Quinto On Trek, Abrams, Nimoy and Ears

While at Starfest in Denver last weekend (see report), Star Trek’s new Spock, Zachary Quinto, gave an interview to Screen Geeks Radio where he talks about his Star Trek experience, working with Leonard Nimoy and director JJ Abrams…and what it was like the first time he put on those pointy ears. Details below.

You can listen yourself at ScreenGeeksRadio

Here is a transcript of the Trek parts…

Quinto on his first experience of Trek?

The Original Series, I imagine. I remember seeing that on TV when I was a kid, maybe nine or ten years old. I certainly enjoyed it, but I wasn’t a fanatical fan when I was a kid. I feel that have learned the majority of what I know about Star Trek since I started shooting this movie and really deepened my appreciation for it since I have been involved and got to meet the people that were responsible for creating it back then in the 60s when it started. So I have a deepening value for it in my life now, then when I was a kid.

On career advice from Nimoy

Well Leonard, it is not quantifiable by one sort of axiom or one sort of piece of advice. He and I have become actually fairly close in the process of making this movie and he’s been very supportive of me from the beginning. In his contract he had to approve the actor that played the role, so I had his support from the first time that I came in to read for it. And that means the world to me. So just getting to know him transcends any sort of particular advice he could give and I feel really grateful for that relationship.

On Abrams as director

JJ’s like magic. He really is. I mean he’s so talented and so respectful and so generous. You know, they don’t really come like that very often. So the fact that I’ve been able to draw into my experience and be drawn into the experience of someone like that…and also, for that matter, someone like Tim Kring [executive producer of Heroes] who is similarly a very magnanimous person and a very formidable talent. It’s a really nice combination. And I feel incredibly safe and I have implicit trust in JJ every step of the way and this process was a real big learning curve for me to be involved in something so epic and huge scale. Heroes is big enough, but this is that times ten really. That’s really been a great part of the experience as well is getting to learn from working with him and learn from watching him work. It’s kind of a masterful experience. He’s really, really ‘super-cool.’

On the Vulcan ears

It was really trippy. It came in stages. I had to get fitted for the ears and that was a process. And we had to shave and pluck my eyebrows to put them in shape for the role and there were a lot of different stages of it. Then I had to get my haircut. In terms of make-up, the process took about 2 1/2 to 3 hours ever day. I would say ‘surreal’ was the way I felt the when I saw the ears first time. Then the ears changed and then they evolved. Then I saw other people in the ears. Then I saw Leonard [Nimoy] in the ears. And so it was a very gradual immersion into the character in terms of preparing for it before we started shooting. Then once we started shooting it wasn’t so gradual anymore. It felt comfortable after a while. I didn’t even feel like I had anything and then I would walk past a mirror and the truth would be revealed.

Quinto at Starfest
(Photo: Marc Borai)

Quinto also talked about what he wants to do next, who his influences are, and how he wants to get back on the stage. Listen to the full interview at ScreenGeeksRadio.

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When are we going to see more of the new McCoy!

Can’t wait to see how it all plays out!

For some reason I feel better about this movie again. Heck if Nimoy is happy I feel all of us should feel more comfortable!

whens the next trailer comming out for StarTrek ?

cant wait to see it

:o )

I saw the makeup on some spy photos leaked from the set and Quinto looked SO much like a younger Leonard Nimoy (not “Cage” era-Spock, more regular TOS-movie era makeup) it was uncanny. And he was wearing a Vulcan meditation-style robe. Don’t think the link exists anymore (there was an immediate cease and desist order), but he looked spot on perfect. Should be great. Just don’t expect the look of Spock in “the Cage” or “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” Even “Search for Spock” (in depicting a variety of younger-stage Spocks) didn’t go THAT retro.

I’d like to see a photo of Nimoy at Quinto’s current age and compare

It would be nice if we could actually see those photos. This excess secrecy is really starting to annoy me.


Get used to it. We’re just going to have to wait for another year. It’s a poor, unfortunate, thing. It’s sad, but true. If you want to cross a bridge, my dear, you’ve got to pay the toll. Take a gulp and take a breath and GO AHEAD AND SIGN THE SCROLL!!

But really… I have learned several things from this process:

“Patience, my young padawan.”
“Be mindful of your thoughts.”
“Good movies take flipping forever.”

Why can’t they be as secretive about this as Nixon was about Watergate?! Can’t they let something slip? However accidental it might be? Just a peak? Something that would change the perspective of everyone in the American public about their feelings for Trek?

I don’t know if it’s a compliment or an insult that I’m comparing Abram’s secrecy to Nixon and Watergate. Little of A, little of B, I suppose. But they should let some things go. If they started a viral campaign like they did with Cloverfield, people would be all over it like Mac users on Vista!

Disclaimer: I personally use Vista and find it to be fine. I also routinely use Macs.

Back to Trek:
I’m glad that I never have to spend that long on my hair in the mornings. The whole thirty seconds that I spend on it is bad enough.


Quinto isn’t a dead ringer for Nimoy, but it’s uncanny how much he looks like a 30-something Nimoy from certain angles……..the biggest difference is how Nimoy’s nose and cheekbones are narrower and more defined. Quinto’s Spock will probably just look a little more like a Vulcan that decided to live it up and occasionally have a damn steak and ale in between all those salads. LOL

Quinto = Spock. ’nuff said :)

Viking#10- LOL!

#8 yeah i know I have to get used to this excessive secrecy, But you know what, Its cruel and unusual punishment, thats what it is.

In that first photo with hat and glasses, he looks like my grandfather.

Enough already with the useless tidbits of information…wheres some real stuff…like pics of the new Enterprise or the cast in uniform…come on!!!!!!

We want some real STUFF……

Wow does he look like leonard.

To 8. That One Guy:

Quoting Star Wars here? You think Vista is fine? Not sure if you are complimenting or insulting Abrams? Change the perspective of the American public?

And for the rest of the planet?

If you have a PayPal account do let me know and I will wire you One US Dollar so that you may buy yourself a clue.



Did you read that?? They plucked Zachary Quinto’s eyebrows!


For real. I need something. Pictures, a new trailer, something anything!

We all want pics or a trailer or some uniform sketches or some set design plans or ANYTHING…

…And we still have more than a year to go before we park our butts in the seats…

…as Tom Petty sang some years ago: “The waiting is the hardest part”

Hey, can you blame Paramount for all this secrecy?

Let’s face it, this is the largest budget ever granted for a TREK film. You can bet your ears (pardon the pun) that the bean counters want a big return on this film; the franchise depends upon a successful showing for this film.. as do any fortchcoming projects (be it any future movies, TV series or books).

If all this secrecy piques our curiosity, so be it… and I’m all for it. In fact, I would like it to get so bad that we rabid fans and casual movie-goers alike are salivating by the time May 8, 2009 comes around.

That said, I cannot wait to see photos of the Big E.. and cast photos (in uniform)!


As I have already told, I think that we will see the Enterprise, bridge and costumes only on May 2009. Do you remember the trailers for Cloverfield? Nothing was revealed of the monster or other details. OK, that was a different movie but Abrams seems to like building misteries… ;-)

We need better spies.

Spies. With cameras. That aren’t afraid of getting sued.
Yes, dammit!

My guess is, new trailer at Christmas. Maybe some bone will be thrown before then – an extra in uniform, perhaps – but little else. I can understand the approach even if IT DRIVES ME CRAZY! :)

his resemblance to leo is amazing, he was born to portray spock, son of sarek

i wonder when they’ll begin to ‘leak’ some production footage? c’mon already!

@22 – I don’t agree Paulaner. My bet is that we will see the cast and the ship about 1 month before the premiere date. Enough time to pique interest just before release and enough time for the fans to discuss and digest the changes.

I do think that is about all we will see though.

I wanna hear more from Pine darn it!


Let’s hope so.

I understand the need to maintain secrecy on the big details of this project. But what harm would there be in showing a few onset photos of the cast in uniform? If we are going to have to wait till May of 09 shouldn’t we be allowed a few tid bits here and there to keep us all interested?

With that hat on Quinto looks like Nimoy from “Assignment Earth” LOL!!

I am a little tired of hearing how great JJ is..I mean c’mon do we really think he is going to say anything bad about him??? That will get very stale for the next year of waiting….We fans would like to see and probably hear something MORE solid besides compliments!!! Or blowing sunshine up our rear ends…


rotfl and lolz!

and how…

32. Perhaps I could recant me tale aboot tha’ time when J.J. Abrams kidnapped me family and held them at gunpoint for a 48 hour ordeal. Somehow he got off scotty-free, an’ tha’ tabloids missed tha’ whole thing… but I still gots tha’ emotional scarring.

Ya know- I’m sure it drive ya’all batty to wait a whole year (meself included) but there are- what- 17,000 episodes and films of various Trek to pick apart until then. Not ta mention tha’ new CBS special defect shots every week which have been fun.

And Quinto… when I played Spock in me gradeschool production of “Who Mourns For Adonis” they took a pasta crimper ta’ me ears each day… and burnt off me eyebrows with a cigar. Ouch!!! But yeah… ya do get in character after that and it becomes natural to be burnt and maimed…


#1 The only real qualification to play McCoy is the ability to deliver one line perfectly………..”HE’S DEAD JIM”.

Personally, I find it great fun to speculate on Abrams’ Star Trek.

The lack of information is both frustrating and fun.

What’s in the box?

That last photo of Quinto looks like he’s singing “I did it myyyyy waaaay!”

Batts#31- You are right!

Hey, just two weeks to go.
before we have just one year to go.
Crap, this stinks on a stick.

Agreed #36. I enjoy coming to this site every day to read the latest tidbit of info-and the resulting discussions. Once the movie is released and the cat is out of the bag, will there be any more trekmovie.com? I am already lamenting the ending of the Star Trek Remastered, with only a handful of episodes left to review and discuss.

Sure I’m looking forward to the movie, but I’m also savoring this time and enjoying the anticipation, because it’ll be over before you know it.

Off-topic, but cool:


Galaxies who need a good lawyer.

#18. A little offensive isn’t it? But, to the point. Could a few approved promotional photos of the confirmed stars in costume be so difficult? You know they exist..

#38 Denise, How goes it??

That thought occured to me, with the idea that “Hey, I seen this look before!” :)

CmdrR#41- Thank you for the link – awe-inspiring pictures.

Spiked Canon#42- I agree. I said as much to Anthony in the feedback column.

Does anyone know the whereabouts of Leonard Nimoy in, oh say around September of 1976?

#32 What you have to relaize is that they have a set number of things they can say in interviews. We here at trekmovie.com are in a unique position that Anthony collects all the interviews in one place, but that is not how the general public sees it. They repeat the same things over and over again to different media sources. As Mr Orci said in another thread, this is because saying no comment is annoying and pretensious and this way they can get the word to as many different readers / listeners as possible. The average joe will only hear any of them say their standard fair about the film once. its easy to forget that these interviews are not being given directly to trekmovie, but once you do realize that these are comming from all over it makes sense.

#42 & #44

oy vey, lighten up kids, thats probably the funniest post i know i’ve ever seen on this site…

i nearly shot my coffee across the room in two streams when i read #18

i dont think his sentiments are unshared by many waiting to see this movie… we want something substantial about the film, and all we get is “oh yeah, abrams is a prince of a guy” in every report…

is he running for federation president? how about a production sketch or two… a makeup and or lighting test photo or two?

when star wars was shooting eps 1 through 3 there was a steady stream of production snaps and material available on their site for anyone interested!

i dont think those movies fared too badly from that, do you? they helped generate excitement within the genre’s core audience, for a series seen by many, many non-core fans.

if this movie does half as well as any one of those did, then i think we can consider it a success… but hey, if abrams knows better than geo lucas when it comes to presenting a motion picture, then i suppose we’re all in for a real treat, no?


Whenever I think about it (which isn’t that much to be fair, but it does happen) I’m pretty amazed we’ve seen almost nothing from the set, or shots of the film or Valeris posing in the captain’s chair or *anything*…

They’ve finished the whole film apart from pickups, yet we don’t even have a shot of these famous ears on that new and scary head….

I think that now we almost certainly won’t until we’re allowed to…

Which is impressive all by itself.

I’ve said it before, Mr Quinto scares the life out me… but he sounds like a genuine bloke and perfect for this role. Fingers crossed again.

arrrr… I’ve solved me problem of not having anything ta’ look at from tha’ new film by merely doing tha’ quite easy and simple act of pokin’ me eyes out…

oops… dropped one… nobody move! Why’s it so damned dark in here? Feelin’ woozy… arrrr

j w wright#47- Sorry, jw, I have never found that particular kind of language to be funny. Perhaps it is because, if there is a divine creator out there who created everything we see, touch, hear, smell and taste, I personally think it unwise to curse him. Of course, I understand more immature, unenlightened minds might not think so.