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Mr. Spock Comes Calling

This article is more than 10 years old.
Leonard Nimoy was the original Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek series, and in 6 subsequent feature films, and he plays Spock Prime in J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek, out in wide release today. In my Trekked-out opinion (having just produced today's show), the movie – and Nimoy’s thoughtful role in it – is AWESOME. And, I have to say, it was awesome to have him join us today to talk about his character and the Star Trek philosophy and to give us some personal insight into playing the role this time around.  Here's a clip, with the transcript below...
http://audio.wbur.org/storage/2009/05/onpoint_0508_nimoy.mp3

LEONARD NIMOY:  This performance as Spock in this particular movie is closer to me personally now than any of the previous performances have been at that time. I feel that the Spock I play in this movie is resolved, relaxed, comfortable with himself, knows who he is, knows where he’s been and where he’s going. That’s pretty much how I feel about myself. When I did Spock in the TV series and the earlier movies, I was playing something quite other than myself. Not so in this movie, I felt quite comfortable here.

TOM ASHBROOK: What was it like, Leonard Nimoy, to look out on the young actor playing the young Spock? How did it feel?

NIMOY: I’m very proud of what he’s accomplished in this movie. Zachary Quinto and I met several times before the filming started. We had some in-depth conversations about the nature of the project, the nature of Star Trek, the nature of the Spock character. He’s a very well-trained and intelligent actor, and knows how to go about doing what he needs to do. I didn’t give him very specific advice about “do this or don’t do that.” He didn’t need that. It wasn’t warranted. We talked very generally about the broader strokes.

I feel very proud of what he’s done. I feel that I’ve handed off the torch to a capable and intelligent actor, and I think he’s done a wonderful job.

ASHBROOK: What did you tell him, if I may ask, about what mattered most about this character, Spock?

NIMOY: We talked a lot about the internal life of the character. The psychological dynamic of the character, which I think is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of him. There was a common misunderstanding about the Spock character. People would typically refer to him as a character who was unemotional, or without emotion. Not true.

What made the character really interesting was the fact that he had an internal struggle between the human, emotional aspect of himself and the Vulcan, logical aspect. And that dynamic, that intersection created an interesting character to portray, and for an audience to watch. And I think a lot of identification with the character because of that, because people do go through that process, particularly young people trying to figure out how to balance the emotion with the, the heart with the head, so to speak.

It's well worth listening to the rest of the show. Indeed, it would be most logical.

This program aired on May 8, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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