William Shatner has opened up about the longtime animosity between him and “Star Trek” co-star George Takei.
Shatner, who first portrayed Captain James T. Kirk in the 1966 “Star Trek” series, called Takei (Hikaru Sulu) and other co-stars “bitter and embittered” during an interview with British newspaper The Times that was published on Friday.
Shatner, 91, was promoting his recently released memoir “Boldly Go, Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder” when his relationships with other “Star Trek” cast members were brought up.
Over the years, a number of his co-stars on the popular sci-fi series have criticized his work ethic, calling him difficult to work with. The late Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov), James Doohan (Scotty) and Nichelle Nichols (Nyota Uhura) have all voiced their criticisms about the star.
“Sixty years after some incident, they are still on that track. Don’t you think that’s a little weird?” Shatner said. “It’s like a sickness. I began to understand that they were doing it for publicity.”
Takei, who appears to be Shatner’s most vocal critic, had a notable exchange with Shatner after he alleged that Takei did not invite him to his wedding in 2008. Takei later claimed that he invited Shatner but the latter chose not to come.
“It’s difficult working with someone who is not a team player. The rest of the cast all understand what makes a scene work — it’s everybody contributing to it,” Takei said at the time. “But Bill is a wonderful actor, and he knows it, and he likes to have the camera on him all the time.”
The most recent public spat the two actors engaged in occurred after Takei called Shatner a “guinea pig” for joining Jeff Bezos’ space flight last year.
“[H]e’s not the fittest specimen of 90 years old, so he’ll be a specimen that’s unfit!” Takei was quoted as saying by Page Six.
Speaking with The Times, Shatner further lamented: “George has never stopped blackening my name. These people are bitter and embittered. I have run out of patience with them. Why give credence to people consumed by envy and hate?”
Shatner continued his assertions on Twitter as he responded to a commenter, noting that he finds it “sad that a handful of day players who were on set for maybe 20-30 days a year total spent 50+ years creating fantasies to get noticed in the press. Why did actors in other shows I was in not have the same issues? I stupidly allowed them to do it I guess. No more!”
Takei has yet to respond to Shatner’s comments.
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