Although William Shatner was Justin Halpern‘s first choice to play his sharp-tongued and profane father on $#*! My Dad Says, father Sam Halpern had another actor in mind.
$#*! My Dad Says will air September 23, and had Halpern senior had his way, he would have been played by someone associated with another famous sci-fi franchise.
Halpern wanted to have his character played by James Earl Jones, best-known to fans as the voice of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars movies. Jones’ “voice is the greatest in the world,” said Halpern.
But according to son Justin, his father had a voice more like “Foghorn Leghorn.”
Justin was pleased with Shatner’s portrayal of his father, as seen during the taping of the pilot. Shatner hit the role “out of the park,” said Halpern. “He’s such a unique kind of actor, you never know what you’re going to get with him. He brought a really interesting take on it.”
His father was OK with Shatner after seeing the taping. “He was way into it,” said Sam Halpern.
Justin did have another actor in mind for the role, had Shatner turned it down. “My second choice was Deadwood star Ian McShane,” he said. “But he might have scared the crap out of middle-America though.”