Nimoy Talks Typecasting, Abrams Team and New Star Trek

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?
I’m not doing any directing.

Mantle: But you are in the forthcoming JJ Abrams produced Star Trek?
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?
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.
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.

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first, Maybe?

He is the man!

First cool. I think this is great and that is a tremenduous endorsement for the Movie. also I think he is reflecting back on a long career that is closer to its end than to the begining

Hey! I am finally the 1st..Any way, I really enjoy heraing this guy speak and talk. Nimoy is a very intelligent individual. I wish him lots of success. he said in an interview that Spock is such an iconic character that to NOT be identified with that role now in his life would be illogical!

Go Spock!

Nimoy is the best… so glad he is behind this new film!

First=? Seriously? you want a cookie? Are you proud of yourself or something? Do you really think there is a contest and by pressing refresh all day long waiting for a new news story you are cool? How old are you? 10? maybe an immature 12?

Well, next time. I will be the 1st. Ha AH!

Always great to hear from Nimoy, and I maintain hopeful optimism for this “very interesting script” he speaks of :)

If there was one actor in the whole group who can say they know Star Trek it would be Nimoy, so for him to say that he is impressed with JJ Abrams and his team means a lot. I am looking forward to the movie.

I wonder who was #7 pissed off at???

I want a cookie…

Yet Nimoy also said that the movie would be better with Shatner in it.

I’m glad to see that he’s comfortable (now) with being typecast. Although my father (James Doohan) was typecast in his role as “Scotty”, he never felt like it limited him in any way. He “Loved being Scotty”

As far as what Leonard said about J.J. and the writers, I couldn’t agree more.

Looking forward to seeing L.N. on the big screen again.

Wonderful interview!

Great to hear he’s got a sense of humor about some of the “high” points of his career!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
Auntie Vulcanista }:-|

whats with the “first” jackass’s? Is their life so poor the only spark of hope is posting first to a message board. wow thats sad…

16th! Yes!


No, I”m with #7. I get sick to death of this “first” thing. It’s annoying as hell. I know of sites that ban it… I wish this one would.

As much as I am a HUGE fan of Mr Nimoy it is getting a little annoying that everytime he says ANYTHING we get comments like.

“Go Spock… Nimoy is the best”

“He’s the man”

“I think this is great. What an endorsment of the movie”

Didn’t Mr Nimoy also work on ST V and “Spock’s Brain”?

The only thing worst than that was when the writers, directors and stars (Don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of all of them)of the film did a chat with us. They only answered soft ball questions like “will the doors swoosh” or “What did it feel like when (fill in the blank)

Some of you guys are like that Chris Farley skit on SNL when he interviewed Paul McCartney.

People have some dignity.

Looks like there are quite a few people pissed off! Anyway I am NOT one of those jackass #16. We dont KNOW each other. Just having a laugh with this 1st nonsense.

Spock Lives!

First, let me say that I’m enamored with this quote:
···They know the Star Trek story and they respect it and they have written a very interesting script.

For all those worried…. there it is in black and white from Nimoy that one need not worry.

Second, creative use of “First” is good. #4 almost was there. Examples for future Trekmovie Firsters follow. (Because all they care about is firsting, we ought to call them firsters.)

Furst!, as in Stephen. What’s he’s up to these days? I’d give my left foot to know.

Fürst!, is German for Prince.


I am first! Just because I am a very slow typist doesn’t keep me from beating everyone else to the punch on this one! Whoopeee!

Good to see Nimoy has confidence in them, it instills confidence in me that they will do a good job.



#22: On the other hand, the phrase “very interesting” could be interpreted a lot of ways :)

I could go for seeing Stephen Furst again, too.

Go Shatner!

More reassuring news from an unimpeachable source. Warms the cockles of my heart, such as they are…

On a wholly unrealted topic:

Fade in:

“A long time ago on a data network far, far, away …”

Black, then:


It is a period of civil war in the Star Trek fanbase…”

enough already….

Chris Farley ” you remember that episode where you did that neck pinch thingy on that bad guy?………..”

Leonard Nimoy “yes……”

Chris Farley ” That was…….AWESOME!!!!”

Its always great to hear from Mr. Nimoy, he is a first class act. I recently met him in San Diego at a small charity event and he is what he appears to be, a really down to earth guy, unlike some other actors…

….BTW, why is it so important to be first? Is there a prize Anthony is giving away by being first?

If so, I will sit at my computer and hit F8 all day….

It’s always great to hear from Mr. Nimoy…. He obviously doesn’t need the work or money, so for him to do the Movie, says a lot….


I don’t really care if someone posts this “first” nonsense… yeah, it’s silly, but is it really THAT hard to skip down to the next comment??? It’s not like these guys are taking up a ridiculous amount of space/bandwidth on this site.

One could argue that the paragraph (or more) rants against “first-ers” are more annoying than the actual five-letter + exclamation point posts.

Both camps are pretty silly about this NON-controversy.

Well, if Nimoy’s okay with the role and the movie, it’ll work wonders. I must say that all the Trek movies that he directed were better than the one the Shatner did. ST V sucked. I’m sorry. It was horrific.

I was hoping to hear more from Leonard’s blog. Was that just going to be a couple of entries?

As long as he approves of it, I’m reasonably content that it’ll be good.

#14: It’s wonderful to see you posting here, Mr. Doohan. Glad to hear you got a spot in the new movie, as well.

I’m really looking forward to it. (:

#7.good post!!! The first-ers are lame.
Chris Doohan great to see your post here today. I just want to say that I loved your dad and we miss him!!!!
Nimoy sounds like he’s read the script and gave it a thumbs up.
I wonder if elder Spock teaches young spock the “Vulcan neck pinch”.

I sure hope we see Spock use that in the new film. I always loved that!

#30 Why does everyone say he “obviously” does not need the money? how do we know. His last Trek appearence was 18 years ago and the sales of his trek appearences are not exactly gan busters anymore. His royalties at this point are far from impressive. Other than that he has done a couple of voice appearences on Futureama, some voice work for video games, and some photagraphy books. All that is enough to keep him comfortable and busy and apparently happy and i ahve nothing but respect for the man, but to say that thoes things put him in a position where the money from another Star Trek moive is not a motivating factor is absurd.

To Chris Doohan – I met your dad in West Palm Beach at a ST convention in or about 1986-87 and I will always remember him saying to me, “the best way to remember on how to pronounce my name would be if you were doing this or doing that….” He then autographed his picture, shook my hand, and always had a smile on his face….

Glad to see your post, welcome….

#14 – …and your dad was certainly great at “being Scotty,” Chris. He was a class act.

Hi Chris, you’re dad was just the sweetest guy and easily was the actor I saw at the most conventions since the earliest days. It was apparent he loved us as much as we did him. I was choked up and proud to sign the nose cone of the rocket that took his ashes up. God bless him.

oh and First! Now for dat cookie, *yum yum*

#13—So he and Bill are friends. Is this something new? This article is about Nimoy.

#14–I agree, Chris. He sounds more comfortable and even proud of it now than I have ever heard him before. What better tribute is there than to be identified with a character so iconic that he is still asked play the role after 40+ years? My childhood would not have been the same without him OR your father!

#19–“Didn’t Mr Nimoy also work on ST V (?)”

At least he did not direct it…Spock was and still is my favorite Star Trek character. I won’t apologize for that.

As for “Spock’s Brain”, well…The actors had far more creative authority on the films.

#26–Talk about a “lack of dignity…(sigh)” Voodoo, maybe you should talk to this guy…At least the Leonard fans can find the right thread, even if their enthusiasm frightens you.

#30, Nimoy himself said in the interview that he didn’t need to earn a living as an actor anymore.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|


#37–Are you suggesting his words about the new film are not genuine? That he doesn’t really feel the script is something special? I hope not.

#30 Meant to add: However, I’m $ure that there were a whole $lew of zero$ behind the dollar $ign$ to get him $igned back up a$ $pock!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

Sorry, coming down with a cold here and brain is locking regularly today. Those last posts were for #37.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

#37 did you know that Leonard and Susan Nimoy Donated $1 Million to the Griffith Observatory Renovation project…

That aint peanuts….

#45–A$ there $hould Be!

#44 Im not saying that his words are ingenuine, or that he “needed” to take the role. All I am saying is that he is not sitting on the kind of money that would just let him look at JJ’s Pay check and think the financial benefits are inconsiquential. He might not need the money at all, but its got to be real nice to get that kind of paycheck for appearing in a movie after years of smaller projects. Just remember everything you read from him is still being given to you from a niche actor who is being paid and paid well to be in a film. With taht said I am very excited about the new movie, jsut not ready to turn off all common sense when every time Mr. Nimoy says something to an interviewer.

#14, (Chris Doohan) I know you cannot speak specifically about your experiences in the film, but what are your general impressions about the production?