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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old January 2 2013, 03:43 AM   #16
1001001
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
1001001 wrote: View Post
I wonder if there are reports from any actors/crew other than the secondary TOS cast?

I mean, if the guy is an egotistical jerk, wouldn't somebody else have noticed somewhere down the line?
They have. You catch enough folks on the convention circuit - guest actors on TOS, some of the new cast in the Bennett-produced Star Trek movies - and they've said similar things, from the dismissive attitude on to line hogging/counting, etc.
I've been to lots of conventions, and have heard the stories. He'll I've met the man twice and thought he was quite unfriendly and ungracious.

But still that's all Star Trek stuff. What about all his other work? Has anyone else complained about this stuff?
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Old January 2 2013, 03:58 AM   #17
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

1001001 wrote: View Post
My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
1001001 wrote: View Post
I wonder if there are reports from any actors/crew other than the secondary TOS cast?

I mean, if the guy is an egotistical jerk, wouldn't somebody else have noticed somewhere down the line?
They have. You catch enough folks on the convention circuit - guest actors on TOS, some of the new cast in the Bennett-produced Star Trek movies - and they've said similar things, from the dismissive attitude on to line hogging/counting, etc.
I've been to lots of conventions, and have heard the stories. He'll I've met the man twice and thought he was quite unfriendly and ungracious.

But still that's all Star Trek stuff. What about all his other work? Has anyone else complained about this stuff?
I've no idea - never seen a live appearance by the third-cop-from-the-left on T.J. Hooker.

Of course, Shatner's situation on Boston Legal was very different - he was first among equals in an ensemble cast that included people like Candice Bergen; it was not a set where he was likely to throw his weight around.
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Old January 2 2013, 04:10 AM   #18
1001001
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

Fair enough. I don't claim to know anything. Just curious.

Ultimately it doesn't matter. I don't have to work with the guy.

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Old January 2 2013, 06:40 AM   #19
JimZipCode
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

Gary7 wrote: View Post
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: View Post
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.
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Old January 2 2013, 07:11 AM   #20
wissaboo
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

As a lifelong fan of Kirk and by default Shatner, I have to say I don't care. I don't think the personalities of celebrities or their interpersonal relationships are really any of our business. Sure it would be nice to think that the people who fleshed out these characters we have come to care about so much were wonderful human beings but they are just as subject to foibles and flaws as the rest of us are.
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Old January 2 2013, 10:21 AM   #21
TREK_GOD_1
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
1001001 wrote: View Post
I wonder if there are reports from any actors/crew other than the secondary TOS cast?

I mean, if the guy is an egotistical jerk, wouldn't somebody else have noticed somewhere down the line?
They have. You catch enough folks on the convention circuit - guest actors on TOS, some of the new cast in the Bennett-produced Star Trek movies - and they've said similar things, from the dismissive attitude on to line hogging/counting, etc.
Keep in mind that bitter actors use this Shatner myth to pad an otherwise blink-and-you-missed it career. The most notorious of this lot was Doohan, Takei and Yvonne Craig; take away the Shatner BS, and what do you have?

"uh, Scotty had more lines in that episode! I shoulda, coulda, woulda..."

Whatever. Shatner was not Roddenberry, Desilu, NBC or the series' sponsors--the only agents (individually or collectively) who had the influnece to change an actor's position (fate). 1960s TV had a pecking star order, and Doohan was #4 at best. If someone with an inarguably more important role--such as Batman's Burt "Robin" Ward--was occasionally shortchanged in the line department (and during the era, Robin was crucial to the Batman image / franchise), what made Doohan assume he needed to be elevated beyond his level?

Shatner did not create Scotty, nor was he responsible for how the star/series system worked.

Takei: "oooohhhhhh Shatner was very democratic, but not fair where lines were...blah blah..."

Bonk, bonk, bad kid. See the Doohan analysis.

Yvonne Craig: no career worth mentioning, other than that she played a signficant role in the death of the Batman TV series...so i'm guessing she's not going to go into too much detail about that. On the other hand, she feels the need to talk crap about a man she did not know on a show she spent all of what--a couple days on at best? Yes, that's all one requires to make character assessments repreated over the span of decades as "fact."

Some cannot accept their limited position in the annals of entertainment, and if there was ONE--just one lesson they should have learned back in acting school, it was the fact everyone is not going to be a star, some will be more successful than you, so there is no "level playing field" in a business about perception and ability.

Shatner had ability not lost to anyone watching him, starting in his early years in Canada, and certainly when cast as Kirk. If Doohan--through the force of his performances--scored some major hit with audiences on a Shatner level, producers would not waste any time trying to milk him--its to their benefit to do so--but that did not happen, as he (like Takei) was not "that guy."

Bitter pill, but eventually, the taste goes away, and the medicine is accepted.
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Old January 2 2013, 12:28 PM   #22
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

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Old January 2 2013, 01:40 PM   #23
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

I would guess that Shatner's behavior comes down more to insecurity than ego. My friend worked at a convention he was speaking at back in the late 80's, around the time of Trek 5. She was quite surprised to hear she would be working as one of the assistants while he was there. She was really put off by his treatment of the help, very dismissive and rude, as if they were of lesser value because they were 'only' assistants. There were several shouts of "don't you know who I am, I'm William Shatner" thrown in for good measure.

To be fair, the Trek 5 period seemed to be the height of his pomposity.
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Old January 2 2013, 02:13 PM   #24
CoveTom
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

Shatner has openly admitted that he was sometimes dismissive of his co-stars and inconsiderate of their feelings. He has lessened his ego over the years, and has even made some attempts to reconcile. He and James Doohan buried the hatchet before Doohan's death, for example.

However, I think things have also been inflated over the years. As has been pointed out here, TOS was not an ensemble show. Ensemble shows, as we know them today, were virtually non-existent on TV back then. The formula was that you had one or two main stars, a guest star of the week, and then some supporting players. That's the formula TOS followed.

The supporting characters were important inasmuch as someone needed to pilot the ship or open the hailing frequencies, but their character development was not important. Can you think of any episode of TOS where you could not have removed Sulu or Chekov or Uhura and substituted a nameless ensign? In fact, TOS did this frequently when a particular actor was not available. Now, imagine trying to swap out Kirk or Spock or McCoy for a different character. Wouldn't work.

Once TOS became a cult sensation in the 1970's, fans began to elevate the supporting actors to something of legendary status, and those actors began to see themselves as of significant importance to the success of TOS. But, at the time, they were just supporting players. That's not being cruel. That's just the way television was at the time.
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Old January 2 2013, 03:10 PM   #25
Forbin
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

My one and only "meeting Shatner" story is via a friend. My friend was an usher at a local playhouse in the 70s, while Shat was doing one of his little local shows. After the show, in the parking lot, my friend couldn't get his car started. Shatner, driving by in his camper, stopped and offered to help. So, hey, that was nice of him.
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Old January 2 2013, 03:14 PM   #26
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

Not every lead actor is David Janssen or Roger More or Scott Bakula. Some are Jack Lord, David Boreanaz, or William Petersen. The bottom line is how you like their work. William Shatner's Kirk will never be surpassed for me. I don't give a flinging turd if he was a dick to the cast or not.

However, the lower level cast's constant harping on it for extended spotlight grabbing is annoying as hell. So are the "Walter Koenig ripped Shatner a new on on Raw Nerve" declarations. BS. I saw Raw Nerve and the two of them were very cordial and only slightly heated at times (it's also well known that Koenig dislikes confrontation and is generally reasonable in person). The most interesting part of the conversation was about Takei: George and Walter are NOT good friends, yet George made him his best man. Hmmm.

Note to lower tier Trek actors: get over it. Shatner doesn't start this crap, you do. He'd be more than happy to let you all fade into memory and ride his horses.
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Old January 2 2013, 03:17 PM   #27
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

Timewalker wrote: View Post
Thing is, even if the junior cast members weren't on TV/movies all the time, that doesn't mean they weren't working. Some did live theatre, others wrote, Nichelle Nichols did some work as a recruiter for NASA, to find qualified women/minority people to train as astronauts, Takei took a shot at politics, and so on.
But that IS thre thing: they were actors who could not get lucritive ACTING jobs. So they worked elsewhere (politics can be considered a form of acting, I suppose). Nobody said they were bums or unemployed, but that their acting careers went pretty much nowhere.

William Shatner has never worked as anything but an actor his entire life. According to his biography, anyway.
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Old January 2 2013, 04:20 PM   #28
Dale Sams
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

Captain Claus wrote: View Post
Timewalker wrote: View Post
Thing is, even if the junior cast members weren't on TV/movies all the time, that doesn't mean they weren't working. Some did live theatre, others wrote, Nichelle Nichols did some work as a recruiter for NASA, to find qualified women/minority people to train as astronauts, Takei took a shot at politics, and so on.
But that IS thre thing: they were actors who could not get lucritive ACTING jobs. So they worked elsewhere (politics can be considered a form of acting, I suppose). Nobody said they were bums or unemployed, but that their acting careers went pretty much nowhere.

William Shatner has never worked as anything but an actor his entire life. According to his biography, anyway.
Yeah, but he did have to live in A VAN by THE RIVER.
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Old January 2 2013, 04:32 PM   #29
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

That he has a ego is nothing new for actors, that some actors have carried this grudge on for almost 47 years is the most shocking part....they really needed to have moved on from this a long ago.....although it did not help that the whole Shatner thing gave them stories to tell the many Trek cons they apppeared at.

Bottom line, people can be assholes at times, welcome to earth.
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Old January 2 2013, 04:57 PM   #30
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

wissaboo wrote: View Post
As a lifelong fan of Kirk and by default Shatner, I have to say I don't care.
Totally disgree with the notion that if you're a fan of the character, that you're also a fan of the actor who portrays the character.

I'm a huge fan of Kirk, but not a fan of Shatner.

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