Wil Wheaton recalls disappointing first encounter with William Shatner as a teen

red carpet image of Will Wheaton
Wil Wheaton wrote about meeting William Shatner in his recent book. Pic credit: ©

Wil Wheaton’s forthcoming memoir, Still Just a Geek: An Annotated Memoir, reveals his first encounter with Star Trek actor William Shatner, and unfortunately, it wasn’t a good one. The Star Trek: Next Generation actor describes their hostile first meeting in detail.

Wheaton has made a name for himself in the film and television industry, as well as in the Star Trek community.

The actor portrayed Wesley Crusher in Next Generation, and went on to appear in The Big Bang Theory and Dark Matter, among many other projects. He is also known for his role in the coming-of-age movie Stand By Me, opposite River Phoenix and Corey Feldman.

Wheaton opens up about meeting Shatner

Reported by NY Post, Wheaton’s memoir spills all about meeting Shatner for the first time. While Shatner didn’t appear in Next Generation, the original Star Trek cast were working nearby. Wheaton recalled, “It took about eight steps for my confidence to evaporate.”

When they met, Shatner greeted the young actor with, “So you’re the kid on that show?” Shatner originated the role of Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, first starring in the 1965 pilot.

Wheaton went on to recount, “He seemed annoyed. My throat and mouth were dry, and my palms were sweating. My heart pounded in my ears, as I answered, ‘Uh, yes sir. My name’s Wil.'”

The outlet reports that Shatner ignored the younger actor’s hand shake and mocked his costume. “What is that, your spacesuit?’ he said, and made a sound that was somewhere between a laugh and a cough,” Wheaton wrote.

As Wheaton continues the story, he states that his castmates were supportive after catching wind of the disappointing encounter. Even Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry reached out.

“Wil, Bill Shatner is an ass, don’t you worry about him, okay? I am so proud to have you on my show. Don’t you ever forget that,” expressed the creator.

Drama surrounds William Shatner

Wheaton isn’t the only one who has beef with Shatner. It’s been well-documented that Shatner’s own costar George Takei has a tough relationship with him.

Following years of feuding, Takei mocked Shatner’s trip to space. He said, “He’s boldly going where other people have gone before.”

The Hikaru Sulu actor went on to say: “90 years old is going to show a great deal more on the wear and tear on the human body, so he’ll be a good specimen to study. Although he’s not the fittest specimen of 90 years old, so he’ll be a specimen that’s unfit!”

Shatner responded, “Don’t hate George. The only time he gets press is when he talks bad about me. He claims 50+ years ago I took away a camera angle that denied him 30 more seconds of prime time TV.”

Adding one last jab, he continued, “I’m giving it back to him now by letting him spew his hatred for the world to see!”

Still Just A Geek: An Annotated Memoir will release April 12.

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