Shatner Says Life Has Only Improved In 70s

By Michelle
September 18, 2005 - 2:54 AM

William Shatner is described by his Boston Legal co-star Candice Bergen as "almost like a hyperactive little kid", and his enthusiasm for life is expressed in a single word:

"Love. What else is there?" the Captain Kirk actor asked The Los Angeles Times. "The older you get the more you need love because the more you see that life is not very long." A father of three and grandfather of five, married to his fourth wife, Shatner snorted that people who believe life ends at 70 must be 69 and said that "if you have your health, there's no reason why it shouldn't go on... Run. Walk. Make love. Talk. Think. Breathe."

The second season of his show, Boston Legal, begins on September 27th at 10 on ABC, and the actor will learn this Sunday whether he will win a second Emmy for his portrayal of lawyer Denny Crane. The character is known for antic, almost manic behavior - possibly suffering from a form of dementia, but possibly a comic who laughs at his audience as they laugh at him.

"Sometimes you've got to be able to push the envelope about you," explained Shatner. "You have to be able to push it to a dangerous edge where you're in danger of being stupid, silly, laughable, but short of that lies an area of real attraction where people are wondering what you're going to do. It's a high-wire act and you're balancing on nuance."

Bergen noted that Shatner and co-star James Spader have delightful chemistry and repartee. "For the people who watch the show, they are the favorite couple. They are sort of America's sweethearts," she said.

Added Spader, "In a perfect mirror reflection of the characters we play on the show, there is an unconditional caring for one another. Alan and Denny don't know each other's lives particularly well, and neither do we. They have no expectations and no preconceptions; they allow themselves to be pleasantly surprised." This season Denny Crane will appear in court dressed as a minuteman to make a point about gun control and will shoot at a child murderer to avoid having to defend the man.

Shatner balked at the idea that his recent successes on television and in the recording studio with Ben Folds represents a return to performing for him. "Where did I go?" he asked. "I didn't go anywhere...I've been working all the time. It's just that people are more interested in the flavor of the month or year...this is a tough world, and it's a world where there are younger, better people than I."

This does not, however, deeply trouble him. "If someone loves you and you love someone, that's all there is. Everything else is an accoutrement," he said.

The full interview is in The Los Angeles Times. Shatner can be seen Sunday, September 18th on the Emmy Awards and in the Boston Legal premiere Tuesday, September 27th.

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