On Sunday Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy, the headliners for the official Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, really brought the house down. Appearing both individually and together, they entertained the crowd with stories as well as providing insights (and some spoilers) about the new Star Trek movie. Full details and pictures below.
Nimoy jazzed about Star Trek
Nimoy started off by briefing fans on the movie, and how "genuinely excited" he was about it. Regarding the move of the release to next year, he called it disappointing, but also a "vote of confidence" from Paramount that the film can compete in the summer. . Nimoy said that both he and Quinto "had seen some" of the new film and that it was "looking quite wonderful."
Nimoy stands ready
Regarding the director JJ Abrams, the actor was quite complimentary, noting
He can do the very very big stuff–ships, planets, and so forth–and and he can also very well do the personal stuff between people, and that is why I think this movie will do well. And that is why I think this movie is so special. A lot of directors can do one or the other, the big stuff or the personal stuff, he has done both in this movie.
Regarding the script written by Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman, Nimoy said:
The writing on this film is so human, so rich, and fun! A lot of humor in the movie.
Nimoy also mentioned the cast, naming many of the actors and noting that it was a "great cast" and noting specifically that the new Spock, Zachary Quinto, was a "very good actor" and that Winona Ryder was "wonderful" as Amanda, Spock’s mother.
The actor also took various questions ranging from his photography, to the Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, and he looked great and was full of energy and enthusiasm and the capacity crowd of over 3,000 fans cheered and laughed throughout. After half an hour he introduced Zachary Quinto.
Nimoy gives Quinto the hand-off
Quinto humbled to be Spock
The new Spock started off his solo segment by playing to the crowd decrying the closing of Star Trek The Experience, and telling the crowd that he just finished lunch at Quark’s. Quinto then went right into Q&A which focused mostly his past work, including So Notorious and Heroes. A lot of fan comments was about him transitioning from a villain and at one point a fan said she thought he was the "scariest villain ever" at which point he leapt off the stage and mocked going for her throat, which made her scream (loudly). Regarding the upcoming third season of Heroes, Quinto said he thought the show would have the energy that "got people on board for in the first place."
Regarding the Star Trek movie, Quinto took a question on the computer voice and would it be Majel Roddenberry. He said he didn’t know and that there would be "different voices" and that work was likely not done yet on it as it is something done in post production. He did speculate that JJ Abrams best friend Greg Grunberg might end up doing some voice. Grunberg appears in almost all of Abrams projects, but wasn’t available to shoot his cameo during principal photography.
Quinto was also asked about how Leonard Nimoy has worked with his Spock, to which he replied:
Leonard is an incredible man. I think it one of the greatest honors about being part of this is getting to know him. From the very beginning he has been available and very encouraging and we have spent a fair amount of time just talking and getting to know each other personally and through that process it has helped me to understand this character even more. I think that characters are firmly rooted in the actors that create them, and I think that no matter how many times I play Spock, I didn’t create that character.
Quinto was asked if he had a favorite moment in the new Star Trek movie, and he joked back that it was a tricky way to "get some secrets," but he did say seriously:
There are so many moments in this movie that I think hard-core fans are just going to love. If it is done the way I think it will be done, I think hearts will be in stomachs–it is this idea of seeing these characters in a different light. I have seen some of the movie. I have seen very rough sequences that JJ showed me. The one where you first sort of see Enterprise and you first sort of see the convergence of the crew of the Enterprise is a pretty profound moment for me.
Quinto really had the crowd behind him, but at one moment a fan came to the mic who said he was a TOS "purist" and asked Quinto what he could tell him that would ‘reduce his concerns.’ Although the question got laughs from the audience, Quinto took it seriously and said the movie was "made with an awareness that we wouldn’t be here without The Original Series and the people that created it." He also said the film would honor the original but also infuse "a new sensibility and a new aesthetic" to help bring in new fans. Of course the purist wasn’t too happy with that second part, but Zach was determined saying "as a purist and some one who has been a fan for a long time, I guarantee you, you won’t be disappointed." Later Quinto was asked about learning to do the Vulcan salute and he noted that "as a leftie" it took him a while to get it down with his right hand, but he then noted:
That is an example of the way in which I am different–my Spock is a little bit different because he is a leftie and that is where his Vulcan salute is, but I pulled it off on the other side as well. Those are the things that our purist friend in the audience may have something to say about–don’t be mad at me–I just bring what I have to the table.
Quinto answers questions for the crowd
The Spocks Talk Trek [with some spoilers]
After Quinto’s half hour, Leonard returned to the stage and both actors sat and just began chatting with each other, asking each other questions like it was their own little chat show. Nimoy started off asking about Heroes, and the character Sylar which eventually led to what was similar about Sylar and Spock, that they are both ‘conflicted’, with Quinto noting that in the film "Spock is really not in control of the line between his emotional life and his intellectual life." Quinto then asked if it was easy for Nimoy to return to the role of Spock, to which he replied:
The thing that was difficult for me was my very first day on the movie, we have this complicated and very interesting scene together. And I didn’t feel totally on my ground yet, particularly with this kind of scene. I had never played with another Spock before, it was weird.
Quinto then noted that sometimes when you shoot a film you may start off by shooting the last scene in the film, however it wasn’t clear if he was speaking generally or about the specific scene from Nimoy’s first day. They also both agreed that in the end the scene worked and feedback has been good. Regardless this is the first time they have both spoken openly about having a scene together. Later when Quinto was talking about Simon Pegg (Scotty) he noted that Nimoy actually worked with Pegg more than he did, implying that we are going to see a good amount of Scotty and the elder Spock together. The exchange with Quinto and Nimoy confirms previous reports regarding time travel (see here and here), but also confirms that while back in time, the elder Spock is interacting with his younger self and younger versions of his former ship mates.
It’s "Spock Talk with Lenny a Zach"
Regarding Pegg’s Scotty, Quinto noted
He is a pure comic genius, and to have someone so funny play such a beloved character as Scotty is really something else. I think he is going to bring a lot of life to it.
Nimoy noted that he had recently seen some footage with Pegg that he wasn’t in and said it was "hilarious." At Comic Con, Star Trek producer Damon Lindelof also spoke to TrekMovie about how funny Pegg is in Star Trek, so it appears, that like JJ Abrams did in Mission: Impossible: III, Simon Pegg picks up much of the comic relief for the film (as James Doohan, the original Scotty, often did during the TV series and feature films).
Things then moved on to Q&A and the first question was about how the movie will expand the audience for Trek and Quinto said the film will be more than just a tentpole with "explosions and spaceships" because "the heart of this movie is universal and accessible across the board" with Nimoy following up noting "it is a very human movie." Nimoy was also asked if there was anything about Zachary’s performance as Spock that he wished he had seen himself. Quinto quickly said "the answer is no," but Nimoy contradicted him saying there was a scene that he watched that "startled" him:
I saw him do something and I thought ‘whoa’ that was interesting
As they wrapped up Nimoy thanked the audience and gave a "live long and prosper" while they both offered the Vulcan salute, with Zach’s, as noted before, coming from his left hand.
Still more Vegas coverage
Although the Nimoy/Quinto event was Sunday, TrekMovie will still be doing more reports from Friday and Saturday (and Sunday). Look for wrap ups of the appearances grouped by show (TOS, DS9, ENT and VOY) as well as product coverage and more.