Star Trek producer/director JJ Abrams called in for an interview with the Howard Stern Show and being that it was Howard Stern, questions ranged from “is your wife hot?” to “did you bang Jennifer Garner?” to “how much money do you make?” to “is Tom Cruise nuts?” But he also took some serious questions about the writers strike, people getting sick watching Cloverfield and, of course, Star Trek (and Shatner). See below for some select quotes and the full audio interview.
[UPDATE: Abrams also called in to Opie and Anthony Show…details and audio below]
JJ Abrams quotes
On writers strike
If you are a writer/director you are striking on the one hand but also, if you are lucky, working on the other hand. I am directing this Star Trek thing and so there have been days I have been striking and picketing in the morning as a writer, and then I go ‘I got a be a director’ and I walk into the studio. So it is really screwed up.
On if he will go over budget on Star Trek?
When we did MI3 I made sure we came in under schedule and under budget. It matters to me. I don’t know why I care so much….part of it comes from working in television. When you work for the WB [Felicity] you had no more than what you were given, there was no such thing as ‘over budget.’
On Zachary Quinto (new Spock)
That guy is so great, I love that guy…He is the greatest. It is freaky how great he is.
Stern brought up Shatner and played a clip of Shatner on his show saying that he was ‘disappointed’ about not being in the film. This resulted in the following exchange:
JJ: I love Shatner. He is classic, he is the greatest
Robin: But Leonard Nimoy is in it
JJ: The thing is that Shatner filmed a scene in one of the movies where he died.
Robin: but Leonard Nimoy is in it
JJ: Because Spock didn’t die. Spock lived on.
Howard: But a young guy is playing Spock
JJ: We go back, there is a different time frame, but the idea that Shatner is not in the movie for any other than the fact that his Kirk died is ridiculous. I would put him in the movie in a second. I love that guy. I used to love him more for the couple of Twilight Zones he did then even Star Trek.
Gary: In one of the movies didn’t Spock die and then in another movie they brought him back.
JJ: Yah, but given what the story was it made sense for that story. But given our story it would feel like — even though it is Star Trek and science fiction thing, we want this thing not to feel like fanboys who are just shoving this guy back in because we are fans of his. We want the story to be better.
Gary: so you are going to cover every time frame in Star Trek history except the time frame that Kirk was alive?
Howard: I guess Shatner is a major pain in the ass to deal with
JJ: It would be distracting if you are watching the movie and all of a sudden we come up with some way to cut to Shatner. He said to me he didn’t want to do a cameo. And I thought that is fantastic and I appreciate that, but A. it is not the story we are telling, B. your character is dead, and C. if we put you in, he is so well known for some much else as well….
Howard: [cutting him off] Of course, you don’t have to explain yourself.
On Cloverfield ‘sickness’ and sequel
Stern took a call from someone who said “My wife and I saw Cloverfield and she vomited half way through it…it was awesome.” This prompted Robin to mention that there have been reports about people getting sick during the movie. [see article at MedicineNet]. Abrams admitted that some people were getting sick and that it was due to seeing the amateur-style camera on the big screen. He recommended that pregnant women and those on some medications should not see the movie. Another caller commented that the film was disappointing and that it didn’t answer any questions. To which Stern added a question about a sequel. Abrams replied to both:
There may be. I know that the studio is probably going to want one and we just need to make sure it is the right thing. I am sorry you didn’t like the movie, it is definitely not for everyone and I especially apologize if you threw up on yourself.
On Tom Cruise
Abrams wouldn’t take any of Stern’s baiting on his friend Tom Cruise, but did deny that Cruise had tried to covert him. Abrams did confirm TrekMovie.com’s earlier report that Cruise and his daughter Suri visited the set of his Star Trek movie.
For more listen to the entire Abrams interview from the Howard Stern Stern Show:
For more on the Stern Show, goto to Sirius Radio
UPDATE: Abrams on Opie and Anthony
Abrams called into to The Opie and Anthony Show (who also had Cloverfield star TJ Miller in the studio). For the most part they talked about Cloverfield, but did talk a bit about Trek.
Abrams on if Kirk is a womanizer in his Star Trek?
He really wouldn’t be Kirk without some of that
TJ Miller talked about how he visited the set of Star Trek and that the film “was going to be amazing from what I saw.” Abrams also ribbed him for when he talked to Chris Pine he pretended to be some big time actor, but was kidding, but Pine thought he was serious and ‘was a big jerk’ which Abrams thought was hilarious.