He’s done it all—actor, author, film director, spokesman—from Captain Kirk to T. J. Hooker, from Denny Crane in The Practice to the spin-off Boston Legal. Widely recognized for his work, William Shatner just keeps re-inventing himself, winning Emmys and Golden Globes along the way.
Shatner’s most recent projects have been documentaries and voiceovers. In 2011, Shatner recorded a wake-up call that was played for the crew of STS-133 in the Space Shuttle Discovery. It was backed by the musical theme from Star Trek and featured a voiceover based on his spoken introduction from the series’ opening credits: “Space, the final frontier.”
In this brief interview, Shatner reveals his current passions, among them, saving the whales and a love of horses. As for his efforts in saving the whales, William Shatner has been a Sea Shepard supporter for nearly two decades. While there have been many poems written about whales, few are as emotionally stirring as Whales Weep Not by D.H. Lawrence. Given to William Shatner in 1976, the poem inspired the script for Star Trek IV that showed a Klingon Bird of Prey starship intercept a Norwegian whaler that was just about to harpoon a whale.
Can you tell me about your work with “Save the Whales”?
Shatner: I’m a member of Green Peace. I’m also a member of Sea Shepard. I’ve narrated a number of documentaries on saving whales. I’m very much into whales and those species that are about to become extinct.
Are whales close to extinction?
Shatner: Whales are certainly not extinct, but why do certain nations continue to kill whales for meat when they can eat something else? Everything’s so screwed up in our environment.
How can whales be protected?
Shatner: Given half a chance, an area can be set aside for protection, like San Clemente Island, which is a fish protected area. It can be completely restored within 10 years. Nature is so complex. We should all be aware of the interconnected-ness of nature.
You also ride, breed and train horses, can you go into that a little bit?
Shatner: Yes. I was at a horse show last week. I won the championship there. I will be competing all year round in three different groups. I spent a good part of my adult life riding horses. Once I had some money, I started to ride competitively. I had to learn how to ride. Horsemanship is a spiritual act.