Quinto: My Spock Is Not In Control of His Balance

Star Trek’s new Spock, Zachary Quinto, was at Comic Con last weekend, primarily to attend the Heroes panel. MTV ran into the actor and he discusses Heroes, his new Star Trek poster and of course the new Star Trek movie, including insights into the other actor’s portrayals and how his Spock deals with his human and Vulcan sides.


Excerpts from the MTV interview

MTV: When I first unrolled my copy of the poster, I thought for a few seconds that it was Leonard Nimoy. Do you take that as a compliment?

Good, that’s an enormous compliment. That’s what we were going for. It’s the character; he’s so well-defined, and so clear. It’s such an iconic character because of Leonard, and I think we’d be silly if we didn’t welcome parallels between what we’re doing and what came before.

MTV: You all had to walk a fine line between tribute and re-invention. Which of your co-stars found that balance best?

Quinto: If I’m going to attribute the capturing of the right tone to anybody, it would have to be to J.J. [Abrams], because he hired the best people for every role. Chris Pine’s performance is incredible — John Cho’s performance, Simon Pegg, Anton [Yelchin], Zoe [Saldana], Karl [Urban], it’s the whole gang. It was like we’d already done a movie together. … I know it’s just the beginning.

MTV: When I think Spock, I can’t help but recall the heartbreaking brilliance at the end of "Wrath of Khan." Is there a Spock moment in this film that even approaches that?

Quinto: Oh, yeah. That’s what this movie is about, exploring the humanity of these people. And with humanity invariably comes challenge, and comes pain. We don’t shy away from that at all. My character’s story, in particular, is firmly rooted in an exploration of what that is. For somebody who’s working so hard to stay so clearly separate, it’s a collision course with himself in many ways.

MTV: How so?

Quinto: We visit [Spock] at a time when he’s not as in control of his balance, and there’s a lot of heartbreak in that.

Much more from this excellent interview at MTV.com


Quinto at the EW/SciFi channel event (WireImage)


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

im getting more and more excited for this movie. His spock is already sounding perfect

So we will see Spock yelling on the bridge again…

Fascinating. I think that Spock is the element I’m most looking forward to in this film!

He will be a great Spock?

Anyone know what happened to the Yelchin article from yesterday?

I torrented the first 2 seasons of the Heroes based on everyone’s advice from this site. I had never seen it. After having burned both seasons onto dvds and watched (most) of them. I can say very well recommended. Looking forward to Heroes Villians this fall. Love Quinto. good stuff.

Anyone wonder if that last lecturer guy got to see a rough cut of the film before he died? I was wondering that. and if so, did he take the secret to his grave? If not, then please revisit my old argument to Paramount that people are literally dying to see this movie. Lettuce get it released, aiiiight?



That sounds intriguing. It will be interesting to see if they can give us a Spock who’s less firmly in control without making him maudlin or weakening his mystique.


“Acting FULL intensity!”

I have a great feeling about the future of the new Trek team. These guys should be taking heavy notes for the inevitable books that can be written about the experience. As it is, I’d buy a “Trek Memories” type book about the making of the current film up to now. Sounds quite exciting and unique.

“THE WOMEN!!!!!” -Spock in “The Cage”

Cato #9 — You just sole my line!!!!! or

“FULL EMERGENCY — REVERSE POWER” – Spock in “The Squire of Gothos”

i hope by the end of the movie we will see the more polished balanced spock we all know and love. i wasnt a big fa of spock in the early days facinating tho it was.

greg UK

Oh yeah, getting better and better! I can’t wait for this!

Considering that JJ said that the movie would essentially be ready by December, I’m going to stangle the suits that are making us wait until May 2009 to see this.

well, when someone takes your women – I dont care if you’re a vulcan or not – that is something to raise your voice over fer sure.

one time i was just sittin’ round, funnin. and they took all my women, poof! they was gone.

i just went and got some more women, though.


wow….MTV is relevant again. lol

oh- sure it be good news ta’ hear more an’ more little leaks comin’ oot like dis…

Alternate titles fur this softer, gentler, more emotionally divested film known as Star Trek 11:

Spockies’ Choice
Treks of Endearment
Tri-Tanium Magnolias

speakin’ o’ little leaks…
… I’m not in control of me bowels.


#10 Don’t forget his line about activating the ROCKETS in The Cage. :P

Actually, though I sound like I’m spoofing it . . . I bring it all up because I’m glad to see something come up that makes Spock’s old yelling and reactions make sense. :)

Does Zach get to play out Pon Farr?

In any case, interesting.

Kolchak the night stalker called, and he wants that stupid hat back, Zachary.

So we will see Spock smiling at alien Daisies with Capt. Pike?

I really, really , really….like the sound of this. Spock is my favorite character in Star Trek. His portrayal is so important. I think Quinto’s grasp of the inner conflict in the character, along with Nimoy’s on-the-spot influence, is very assuring.

#18—Not likely. In “Amok Time”, Spock indicates that it is his first experience with Pon Farr.

“I had hoped I would be spared this.”–Spock

That quote, along with the fact that his marriage to T’Pring was both incomplete and unconsumated, pretty much assures us that Spock has not experienced the “burning of his Vulcan blood” up to that point.

Since he is half-human, I’m not sure this means he is without sexual experience. We see in “The Enterprise Incident”, that Spock is quite capable of sexual relations outside of the Pon Farr experience.

His encounter (under very different circumstances) with Saavik on the Genesis planet is his only Pon Farr-related sexual experience onscreen, so I wonder who satified “his urges” before then, since the events of “Amok Time” are approximately 15 years in the past. Perhaps his human DNA tends to disrupt what is normally a 7 year cycle for Vulcans.


“We visit [Spock] at a time when he’s not as in control of his balance, and there’s a lot of heartbreak in that.”

This sentence only makes me wanna see this movie even more badly than before… I have always loved seeing Spock trying to reconcile his Vulcan side and his human side. IMO, some of the best Spock moments came when he was overwhelmed by emotions and was starting to lose control over them. Great stuff!

In my life I’ve never looked forward to a movie as much as this.

Nimoy has always said that the biggest problem actors have with playing Vulcans is the fact that Vulcans aren’t robots – they’re emotional beings who have decided to suppress their emotions for the good of their society. Nimoy has lamented at what he saw as actors playing Vulcans as a sort of automaton, so it’s sounds encouraging, and appropriate, that Quinto’s Spock has conflicts. That would be very much in character.

I like the “not in control of his balance” approach. Nimoy really didn’t have his balance in those early episodes or the early pilots. He yelled orders on the bridge when those he was yelling them to were feet away from him He smiled uncharacteristically. I think Nimoy cites “Naked Time” as the episode where he figured out who Spock was but I’ve always felt the character came to full fruition in “Return of the Archons”. I’ve always felt the whole show hit it’s stride on that one.

19. DOUG

Kolchak the night stalker called, and he wants that stupid hat back, Zachary.

Ah Daren McGavin. Did anyone know he was married to the chick who was accelerated and wanted to turn the Enterprise into a big deep freeze?

Doug, I like to give credit where credit’s due. (Not enough of that in this world) That’s a good line. And Kolchak the Night Stalker was a good example of a good old style theme song. Back when TV shows had good themes; with that cool cello ostinato, or I guess, basso continuo that started things out. Another example of a show that roped in viewers by the opening credits.

We get to see a Spock that smiles and laughs like in the pilot for TOS? And acts like he did under the influence of those spores in “This Side of Paradise”? Awesome! It’ll show his battle with his emotions, it’s the best Spock story!

#22—Wholeheartedly agreed!

The anticipation grows…

I think we need to check your meds again… especially over the “dying” post.
FYI, The pills in the PEZ dispenser, while fun, don’t help. ;-)

Yes continue to seed little bits like this to the Trek fans to lure them in and make them have an unstoppable urge to go see the movie. I half wonder if JJ has a calender somewhere that he gave to all the cast and crew that says exactly when you should release these little nuggets of gold to the press… It’s all timed out just right so as to create a groundswell of support for the new film. You’ll see next thing you know we will start to see pictures (wink wink) leaked… 1st a coridoor… then the bridge or some other room… At the same time as your getting actors saying just what you want to here about your most beloved characters… I estimate that sometime in the future Pine will drop in an interview that his Kirk is also quite the casanova with ladies from multiple universes… and everyone will cheer because that is exactly what we expect of our young Kirk…

Its all timed out I say… All timed out and scheduled to keep your mouth in a state of constant watering until May 8…


Wondering that myself. Showed up in my google reader, but sent me to a ‘Doh’ page.

“Oh, this is the worst-looking hat I ever saw. What, when you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh? . . .
Oh, it looks good on you though . . .”

here… uggg yes I see it too…


Perhaps my man Hitch is starting to become unrehabiltated? : ) But that’s the way I like him!

#30—The interview was done by MTV. It was not a Trek promotion move. Quinto was simply answering questions. The full interview was as much about Heroes as about STXI. I suppose we are fortunate that Quinto is involved in other projects.

#20. John from Cincinnati – July 28, 2008

So we will see Spock smiling at alien Daisies with Capt. Pike?

That one scene alone has spawned (pardon the pun) a mess of Pike/Spock stories. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I just don’t see it.

However, it *might* explain his hijacking Pike and the Enterprise to take him back to Talos Iv….

“DAMAGE report, ALL stay-SHUNS!!!”

That shot of him on the poster could have been better from a hair and make-up standpoint.

Only two weeks until I get to see the latest Vulcan stud again. Vegas here we come.


…Or, better still, Zach has Spock playing the Vulcan Lyre as if he were Pete Townsend:

“Ooch! Mr. Spock! It’s gonna take me a week t’fix th’damage ye inflicted upon ye quarters!”

“That wasn’t me. Mr. Scott. That was Lt. Moon.”

OK, I might get some rocks thrown at me for saying this, but realistically shouldn’t we consider “The Cage” not a part of the canon?

What I mean is, I don’t think Spock’s character was supposed to be unemotional in that one, Number One was supposed to be the logical one.

Hence, the Spock character in The Cage is not the same Spock in TOS and thereafter. Sure, he was played by the same guy and he had the same name, but he’s not the same Spock.

Yeah, I know that they used footage of The Cage for the two-parter in the first season.

But I’m just sayin’.

Nice hat.

And kudos to the Kolchak fans up the thread. Darren McGavin rules and so does the two dollar hat.

“Tell me something, Tony, what don’t you like about this hat?”

“What’s under it.”



#19, 25 – If Zach is as good a Spock as he looks, he could take the hat and reboot another new franchise there. He’d probably get down with the seersucker suit, but then there’s that learning to walk bow-legged thing….LOL

#2 (no yelling, but not much in character…)

“If we start buzzing about down there, we’re liable to find their mental power is so great, they could reach out and swat this ship as though it were a fly.”


What did happen to the Yelchin article from yesterday? BTW, I think he is gonna rock as Spock!!!

#47 – I think it was posted in error. I’m not entirely sure, but I think it was a previously published interview with the young actor. Too bad it was yanked…I actually had what I consider one of my most insightful posts with it…lol

I hope Spock doesn’t have a lot of head injuries.


When I saw The Menagerie on the big screen last November the entire audience burst out laughing and wouldn’t stop when he said that. Possibly my favorite Star Trek line ever.