Last week Leonard Nimoy appeared on KPCC’s arts show AirTalk. The focus was on his new most recent photography book and exhibition, “Full Body Project,” but the original Spock did get around to talking Trek. Nimoy explained why he decided to reprise his role again and also talked about typecasting.
Here is a partial transcript between Nimoy and Larry Mantle of KPCC
Mantle: but you are through with film directing at this point?
Nimoy: I’m not doing any directing.
Mantle: But you are in the forthcoming JJ Abrams produced Star Trek?
Nimoy: I am indeed, the picture opens Christmas this year and I think it is going to be a very exciting film and I’m involved.
Mantle: Did you need your arm twisted to reprise the role? Or did you connect with this?
Nimoy: Well I am very impressed with JJ Abrams and his writers [Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman]. I think they are very good people, very talented. They know the Star Trek story and they respect it and they have written a very interesting script. Those elements together along with a bit of nostalgia and I will be able to step back into the character after something like 18 years…I thought “let’s do this.”
Mantle: Do you have any mixed feelings with the character and being so closely identified with Mr. Spock.
Nimoy: I am very comfortable with it. There was a time when it was distressing because after we’d finished making Star Trek and there was no Star Trek production being done and I was so heavily typecast and so heavily identified with the Spock character, it was difficult to draw attention to the other work that I wanted to do. But once we started to make Star Trek films that tension went away. I became very comfortable with working occasionally on a Star Trek movie and doing other work as well.
Mantle: Have you talked with other actors who have had a character that has been so broken out and so singular that it has made it difficult to transition into other acting work…and have you offered advice.
Nimoy: It varies from individual to individual. Some actors are very comfortable doing whatever comes along as a result of….I guess what I am trying to say is that typecasting is a double edged sword. Yes it does preclude you from offered certain kind of work, but at the same time it gives you an identity. And that identity in the acting business can be very useful. I have never been out of work since Star Trek went on the air. I have never needed to look for a job. There has always been something. And very often it is things that are different than Mr. Spock.
You can listen to the entire interview at the KPCC website (Scroll down to Wed. Jan 30) and click ‘LISTEN’ next to Nimoy’s name.