I met William Shatner, explained to him what a braai is, and found out he might be going to space
William Shatner (Photo: Nikita Coetzee)
Johannesburg – So, I may have advised William Shatner to gatecrash a random South African family's braai. I mean, what else was I supposed to say when he asked if it was appropriate to walk up to a family, introduce himself, and ask if he could join their party?
This random interaction was the start of our conversation at Comic Con Africa, where Shatner was part of the international guests invited.
We were granted five minutes with the iconic actor, and with Heritage Day looming, I just had to know if he had sampled some of our local cuisine.
And so began a conversation which resulted in a puzzled William Shatner wanting to know what a braai is, and how exactly you score an invite to one.
"Can I go to a public park and introduce myself like, 'Hello, I'm William Shatner. This is my wife, and there are four security people here and a few relatives – we're eight to 10 people. Would you mind if we dropped in?'," he questioned.
Honestly, I don't think anyone would have a problem sharing a beer and some braaivleis with Captain Kirk.
Side note: If you're keen on inviting him over, he's really looking forward to trying ostrich meat.
With Heritage Day plans sorted, we spoke about his time at Comic Con Africa.
Shatner says what drew him here are "the artists, the people, the country and its history."
The star manned his Q&A sessions at the convention solo, spending 30 minutes on stage just chatting to his fans and answering their burning questions.
Though renowned for his role as Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek, he took on a number of other projects throughout his vast career, including TV shows, movies and theatrical productions. He also wears the hat of producer and director.
Oh, and did I forget to mention he's also a singer?
He tells me about a new blues album he is working on.
"I've laid down six tracks. The blues is a very special kind of music, and I'm drawn to it, but it's not within my French-Canadian culture. So it's quite a move to try and absorb it and to do it. Not just imitate it, but to do it. So that challenge is there."
Now at the age of 88, Shatner shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, he tells me that he is working on a new project that could result in real-life space travel.
"I'm working on a project that does have me space travelling," he says. Though he can't tell me much else, he confirms that if everything works out according to plan, he will end up going to space.
"Hopefully, I come back. That's the other part. Getting up, apparently, is easy," he jokes.