Quinto and Nimoy Talk ‘Old School’ and New Trek

At last weekend’s Grand Slam Sci-Fi Summit, Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy (the Spocks for JJ Abrams’ Star Trek) gave an interview to E! where they talked about Spock’s arc, old school fans, new fans, set designs and more.
Excerpts and video below

transcript excerpts from E! Interview

E!: What was it like seeing a younger version of yourself?

Nimoy: It was great. The first thing they asked me to do was look at some film on Zachary, which I did, and I immediately saw the resemblance and that made a lot of sense, but much more important was that I understood very quickly that he’s a very good actor and also a very smart actor, and he understands the character and has a sense of how to approach it and how to do it, and I think the character is in great hands. I feel terrific about passing the torch.

E!: One of the continuing story arcs for Spock in the last 40 years has been his struggle being a Vulcan and a Human. Where is that in this movie?

Quinto: I think that is this movie in a lot of ways. I think that exploration is a huge part of my character’s journey and hugely important to defining a lot of things that fans have come to rely on and expect from the franchise and from the characters, and I think that’s what this movie sets up in a really different way, new way, cool way.

E!: Will the old school fans love this movie?

Nimoy: I was thinking about this question about where Star Trek is now on the way over here, and I remembered that 10 years ago in 1998 their was a Star Trek movie called Insurrection and it occurred to me that this movie is the resurrection of Star Trek. I mean that very sincerely. I think that Star Trek has kind of drifted along and maybe meandered and lost its way some what over the last few years, and I think this picture is going to put it back on track. I think it’s going to revive interest in the entire franchise, the Star Trek story, the Star Trek idea, and I think above all its going to be a very exciting movie. There is a great pull of talent coming together to make this film. JJ Abrams is a very, very talented and creative director, great writers, exciting script and on a gigantic scale. I’ve been in the business 58 years, and I have never worked on a film of this size. And the great talent I see in Abrams is he’s able to see that very, very large vision and shoot it very, very well, but at the same time is able to deal very intimately with the moments between the people in the film.

Quinto:
The first thing JJ ever said when I sat down with him to talk about playing the role was, ‘We’re making a movie for people who have loved Star Trek for forty years, and we’re making a movie for people who have never seen it before in their lives.

E!: Well, that’s my question because I think the old school people will go because they’re going to give it a chance regardless, but how do you bring new people who aren’t necessarily Sci-Fi fans?

Quinto: Well I think you utilize the many talents of the people who are working on the film to infuse it with a different energy and rhythm so it’s going to be unexpected, so I think that young people who might have only preconceived notions of what Star Trek was or what Star Trek is are going to be sort of, blastingly surprised.

E!: know you want to make the character your own. What are some elements where you made it your own but tried to respect what Leonard did at the same time?

Quinto: I don’t think there is a way to play this character without respecting what Leonard did before. It was always infusing the choices I was making in the work I was doing, but just knowing I had his support and his openness to the process and to what I was going to do with it, and he was always available as a resource or a support system…

E!: Can you give me a little insight? I was watching some old Trek today and one of the questions that popped into my mind was the bridge of the Enterprise. Obviously it looks really old school in the original episodes. Is it going to have that old school feel to it?

Quinto: You’re going to recognize it, but it’s on a whole new level. Scott Chambliss is our production designer and every time we walked onto the set, we had to stand there for five minutes before we could even speak. I mean, really, they are so incredible and dynamic.

E!: So is it futuristic looking?

Quinto: It’s got a look all of its own. Like this movie, it’s an infusion of what came before.

E!: But the bridge, I’m trying to get a sense of it, flat screens and LCD’s or like buttons that still fall off the chair like they did back in the day?

Quinto: Things fell off every now and again when we were in there for three weeks every day for 18 hours, but you know, they were glued on appropriately.

Some of the video from the interview is available onlinE!:


Click for video from E Online (opens new window)

More E! transcript at The Bosh blog.

 

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SirMartman

Sweet,,
Cant wait to see a new trailer for this

Cheers for the report

:o)

Marquette Mi

Too much overall yacking
and not enough HARD news.

Old school, baby!

Thomas

I loved the video, especially the part where ZQ squirms in his seat from the “Who is the better-looking Spock” question.

Allister Gourlay

smashing!

Rod of Rassilon

What I would give for access to a time machine! I REALLY want to see this movie AND the next one :)

Wow. Those two dudes really do look alike.

Denise de Arman

The picture included at the bottom of the article is riveting – compelling emotional depth and overall excellent subject composition.

Quinto has that sort of evil look, don’t you think. He will have to lose it to reflect the logical and peaceful mind of our favorite Vulcan. I have no doubt he will succeed.

Marquette Mi

Too late to lose that so called
evil look since principle photography
is all done.

oztrek

Star Trek Resurrection!

I love it!

pinky

Hey, I loved Insurrection. I mean I really did. Quinto’s point about it here was kind of lost on me. And I’m not going to argue why it should be loved because it was just the feeling I had when it ended, and that’s all. When the credits rolled, I remember saying it would be the Wrath of Khan for TNG. Like Star Trek was finally breathing again, exciting and creative and fun. I kid you not.

So XI will be better than that? Oooh, this is gonna be huge! I’m expecting a lot now.

I Love My Moogie

#9: “Quinto has that sort of evil look, don’t you think”

Looks like he’s going through Pon Far.

haha, okay, I expect nothing less than being blastingly surprised in 386 days…

Shat Hands

Lovely stuff , thanks for the report …………SO EXCITED!

Hat Rick

“Buttons that still fall off the chair like they did back in the day?” I wasn’t aware that buttons were forever falling off chairs back in the day.

PEOPLE were doing that, yes, but usually only because of the lack of seat belts.

Iowagirl

I hope ‘Glued Fake’ labels were on hand.

Hat Rick

By the way, this movie sounds very promising, as I’ve said before.

Unlike many others, I’m not all that hot for spoilers. I prefer to be surprised by virtually everything about the movie.

CanuckLou

Sigh! More than a year away! We are the away team righ now!

The adventure continues…

Jon C

I hope Quinto does something with his voice for the film.He sounds very nasal while Nimoy voice has soundness and depth that conveys authority and wisdom.

crazydaystrom

I agree Hat Rick (hockey fan?).

Star Trek? Hmmmm, I think I’ll go see this one… maybe.

:-)

Jon C

Nimoy and Quinto were both caught off guard by the tom Cruise question.

star trackie

I love it when interviewers try to be cute. To my knowledge a “button” never “fell off” the bridge set, at least on screen. But then again the uninformed often try and turn a funny phrase to appear in “in the loop”.

But it does warm my heart to know that ice cube style buttons are going to be present, whether they fall off or not.

lolocaust

Zachary Quinto better not mess up

sherlockfreak

That was great! I love seeing these two interact.

I wonder if “passing the torch” means that Nimoy will stop going to conventions and things? I hope not. :\

And we all know who the better looking Spock is. No question. You can ot beat the original. Ever. :)

Sebastian

I saw Leonard Nimoy in the “Cage” not too long ago and he DID look a lot like Quinto! Whether Quinto “sounds” like Nimoy or not, remember; he is an actor. Joaquin Phoenix didn’t sound much like Johnny Cash before he did “Walk the Line”, but I thought he did a credible enough job. Here’s hoping that the new Spock ‘walks the line’ of doing his own interpretation as well as keeping the character consistent with Nimoy (which I imagine is a hell of a lot harder since Nimoy is IN the film as well). Good luck!

cd

Good to know that the stuff that fell off was glued appropriately. >;>}

Holger

Look at this photo: They look like father and son!

#9: Maybe you’re reading Sylar into Quinto. I think Quinto will know how to make Spock not evil.

#28 “Maybe you’re reading Sylar into Quinto. I think Quinto will know how to make Spock not evil.”

I have faith in Quinto, too. No problem about that.
As for Sylar, I know who he is but I never watched Heroes, so I am basing my “evil look” feeling only on the poster behind the two Spocks.

Batts

#21

I have been saying for awhile what you did in your post! I too hope that Quinto sounds a lot like Nimoy did especially in The Cage. IMO. I dont know if it was the cigarettes he smoked back then that gave him that deep raspy like voice, but it worked for me!!

Nimoy is a very intelligent man and he probably has Quinto over to his home and pesonally coaching him on HIS character. I wish they would give us a quick one-liner like “Most illogical” then again that might scare the crap out of Quinto!! Can you imagine the posts after that screw-up??LOL.

Side point: Where is Kirk?? Pine we might have to institute the Phase 1 search on you partner!!

Batts

#26

That is why I think that Quinto’s eyebrows should be done like Nimoy’s from The Cage. That is the ONLY convincing way I could believe what I am seeing. Based on that pilot!! It’s clear. IMO my fellow trekkies:)

Batts

Earlier postings from Nimoy was that he valued his time and measured his time accordingly. The guy is 77! passing the torch could imply that he will no longer don those ears, again! I hope not. He could die in the film?? I definitely hope not!! Star Trek made him what he is today: A LEGEND for so many millions of fans:)

Curious to know what the 1st lady of TREK is thinking these days?? Mrs. Roddenberry herself!!

47!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

386 days till Star Trek XI………………………………….. I’m bored……

DFG333

Regarding the poster behind those two, the Zachary Quinto one is of him as Syler, because that’s the look he gives as Syler so it was a bad choice printing that photo on that poster. It gives me the creeps that look. But he is a good actor and has the inner workings to play Spock and I have faith in him too. And it’s done and dusted now, and nearly in the can. So well will all have to wait for May 2009:-)

That’s really awful putting them on the spot about who more handsome.

I still don’t see or feel that look like each other. They are both good looking in their different faces is all I can say. I don’t like all this who better then who as their methods of acting are both different or approach might be a better word for it.

I’m a Leonard Nimoy but also I’m a Zachary Quinto fan.

Jim

Looking at this, I gotta know… WHEN IS LEONARD NIMOY GOING TO PLAY OLD SYLAR??????

Quinto can then pass the torch to Nimoy.

Izbot

2. “…and not enough HARD news”

You expect hard news from E!?

edubya

Still have a hard time seeing Spock in the picture behind them. Look’s more like Sylar

Denise de Arman

After seeing that picture above since last Saturday, it suddenly hit me (may I buy a ton of bricks, please) that Q is doing the raised eyebrow in the picture, something so obvious I am truly having a DUH moment. The raised eyebrow – the most important physical Spock characteristic – and we are treated to its foreshadowing in the film. Thank you to whoever was responsible for that very obvious, very telling detail.

Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker)

#36—“Hard to watch” news, maybe…

E!: One of the continuing story arcs for Spock in the last 40 years has been his struggle being a Vulcan and a Human. Where is that in this movie?

Quinto: “I think that is this movie in a lot of ways. I think that exploration is a huge part of my character’s journey and hugely important to defining a lot of things that fans have come to rely on and expect from the franchise and from the characters, and I think that’s what this movie sets up in a really different way, new way, cool way.”

I love that this film is sounding very “Spock-centric”. That explains alot of decisions made early on.

Nimoy: “…it occurred to me that this movie is the resurrection of Star Trek. I mean that very sincerely. I think that Star Trek has kind of drifted along and maybe meandered and lost its way some what over the last few years, and I think this picture is going to put it back on track. I think it’s going to revive interest in the entire franchise, the Star Trek story, the Star Trek idea, and I think above all its going to be a very exciting movie.”

I’m loving it. Nimoy’s genuine enthusiasm for this project, along with the long-awaited (on my part, anyway) recasting of the original characters and Trek’s return to the 23rd Century has me very excited. I cannot say it enough. I feel like a kid again.

Neil Armstrong

When are they going to announce that William Shatner is in the film?

[The] TOS Purist aka The Purolator

Funny how Nimoy completely avoided answering the question of whether or not “old-school fans would like the movie.” He said nothing about it being faithful to the Original Series, just the usual long-winded “OMG these guys are SOO talented JJ Abrams is a GENIUS OMFG yeah this movie will rock” for a paragraph or so.

It’s that sort of thing that scares me. Suddenly the movie isn’t looking too good…

Trek Nerd Central

I love these two.

#41, Relax, man. Do we really want a nit-picky reconstruction of the original? I know I don’t. I’m glad to hear they’re honoring the past but also taking the franchise into the future. Why not? Are we all such slaves to the original series that we can’t stomach anything new?

Anyway, if buttons are falling off, that’s a good sign. It means not everything is CG’d into place.

Mary Jane

DAMN… I WANT THAT POSTER!!!

Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker)

#41—I think he did answer the question. He said,

“…it occurred to me that this movie is the resurrection of Star Trek. I mean that very sincerely. I think that Star Trek has kind of drifted along and maybe meandered and lost its way some what over the last few years, and I think this picture is going to put it back on track. I think it’s going to revive interest in the entire franchise, the Star Trek idea…”

Are you implying that “old school fans” would NOT appreciate Star Trek getting “back on track”, as Mr. Nimoy put it? IMO, he simply did not feel that a simple “yes” would do his thoughts on the matter justice. The implication is clearly (to me, anyway) that “old school fans” are unhappy about the state of the franchise over the last few years, and that this movie will fix that. I don’t know how you could have missed that.

Obviously, there is the goal of attracting new fans as well. After all, even if every “old school fan” sees this film 10 times each, you are only looking at recouping around 20% of the movie’s budget.

This does not mean that the two objectives are mutually exclusive. I am an “old school fan”. However, I will approach any “changes” to the TOS-era of my childhood with an open mind and rational understanding that all things must change. I am not stuck on such window dressing as the tone of the Enterprise hull or the colors and buttons on the bridge as being what TOS (and Star Trek in general) was all about. I have always seen the Star Trek vision as being much less superficial. It was, to me, an optimistic vision of mankind’s future, born in the mind of a man who personally witnessed the worst of mankind in WWII.

Still, the look and feel of this “universe” needs to have the same kind of “wow effect” on the young people of today as it did for my generation. Otherwise, I’m afraid that the vision behind the asthetics might be lost on this current generation of younger moviegoers. If the asthetic look of McCoy’s 1960’s era medical tricorder is what Star Trek is all about to you, then I’ll go out on a limb and say that you won’t like the movie…But I hope that it means more than little things like that to you, as it does to me.

38 | Good that you finally recognized that eyebrow, after everyone and their dog had the 8×10 size signed ;))

Loved it.

Except for the “old school” line, which was being used over and over.
I feel like vaporizing this old school phrase!

“this is not old school Superfriends ”
“this is not old school Knight Rider”
“this isn´t your dad´s Star Wars”
“this is a completely retooled Bewitched”.

Old school is officially dead. Grrr
And there´s no need to feel embarassed for your franchise. Embrace it.
No need for: “This is not your daddy´s Smurts, we are taking it into a bold new direction, with sleeker smurfs and a very menacing Cat Azrael…”

PS: that poster is awesome!

Katie G.

#30. Batts

Actually, I found that there was too much emotion (loud emotional voice, smiling) in “The Cage”. They didn’t make him different enough for my liking. I preferred him as the Vulcan he settled into for the rest of the series. Seemed a little more, um, for lack of a better word, Vulcan.

But we all have our preferences.

I’m sure that Quinto is awed by Nimoy so he would have been very careful to do a version of him that Nimoy approved of, let alone J. J.

Feel like a kid going “I can’t wait! I can’t wait!”

kg

Denise de Arman

fakesteve#45- I know! (sigh…)

EM

Over a year to go! This is going to drive me nuts! Must see new trailer soon…..