There is a certain zen at the core of William Shatner, a mixture of bliss and self-awareness that has fueled a decades-long odyssey in the public consciousness that has reached far beyond the stars that he first explored as Captain of the USS Enterprise.
A journey that has touched down on television, film, audio and the written word, Shatner's career has seen honors come from all quarters, with awards and television tributes and an ironic pop culture following. And while you might expect him to rattle off a list of accomplishments when asked about his favorite memories, that would just not be his style.
"The length of time that I've been around, which is-- I remember prehistoric animals walking up and down. There was a dinosaur here, and I got rid of that, and that was the last of the dinosaur," he joked in an exclusive interview with AOL. "Over the many years that I've been around, I don't look-- I don't have moments like that. I don't know of moments that are meaningful in that way. A child, a look, an instant where I hit a note, I won a saddle in a ring, in a horseback riding competition, I recently made a mistake in a, when I was behind, when I was in sulky with a trotting horse, I made a mistake and I lost a class. I grew strawberries in a garden that were so delicious you were reminded of what strawberries are supposed to taste like, not like the ones you get in the grocery store. So there are moments in my life, having to do with birth and death, that I remember vividly, but... to enumerate them, to say this is the most meaningful moment, or these are meaningful moments in my life, very difficult to do."
Simplicity of strawberries aside, the man hasn't stopped working. He has a new album, "Searching For Major Tom," and two documentaries, including one about all of the men who have captained "Star Trek" ships. Included in that list is Chris Pine, who played Shatner's Captain Kirk role in the big screen remake released in 2009. In a fun battle for Kirk supremacy, the two had an arm wrestling contest -- on camera -- to see who was tops.
"In the middle of Melrose, I put a table and chairs in the middle of traffic, had a camera-- 3 cameras on us, and invited Chris to come over," he said. "We sat down, and in the middle of Melrose Avenue, we start to arm wrestle. 'Cause I say to him, 'You're me 50 years ago.' And we had some fun. I had the camera block-- we tried 2 out of 3, and on the second one, you don't see who wins, because people crowd around and block it. And so you never know if he won or I won."