Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Wonderful World of Shatner

As a gay youth growing up in suburbia during the early 1980s, there weren't a lot of images of male sexuality for me to latch onto. And homoerotic images on television were almost non-existent. Although growing up gay in the suburbs has improved somewhat for today's youth, I'm sure the endless sexually graphic images that are now available on the internet can sometimes be more overwhelming than empowering. It was a simpler time back when I was a kid. I do recall two distinct onscreen images of masculinity that appealed to my young gay male hormones that remain ingrained in my brain until this day. The first was a movie from the 60s, entitled The Swimmer, that would show up occasionally on late night television. It featured a very masculine Burt Lancaster, clad only in swimming trunks, whose character literally swam his way home through the backyard pools of an upscale Connecticut neighbourhood. Another image on television that appealed to me as a youth was William Shatner as Captain Kirk, sporting that tight spandex uniform, running around the USS Enterprise in repeats of the original Star Trek series. He was the epitome of masculinity in my young mind. Today, at age 81, Shatner is still going strong. When I heard he was returning to his homeland of  Canada to perform his one-man show, Shatner's World, I thought I'd contact Mr. Shatner to ask him a few questions.
Gay Theatre Toronto
Were you aware of your status as a sex symbol during Star Trek's original run?

William Shatner
I am totally unaware of myself as a sex symbol. I am totally aware of myself as having a great deal of fun with some of the beautiful ladies who appeared on the show. In some cases, self awareness is a good thing and at other times, it can be selfish vanity and vanity would interfere with the performing arts.

You've had some beautiful and talented co-stars during your career. Can you use one sentence to describe the following leading ladies? - Julie Harris (The Tony award winning actress appeared with Shatner on Broadway in 1961.) - Joan Collins (The episode of Star Trek in which she guest starred is
one of the most widely acclaimed episodes of the original series.) - Heather Locklear (She co-starred with Shatner in the television series T.J. Hooker while simultaneously starring in Dynasty.)

Julie Harris is the most talented actress I have ever worked with.
Joan Collins is a sex symbol.
Heather Locklear was like the girl next door.

You've been honoured with the Governor General of Canada's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement along with a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. Do you still have a connection to Canada after having resided stateside for so many years?

I am still a Canadian with a Canadian passport and still say OOT, ABOOT, and HOOUSE.

Can you tell me a little about Shatner's World?

Shatner’s World is entertaining. Shatner’s World is stories and pictures about things I think of as important like horses, death, music, and comedy, that sort of thing. I think you will have the best time coming to see Shatner’s World. And don’t forget, there is a party before each show given to us by Tim Horton's.

Professionally, you are always on the go. What's next for William Shatner?

As for my future, there is a great Apple app called Shatoetry (in which Shatner's voice recites whatever words the user inputs), a new series in the making, a new album in the making, another documentary I am shooting, the list goes on...

Uh, thanks Bill.  

Shatner's World plays 2 shows at Hamilton Place on Saturday, December 8th.

Tickets at

Or visit 

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