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After two decades, and passing on previous offers, Leonard Nimoy returns to the role of Spock in the new Star Trek movie. In an interview in the new SciFi Now Magazine (#26), the actor talks about the state of the franchise, his approach to the role, the new actors, working with Quinto and more. Nimoy also talks a bit about an interesting scene in the film. See excerpts & spoilers below.
He Is Spock
Excerpts from my interview with Leonard Nimoy in SciFi Now #26. Last quote includes spoilers and is noted with a warning below.
Leonard Nimoy sees a parallel to 30 years ago when Paramount decided to rethink the Trek franchise following their disappointment with the first Star Trek feature film, saying:
After Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the franchise was like a beached whale and Harve Bennett got it back in the water. I think that’s what’s happening now and we’re off on an exciting new start.
For his part, it had been 17 years since he last played the character Spock (in the two-part “Unification” episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation), and that was factored into his performance:
My approach to the character has changed, because Spock has evolved in the sense that a lot of personal experiences have affected him. On the other hand, you’ve got Zachary Quinto coming into this movie, who is even slightly before the Spock I played in the original series. You’re seeing him even before the place I was playing the character on the original series, and you’re seeing me giving a performance that’s totally after all of that. This movie contains a very broad spectrum of the Spock. I had a wonderful time making this movie. It was very close to myself, I felt totally comfortable, very much like I’m doing in my own life now. Having arrived where I am as a person and the place that Spock has arrived I felt very, very comfortable with it.
Last Spock sighting – TNG’s "Unification" in 1991
Having been there in the beginning, one would assume it’s a strange experience seeing new actors step into the roles of the Enterprise crew, but not for Nimoy:
It’s a lot of fun. They’re very talented people and it’s fascinating to watch the roots of the characters that Bill Shatner and DeForest Kelley and myself and the rest of us played. When we started doing the show, we were a crew on the Enterprise going out and doing our missions. In this movie, we see the seeds of those characters being planted; where they came from before the Enterprise, where they came from before they met each other, how they met each other, and what the circumstances were and how they became that crew that we eventually played. It was great fun to watch.
And is the new movie the last time Nimoy will be putting on the ears to play Spock? According to the actor, it appears he is ready to pass the role to the next generation.
Never say never, but I would think so. The torch has been handed off to a wonderful new cast and a new actor playing Spock. Would I consider being the alter ego again and coming back in some form to play a scene with Zachary Quinto to exchange ideas with him? Might be interesting, but it’s not up to me. If I got that call, I would certainly listen.
Nimoy ready to pass the torch of Spock to Quinto
One of the more surreal moments for Nimoy was doing a scene where the two Spocks meet. Nimoy explains what it was like acting across Zachary Quntio playing Spock.
That was so weird, standing there and talking to him. We have a scene together that’s a mind twister. We’re both the same person, each coming from a different time frame. It’s pretty remarkable to stand there and talk to him and listen to him and interact with him. And by the way, he happens to be a terrific, talented, intelligent actor. It was wonderful. I admire him. I think he’s got a very interesting task and did a wonderful job of it. I think he’s special and I think very highly of him. Not just him, but I have a personal connection because of the role he’s playing.
For more of my interview with Nimoy, pick up a copy of SciFi Now #26 (available for to purchase online).
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