In January we ran early excerpts from an unpublished interview with Leonard Nimoy, and now the full interview is available. In the interesting discussion, the original Spock talks about aging, photography, his long career and politics. He also talked a bit about the character of Spock and how it has influenced his life, excerpts below.
From the interview by Peter Hossli.
On what it was about Spock that became his most defining character
It is a very intriguing character. My job is to make the character believable. [He picks up a sculpture and explains who he photographed it] Spock is an interesting character, unusual, very intelligence; I thing people enjoy the intelligence of the character. He also has a sense of humor; he ‘s extremely dependable, useful in a crisis, a problem solver, and a friend of the humans.
On if Spock is ‘a burden’:
No. I don’t even think about this anymore. I do what I do. People either except what I do or they don’t. Having been Spock helps me because I’m a public figure. It helps me to attract interest to what I’m doing. I can attract more interest to this work than somebody who is totally unknown.
On leaving Spock behind
I don’t worry about it, I just do what I. I let it take me where it takes me. If it takes me away from Spock, that’s fine. If it doesn’t, fine. I can’t spend my time worrying what’s going to happen with public perception. That’s a waste of time. I don’t have any control over it. I don’t have any influence over it. If I make an image I take responsibility for it. I can’t take any responsibility for people think for me as Spock or a photographer. I’m not interested in that.
On the reaction to the name of his 70s memoir “I am not Spock”
I wrote that book because I was getting a lot of questions about Spock, about “Star Trek” and about my career. While I was writing the book I was in the airport in San Francisco. A little boy saw me. Hi mom said “look who is standing right here in front of you, this is your favorite person, you are watching him on TV every day”. The boy had no idea what his mother was talking about. “This is Mr. Spock, go and say hello”. And he still didn’t see it, for a good reason. I didn’t have the make up, the ears, the costume; Mr. Spock was not standing in front of him. What the mother meant to say was this is the actor who is playing Spock. But she didn’t say that, she said this is Spock. For this little boy I was not Spock. That’s why I called the book “I am not Spock”. Well, it was a mistake. People misread my intention. They thought I was rejecting the character. I was not. Spock. It’s a great character, positive, useful, intelligent.
Much more in the interview with Nimoy at Hossli.com including our previously reported quotes of his thoughts on returning to the role of Spock in the new Star Trek.