“I Never Quite Hit It”
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“I Never Quite Hit It”

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  • William Shatner regrets not nailing Captain Kirk’s final words in Star Trek Generations, as he for a mix of dread and excitement.
  • Shatner explains Kirk’s approach to the unknown with curiosity, awe, and wonder, even in the face of death.
  • The actor wanted Kirk’s famous ‘Oh my’ line to reflect a sense of adventure and anticipation but felt he missed the mark.



Star Trek‘s original Captain James T. Kirk met his end in Star Trek Generations, but William Shatner wishes he had one more chance to say Kirk’s famous last words: “Oh my.” Nearing age 93, William Shatner remains incredibly prolific, and his remarkable 70+ year career in entertainment is chronicled in the new documentary, William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill. Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe (The People Vs. George Lucas), You Can Call Me Bill, of course, includes a great deal of Shatner’s most famous role, Captain Kirk of Star Trek.

In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant to promote You Can Call Me Bill and its screenings starting on March 20, William Shatner spoke about playing Captain Kirk’s death in Star Trek Generations. Mr. Shatner explains how he sees Kirk as curious and courageous, filled with “awe and wonder,” and how he “never quite hit” exactly what he was going for as Kirk died and uttered, “Oh my.” Read his quote below:

William Shatner: The thing an actor can bring to a written word is the interpretation of how to say it. I love you. I love you. I love you. Variations on the words. So if the writer has written I love you. and the actor gets a hold of it and does something totally unthought of, that’s a big deal. The director either gets upset or goes with it. In this case, I thought of Kirk as being so courageous in life that when he faced things that he didn’t know about, like the strange, the weird… the entities that the writers thought up, when he faced death, he would face death with a sense of adventure. ‘Oh, what’s going to happen now?’ So I ad libbed, Oh my.’ And I wanted that ‘Oh my’ to be ‘Oh my,’ like, dreading it but, but looking forward to the adventure – somewhere in between, you know, and it would be very obvious to you what he was thinking. And I never quite hit it. I never quite got that nuance that I was looking for. I had another couple of takes, but they they didn’t understand what I was doing.

Screen Rant: I’ve seen that scene so many times. I do feel it. I feel Kirk seeing the great beyond, the great mystery. And I do feel that he meets it with that curiosity…

William Shatner: And awe and wonder. Every time he faced an animal, an entity, he didn’t say, ‘Oh my’ [with fear or disdain], he would say, ‘Oh, my look at that. I wonder if it’s going to eat me?’ You know? I think that was his attitude.


William Shatner Kirk’s Best Line In 7 Star Trek Movies

William Shatner’s best lines as Captain James T. Kirk show his evolution through each installment in the Star Trek movies featuring the TOS cast.

You Can Call Me Bill Movie Poster Showing William Shatner in a Space Suit and as Various Characters Including Captain Kirk from Star Trek

You Can Call Me Bill

Alexandre O. Philippe

Release Date
March 22, 2024

Legion M , Falling Forward Films , FilmFrog

96 Minutes

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