William Shatner On Why He Agreed To Documentary About His Life: ‘I Don’t Have Long To Live’

“Star Trek” actor William Shatner had a conversation Thursday about his decision to work on a documentary about his life and career.

The 91-year-old actor was blunt with his choice of words, admitting that his advanced age made him realize it was now or never.

“I’ve turned down a lot of offers to do documentaries before,” Shatner told Variety in an interview published Thursday. “But I don’t have long to live. Whether I keel over as I’m speaking to you or 10 years from now, my time is limited, so that’s very much a factor. I’ve got grandchildren. This documentary is a way of reaching out after I die.”

The Canadian actor went on to reflect on getting older, saying, “The sad thing is that the older a person gets the wiser they become and then they die with all that knowledge. And it’s gone. It’s not like I’m going to take my ideas or my clothing with me.”

The documentary, “You Can Call Me Bill,” is being presented via the crowdfunding site Legion M, Variety noted in a previous report. Unlike other crowdfunding models, Legion M gives investors an equity stake in the entertainment projects they’re backing. The publication noted that all the shares for Shatner’s documentary totaling $790,000 were purchased within a week. 

Shatner also used the interview to discuss his feelings about climate change and how he feels human beings are “destroying” the planet.

While discussing his ride aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space shuttle in 2021, the actor said he started getting emotional after landing.

“When I came out of the space ship I was crying, just sobbing, and I thought ‘Why am I crying? What’s going on? I’m in grief. What am I grieving about? Oh s***, I’m grieving about the world, because I now know so much about what’s happening,’” he said.

“I saw the Earth and its beauty and its destruction. It’s going extinct,” Shatner insisted. “Billions of years of evolution may vanish. It’s sacred, it’s holy, it’s life and it’s gone. It’s beyond tragic. We stupid f***ing animals are destroying this gorgeous thing called the Earth. Doesn’t that make you angry? Don’t you want to do something about it?”

This sentiment echoed what the “Star Trek” alum said before about his trip to space. “It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral,” he wrote in his memoir.

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