In spite of his Hollywood success, William Shatner still feels an actor’s insecurity when it comes to his career.
Shatner reminisced about his time on two shows for which he is best-known by science fiction fans, Star Trek and Twilight Zone. Even though both shows suffered from a lack of special effects due to the time when they were made, both were able to transcend those oft-times cheesy special effects and to impact their viewers with quality stories.
“So I am both proud of it and at the same time I am aware that some people think it was a soap opera and the sets were cheap and the effects – I can’t even call them computer effects – were awful by today’s standards.”
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, one of the two Twilight Zone episodes in which Shatner appeared is still remembered by viewers almost fifty years after it aired. “[It] touches another universal in the human psyche, and that is the fear of flying,” Shatner said. “Buried somewhere in all of us when the going gets rough up there is: If God meant us to fly, we’d have wings. Why are we up here? We’re in the wrong part of the world. We should be on terra firma. That’s the only explanation I can come up with that makes that particular episode as popular as it is.”
At almost eighty with a successful career behind him and still working, the versatile actor is insecure about his work. “I’m never secure,” he said. “But out of that insecurity comes an energy that I put into my work. I’m never satisfied about what I’m doing, and constantly working on it, and I think there’s a benefit in that.”
Shatner’s future acting, though, probably won’t include Star Trek XII. “I would be so interested in doing it, especially with that wonderful director J.J. Abrams,” he admitted, “but I don’t see how it’s possible and maybe we all have gone beyond that.”