How William Shatner Prepared To Play A Talking Plant In Aliens Ate My Homework

Phil the Plant in Aliens Ate My Homework

William Shatner has played numerous kinds of roles over his decades of acting, from Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise to Denny Crane in The Practice and Boston Legal. However, it's safe to say that one of his weirdest roles yet is voicing Phillogenus esk Piemondum, a.k.a. Phil the Plant, in the new science fiction comedy Aliens Ate My Homework. One can't really go method with portraying a wisecracking, plant creature, but to help with bringing Phil the Plant to life, Shatner read about how trees communicate with one another. Shatner explained:

Seriously, you think, 'Alright, I know the plants communicate by pheromones.' And recently we've discovered, this is out of a book I read about the trees and how they communicate. They have low level, electrical impulses...So there's all kinds of communication between trees and each other. They send out roots to help young trees and trees that had been felled, they send out help. There's really a life force going on in them, that, since their DNA is not dissimilar to ours, I think it's 50 percent, they're living things. Now that has nothing to do with the voice, but the a tree is alive, and what would it sound like if it were a voice? So I had to imagine that and came up with whatever it was I came up with.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with William Shatner about his time on Aliens Ate My Homework and other areas of his career, and when I asked about how he prepared to play Phil the Plant, he recalled his deep scientific dive into the life within trees. This subsequently allowed him to get into the mindset of what a plant might sound like if it was talking, though I would imagine that the other vegetative members of Phil's species don't drop nearly as many puns as he does during the movie. Of course, above all else Shatner needed to ensure that Phil's voice sounded humorous to mesh with Aliens Ate My Homework's other kooky elements, but it's commendable that he went the extra mile by doing his own homework on plants.

You can learn more about William Shatner's time on Aliens Ate My Homework and the creation of Phil the Plant by watching the video below.

Based off the best-selling book of the same name by Bruce Coville (which was followed by three more stories), Aliens Ate My Homework sees 12-year-old Rod Albright having to deal with a tiny alien spaceship crashing in his bedroom. Rod and his cousin Elspeth are then recruited by the Galactic Force (Phil the Plant being one of its members) to help save Earth from being destroyed, as well as restore their new alien friends to full size. Along with William Shatner, the cast includes Jayden Greig, Lauren McNamara, Ty Consiglio, Kirsten Robek, Dan Payne, Tristan Risk, Sean McNamara and Alex Zahara.

Aliens Ate My Homework will be available on DVD and Digital HD starting tomorrow, March 6. To stay up to date on what movies are hitting theaters this year, check out our 2018 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.