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.