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These "Star Trek" Co-Stars Can't Stop Feuding: Shatner's a "Cantankerous Old Man"

William Shatner and George Takei's never-ending war of words continues.

This celebrity feud certainly lives up to the catchphrase "live long and prosper." For years, Star Trek stars George Takei and William Shatner have been publicly feuding. And though they're 85 and 91 years old, respectively, their dispute shows no signs of stopping. The latest? In an interview with The Guardian, Takei called Shatner a "cantankerous old man" when asked about the feud itself, as well as Shatner's claim that Takei has been using his name to promote himself.

Read on to find out more about Shatner and Takei's rocky relationship and to see what else Takei had to say in his new interview.

READ THIS NEXT: William Shatner & This Star Trek Co-Star Have Been Feuding For 50 Years.

Takei and Shatner first worked together over 50 years ago.

George Takei on "Star Trek"
Bettman / Getty Images

Shatner and Takei both starred on the original Star Trek TV series, which premiered in 1966. Shatner played Captain Kirk while Takei portrayed Hikaru Sulu. The show ended in 1969, and the actors went on to appear in several Star Trek spinoff movies.

Some members of the Star Trek cast have remembered Shatner having a big ego on the set of the show. Earlier this year, Shatner spoke about finding out that cast members had an issue with him from co-star Nichelle Nichols before her death. He told USA Today that his reaction was "total shock."

Takei said everyone got along except Shatner.

The "Star Trek" cast at their hand and footprint ceremony in 1991
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In his new interview with The Guardian, Takei was asked whether Star Trek cast members got along on set. He responded, "Yes. YesYES. Except for one, who was a prima donna."

After explaining that two of his co-stars—Nichols and Walter Koenig—were in his wedding party in 2008, Takei was asked if anyone was friendly with Shatner. "No, none of us," he said.

That said, Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock and died in 2015, had been known to be close to Shatner at times, but their relationship wasn't always solid.

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He said he didn't want to discuss Shatner…

George Takei at the 2019 Saturn Awards
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

The Guardian story notes that Takei was "reluctant" to talk about Shatner.

"I know he came to London to promote his book and talked about me wanting publicity by using his name. So I decided I don't need his name to get publicity," Takei explained. "I have much more substantial subject matter that I want to get publicity for, so I'm not going to refer to Bill in this interview at all." Elsewhere in the interview, Takei discussed the musical he's starring in and his experience in a Japanese internment camp during World War II.

…but realized he was commenting on him anyway.

George Takei at the Japanese Day Parade in New York City in May 2022
Steve Edreff / Shutterstock

Takei realized that he was commenting on his former co-star by saying that he didn't want to talk about him. "Although I just did," the actor continued. "He's just a cantankerous old man and I'm going to leave him to his devices. I'm not going to play his game."

The publication asked if Shatner was cantankerous as a young man, to which Takei replied, "He was self-involved. He enjoyed being the center of attention. He wanted everyone to kowtow to him."

Shatner accused his co-stars used him for publicity.

Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, George Takei, William Shatner, James Doohan, Leonard Nimoy at the James Doohan Farewell Star Trek Tribute in 2004
s_bukley / Shutterstock

When Takei brought up Shatner's recent promotion for his book, he was referring to the other actor's November interview with The Times of London.

"Sixty years after some incident, they are still on that track. Don't you think that's a little weird?" Shatner said of his Star Trek co-stars criticizing him (via Deadline). "It's like a sickness. I began to understand that they were doing it for publicity."

Of Takei specifically, Shatner said, "George [Takei] has never stopped blackening my name. These people are bitter and embittered. I have run out of patience with them. Why give credence to people consumed by envy and hate?"

Shatner and Takei shared one amicable moment.

William Shatner and George Takei at Comedy Central's roast of Shatner in 2006
Jason Merritt/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Despite their ongoing feud—which has featured comments about Takei's wedding and Shatner's space flight—the two did share a lighter moment some years back. Takei took part in Comedy Central's roast of Shatner in 2006. After telling jokes about his co-star, Takei concluded, "Despite our tensions, I'm honored that you invited me to be here with you tonight. I can finally say what I have waited 40 years to say: [Expletive] you and the horse you rode in on." They actors then embraced in a hug that was, unfortunately, not a sign of a warmer friendship to come.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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