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Star Trek Icon William Shatner Recalls The ‘Biggest Fear’ He Had While Attending His First Fan Convention Decades Ago

 William Shatner on Star Trek.
William Shatner on Star Trek.

Since its inception in 1966, Star Trek has cultivated a fanbase that is as passionate as it is vast. This dedicated group of aficionados was the force behind James T. Kirk actor William Shatner becoming a legend in the world of fan conventions. However, Shatner confesses that this intense fan devotion initially made him apprehensive. He was venturing into new and unknown territory when he attended his first fan convention. With that, he's opened up about the "biggest fear" he experienced during his early days of participating in these fan conventions decades ago.

At 92 years old, the legendary actor finally agreed to participate in a documentary focusing on his personal journey and distinguished career. Alexandre O. Philippe, the mind behind documentaries like Doc of the Dead and The People vs. George Lucas, directed the project. While speaking with EW, William Shatner offered some insights into the production, and the actor was also prompted to recount his initial reservations about attending a fan convention in the 1970s. He explained:

It was early '70s, in New York, and [I said], 'I'm a serious actor, I'm not going to go.' [I was told] 'No, no, it's 15,000 people in a hotel.' So I went and [experienced] the terror of stepping in front of those people and no lines, you know, there are no lines to learn! My biggest fear was making a Freudian slip! You say something inadvertently, which may be a little more revealing than you want it to be.

It's funny to hear the Boston Legal veteran open up about his fears, which is intriguing, especially given his openness about his feelings towards the series. Over the years, his relationship with the franchise has seen its fair share of ups and downs. He's regrets over directing Star Trek V and feuds with fellow franchise alum like Wil Wheaton and George Takei, who he's clapped back at on multiple occasions. There's also the shade he's thrown at the newer Trek series. In short, his journey with the franchise has been anything but smooth, and it would seem, it started rocky from the very beginning.

William Shatner’s documentary, You Can Call Me Bill, offers an in-depth look into his remarkable life, providing a candid glimpse behind the personas he's portrayed throughout his career. According to CinemaBlend's own Mick Joest, who has had the opportunity to watch the film, Shatner presents himself with openness and eloquence, making the doc a compelling exploration of the actor's inner world. Joest highlights how the film delves into the Rescue 911 host’s early life and principles, shedding light on his concerns about losing his talent after Trek and his surprising admission that he has never watched the iconic series that made him a star.

While he was initially hesitant to attend fan conventions, it seems the veteran star now has an easier time engaging with the swarms of people that come out to see him. The continued love for the star is a testament to not only the popularity of Gene  Roddenberry's acclaimed show but also the leading man's performance perfect performance as Captain Kirk.

You Can Call Me Bill is set for its premiere in select theaters starting Thursday, March 21st. However, a special event featuring a screening and a Q&A session will be available in more than 300 theaters on Wednesday, March 20th. Fans eager to catch this exclusive showing can purchase their tickets through Fandango.You can also revisit some of the star's most iconic roles by getting a Paramount+ subscription. Catch him on Star Trek or see his classic appearances on The Twilight Zone.