The veteran actor talks about his new DVD, the new Star Trek movie and more

William Shatner has cultivated a career spanning over 50 years as an actor, director, producer, writer, recording artist and world champion horseman. He has also established himself as a major Hollywood philanthropist. As the narrator of Stalking Santa, William Shatner reveals the history and conspiracy surrounding Santa Claus.

Shatner recently took some time out of his busy schedule to talk about the upcoming DVD release of this movie.

Stalking Santa is such a big myth and this DVD is a spoof, how will this bring a fresh take on the holiday spirit?

William Shatner: Well, anything that doesn't propose that Santa has a beard and answers all your requests for gifts and comes in the night and eats crackers and milk... anything that doesn't say that is a spoof. Christmas is fun anyway. It's a myth organized over the years and gained different mythological qualities as the years go by. Here's another one to add to the vast variety of things that Santa is.

Is Santa really a saint or an elf?

William Shatner: Oh, that's a question you have to answer.

That's what we find out on the DVD.

William Shatner: Exactly.

Did you contribute at all the soundtrack to the film?

William Shatner: No, I did not. I contributed everything I was capable of in the narration, but there were far better vocalizations than I could manage.

Do you think they were afraid that using your songs could take it to a whole new level??

William Shatner: You mean a superior level?

Yes, a superior level. Yes.

William Shatner: Laughs. Maybe they didn't want to reach that kind of superiority? It might have alienated a lot of people.

What appealed to you about Stalking Santa?

William Shatner: The fun of it. They approached me with a script that amused me. It was a voice over, it did not require a commitment of a lot of time. It seemed like a project that would be exuberant and amusing and spoofing and all those words, that have somebody sitting down in front of their screen and having an enjoyable couple of hours. That's really all it is for me, fun. I think the audience for this piece will have fun looking at it. It's not going to change the world but if it makes people feel better when looking at it, that's all we ask.

There's rumors that you have signed on for cameo role in the brand new Star Trek movie. Is this true?

William Shatner: No, that's not true. I have not been approached. I've heard the thing about this cameo. I don't know what that's in reference to. I would be reluctant to do something that had so little value as to be a cameo. I'm disappointed that the story that they chose to do does not include the character I play, having been in on the birth of Star Trek, I would love to have been in on the rebirth or the resuscitation of it. The fact that I'm not is a disappointing and I think a foolish business decision on their part. Somebody decided how to play their story and they're knowledgeable people and wonderful entertainers so we'll see what happens.

Are the new supped up HD-DVDs of Star Trek something you're going to add to your collection?

William Shatner: I recollect them saying they were going to do that. You know I don't collect those things. I'm sure they're around somewhere but I never look back at those things. I don't even take pictures. I've got all kinds of cameras, I love cameras but I find myself reluctantly taking pictures because what's past is past. You can't recapture it and I hear these heartbreaking stories of people who lose everything in a fire and the thing they most care about are pictures and I'm thinking, "Why?" The pictures remind you of something that can never be recaptured, the time is gone, the only thing you know is the present. That's all that's knowable and even the present isn't knowable. The present becomes the past... so you really don't know anything. Least of all, either seeing a picture of you when you were younger which is somewhat horrifying, or someone you love who was younger. I'm kind of trying to discover the answer to the mystery of why pictures.

Growing up, where you immersed in Santa?

William Shatner: Yeah, you know I was brought up in Montreal a very catholic city, especially then, there were a lot more people from all over the world. It's a much more cosmopolitan city now but when I was there it was the opposite of cosmopolitan. It was very rural and it's called the city of Churches for a reason. So Christmas was celebrated in much of its religious meaning. In addition to that, there was a lot of lights and music and gifts and food and scent and snow. My passion those days, besides acting, was skiing. So when I was out for the Christmas Holidays in school, I would go skiing up to the... mountains and there they had Santa on a sled. Pulled by horses and other reindeer, it was a very, very picturesque time and that struck me very emphatically then and has remained with me all this time.

You've done so many things. Is there something you've done that you're really proud of that never caught on with an audience but now you're hoping people will give it a chance?

William Shatner: Those are most of the things that I've done. I'm sure that's so there's all kinds of things flying around that didn't see a lot of air. I did a recording that got really great notices called "Has Been," that was a couple of years ago. I wish that that had sold more copies. Getting back to the moment to Stalking Santa lets hope that sells a lot of copies so everybody's happy to have done it.

Stalking Santa comes to DVD on November 6 from Excel Entertainment.

Cinemark Movie Club
Evan Jacobs