The second season of Shatner’s Raw Nerve airs this Sunday and William Shatner took time to talk about his experiences in getting guests to appear on the interview show as well as his strategy for getting them to open up to him.
While some celebrities are happy to appear on Shatner’s Raw Nerve, others brush off Shatner without saying “no” directly. “I’m well-acquainted with all the guises,” said Shatner. “‘I’d love to come on when my schedule allows,’ that kind of thing. They put you off and never quite say no.”
But once a guest does agree to appear on his show, Shatner has him sit on a specially-made couch where he is inches away from Shatner and sitting face-to-face with the former Captain Kirk. “I wanted to be on the edge of personal space that is shy of violating a person’s privacy but close enough to suggest intimacy,” Shatner explained. “I was trusting my intuition from my past [talk show] experience when I’d ask myself, why is this desk in between me and the person I’m talking to?”
The intimacy obviously works, but what if a person tells his story and then doesn’t want it to air, as happened recently with Regis Philbin? “We were talking away, and after he finished he said, ‘I don’t think I want you to tell that story,’ so I had to withdraw a story that was so beautiful and insightful,” said Shatner. “It would have been so good for Regis to allow me to use the story, to reveal another part of his heart. If I felt the same way I would want a host to honor my request, but I didn’t agree with Regis in this case.”
Shatner is known to have angered some of his Star Trek fellow actors in the past. When asked if he had mellowed out now, he said, “I really haven’t rubbed anyone the wrong way. I think you’re referring to some cast members from Star Trek. I’ve asked them numerous times to see if I can assuage their bitterness. I don’t know what their problem is, quite frankly, so I’ve given up on trying to make it better. I don’t like any ill-feeling, and if there was something I could do to correct it I would. But nothing seems to work.”
Shatner’s Raw Nerve airs Sundays on the Bio channel at 8 PM. This week’s guests will be Rush Limbaugh and Regis Philbin.