Star Trek Into Darkness: Love to Leonard Nimoy

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J.J. Abrams of Lost and Mission Impossible III is the director of this summer’s blockbuster, Star Trek Into Darkness with Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Leonard Nimoy on May 16!

The Enterprise returns to Earth to find terror reigns their home. The Star Fleet has been devastatingly attacked from within, leaving everything the crew knows in chaos. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine, Rise of the Guardians’ Jack Frost) leads the team on a mission to find the traitor.

But the mission will take them to places where doubts, fear, and suspicion test them at every turn. Kirk and the crew will have to walk the lines between justice and revenge, friendship and enemies, and war and unity to determine the future of the Enterprise.

Zachary Quinto (Heroes Series’ Sylar) will be returning as Spock in this new movie. He says we should expect to see a darker Star Trek this time around. “Darker, bigger and there’s just more at stake for everybody. So, I think that’s exciting for an audience. More action, more peril and there’s more at stake, as I says, for the crew of the Enterprise this time around. More danger and just a bigger, bolder experience…”

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Even though the name is so highly held, Quinto says he never felt pressure to be the iconic role: “I only felt supported and I have only felt like my job is to get to work and be a part of something that people want to watch and want to see.

“I am just really excited to get it out there and share it with people and I don’t feel any particular individual pressure to doing anything other than my job and my job is already done I shot it in the first half of 2012, so I’ve been done for a while and now the responsibility is in everybody else’s hands to bring it all to life.”

Quinto, a 35-year-old actor from Pittsburgh, says, “It’s a real honor for me to get handed a character like this who is so widely regarded as a beacon of intelligence, logic, and compassion, and I think Spock teaches me every time I come into contact with him, either through my playing of him or through my on screen and off screen interactions with Leonard (Nimoy).”

He used his own interpretation of Spock. He worked with Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock from the TV series and Spock Prime in Into Darkness, during the first film, listening to his advice. “We are very different people and we come at the experience from very different perspectives and invariably it is going to be unique to me even though it is a character he created.”

Despite their differences, the two became rather close. “[Getting to know Nimoy] affected my appreciation for the character, my appreciation for how important it’s been to him in his life and how much it’s been formed from his perspective and his work and his creativity. I’d say getting to know Leonard was one of the biggest gifts of the experience that first time around and now having him in my life the way I do; it means the world to me that he is invested not only in me and my relationship with the character of Spock, but also me as a person and me as I relate to the world,” Quinto says.

“I have learned so much from him and I value him so much, so to me [him being on set] took a lot of pressure of actually when we were making the first movie, because I felt like he was always there for me if I needed any help, advice or guidance. We had many conversations during the first movie about the character and it was enormously helpful to have him around, certainly more helpful than it was stressful.”

Abrams says Nimoy’s presence was always loved and appreciated on the Into Darkness set. “I love him; he’s always a joy. The cast and crew got to applaud him and give a fraction of the thanks he deserves. He’s just an absolute gentleman.”

Quinto also talked about how Nimoy wanted to pass the torch. “He was very clear about wanting to hand [the character of Spock] to somebody that he could trust and that would respect the character the same way that he did.”

“I am very pleased as to where the character is and I had a good time on the last film – dropping in there – particularly playing a scene with him, which was really interesting,” Nimoy says.

“I feel good about the character. I feel the character is still very, very useful and interesting but still somewhat enigmatic. I feel I had pretty much played out any enigma about the character. People pretty much new who I was and what was going on with me. But Zachary has the opportunity to explore new territory.”

With talks of another Star Trek in the next few years, Nimoy says the franchise could do fine without him. “My feeling is they don’t need me. They’ve got a wonderful cast. Zachary Quinto has taken on the character of Spock and I think he is wonderfully suited. He is a talented guy. He is a very intelligent actor, very well trained. They’ve got a great company of people replacing all of us. I don’t think they need me, frankly. It’s flattering to be talked about, but I just don’t think they need me…I think they’re going to do just fine.”

Though these days he doesn’t have a specific project in mind, Nimoy says he doesn’t mind taking a step back from acting. “I’m trying to find my way now. My path is not as clear to me as it was in the past. In the past I knew precisely what I was doing. I like to say that I was majoring in career and minoring in family, and now I think it’s shifted. I’m much more interested in my family now and less in my career.

“I’m making some choices, working on what I find interesting. I won’t go away on long jobs or travel far distances to work on projects. I’ve acted all over the United States and a number of countries, and it doesn’t intrigue me like it used to. I’m now much more interested in being with my children and six grandchildren. I’m enjoying my life.”

Join the mission with Captain Kirk, Spock, Spock Prime, and the Enterprise crew in Star Trek Into Darkness May 16!