day. He's had decades to think about these questions; and he's older and more professional etc. You should not expect to find much evidence within the interview is, for the behavior you're looking for.
But there is some. When asked about Nimoy's quote about a nearly "sibling rivalry" between them during filming, Shatner spoke about how he didn't understand it, here he was acting his tail off and audiences wanted to see more of the man in the pointed ears. There's an echo there; you can imagine what that emotion might have been like 40 years ago, at its newest and rawest.
Shatner has this great quote, early in the interview:
William Shatner wrote:
"The norm in show business is failure."
This is a working actor's working actor. I'd love to see him on Inside The Actor's Studio or someplace, talking about work.