William Shatner lived as much as his notorious repute as a “self-centered” “douche” — that in keeping with former co-star George Takei — when he met actor Wil Wheaton on the set of “Star Trek V.”
At the time, Wheaton was 16 and enjoying Wesley Crusher on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” when he came upon that the unique “Star Trek” cast can be working subsequent door.
Wheaton, who co-starred in “Stand by Me” reverse River Phoenix and Corey Feldman as a child, took weeks to drum up the nerve to introduce himself. Finally, he noticed Shatner surrounded by crew members and determined it was time. Wearing his grey “acting ensign” spacesuit, Wheaton walked over to the legendary curmudgeon well-known for taking part in Capt. James T. Kirk
“It took about eight steps for my confidence to evaporate,” Wheaton, now 49, writes in his upcoming guide, “Still Just a Geek: An Annotated Memoir,” out April 12.
“‘So you’re the kid on that show?’” Shatner requested.
“He seemed annoyed,” Wheaton writes. “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 teen, put out his hand for Shatner to shake — which he ignored.
Shatner then proceeded to mock Wheaton’s costume.
“‘What is that, your spacesuit?’ he said, and made a sound that was somewhere between a laugh and a cough,” Wheaton writes.
Wheaton says that he truly felt light-headed and didn’t hear Shatner when he requested him a question.
“‘I said, What do you do over there?’ he asked,” Wheaton recollects. “There was a challenge in his voice.”
When the teenager defined he was an performing ensign who typically pilots the ship, Shatner mentioned dismissively, “Well, I’d never let a kid come onto my bridge.’”
Word rapidly went across the set that Shatner had been impolite, and members of the crew and cast got here to consolation — and commiserate with — Wheaton.
Brent Spiner, who performed Data on “Next Generation,” advised the teenager that Shatner was bald and wears a toupee. Michael Dorn, who performed Klingon Worf, jokingly supplied to kick Shatner’s ass, and Jonathan Frakes (Capt. William Riker) mentioned: “To hell with him.”
As Wheaton was going again to his trailer, he was summoned into Gene Roddenberry’s office. The “Star Trek” creator had already heard in regards to the disagreeable meeting.
“Wil, Bill Shatner is an ass, don’t you worry about him, okay?” Rodenberry mentioned. “I am so proud to have you on my show. Don’t you ever forget that.”
The subsequent day at work there was an envelope sitting on Wheaton’s dressing room desk addressed “To Master Wil Wheaton” “From the Office of William Shatner.”
Inside there was a typed message: “Dear Wil, You are a fine young actor, and I would be honored to have you on my bridge any day. Sincerely yours, Bill.” The signature was signed in ink.
The subsequent minute, Wheaton’s cellphone rang with Roddenberry on the road.
“‘I spoke with Bill Shatner yesterday, and he should be dropping a note off for you today,” Roddenberry mentioned.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Wheaton writes. “Gene Roddenberry, the Great Bird of the Galaxy and creator of ‘Star Trek,’ had referred to as WILLIAM F–KING SHATNER, Captain James T. Kirk and director of ‘Star Trek V,’ and requested him to apologize to me, Wil Wheaton, 16-year-old performing ensign and drooling fanboy.
“Of all the wonderful gifts Gene gave me across the years, that is one of the most fondly remembered, because I know that without Gene’s intervention that note would never have been written.”