Why Abrams' Star Trek Brought The Original Vulcan To Tears

It would be illogical not to expect Leonard Nimoy's role in the new Star Trek to raise overwhelming emotions for both the actor and the viewers. Spock talks about the new crew, including spoilers.

At the Star Trek press conference this past weekend, a number of subjects came up, but everyone in the room truly hung on every word the original Vulcan had to say, especially when he talked about the original crew and the influence they had on him while working with this new team

Mr. Nimoy, you had a chance to be in Star Trek: Generations, but that didn't work out. Why was this the ideal chance to bridge the old Star Trek with the new Star Trek?

The makers of this film re-awakened the passion in me that I had when we made the original film and series. I was put back in touch with what I cared about and liked about Star Trek, and why I enjoyed being involved with Star Trek. So, it was an easy way to come on home.

Did other opportunities not spark that passion?

It went off in a direction that I didn't relate to very well. The simplest way to put it. [In this Star Trek] they said things and showed me things, and demonstrated the sensibility that I felt very comfortable with, and I think that shows in the movie. I like it.

Did you miss working with William Shatner? Did you want him to be in the film with you?

Bill and I are very, very close friends, and we have been for a very, very long time. Did I miss him? I can't honestly say that that's the right word to describe my feelings about this process and him not being in the movie. I was aware that he wanted to be in the movie. I was aware that J.J. Abrams and the writers spent time with him, to try to find a process where he could be involved, but it just didn't work out. I don't know exactly why. I wasn't involved in those discussions and meetings. I didn't see the material they presented to him, if they did. I pointed out to him that we're even now because he acted in one of the Star Trek movies that I was not in and he had to admit that that was true [laughs]. And we're over it. I think it's history. I think he genuinely wants the movie to be a success. I spent time, we all spent time, with him last night at his charity event. I admire him a lot. I think he's done a great job with his career. He was a handsome leading man, and became a very good, character actor and avery successful character actor. We have a great friendship, and it continues to be a great friendship.

How did you work with Zachary Quinto?

I thought that he [Zachary Quinto] made some choices that were wonderful surprises for me. We did not talk about specifics like, "do this or don't do that." We had conversations about the philosophy of the character, and the philosophy of Star Trek, and fan reactions to various aspects of Star Trek, but there were no specifics, it didn't call for that. But watching Zach on film, I'm very proud of what he did. I think we have book-ended the character. He has created a Spock that comes before the Spock that I have created in the series. I play a Spock that is much much more resolved. And I think that is who I am actually today. So I think it works extremely well and I admire his talent.

What did you discover about young Spock while making this movie?

Zachary's choices in his performance often surprised me, in a very positive way. "I would never have thought to do that, and I think that's a wonderful idea!"....

Let me take the opportunity to say this. Everybody at this table [the cast] are very, very talented and intelligent people. They found their own way to bring that talent and intelligence to this movie, and I think it shows. If Chris Pine could do anything other than go direct to Starfleet after Bruce Greenwood told him what his life should be about, I would be shocked. I just had to do what Bruce Greenwood told me to. When Karl Urban introduced himself as Leonard McCoy and shook hands with Chris Pine, I burst into tears. That performance of his is so moving, so touching and so powerful as Doctor McCoy, that I think D. Kelley [DeForest] would be smiling, and maybe in tears as well. And, these two [Zachary, Zoe] I think are wonderful together. It's such a passionate and compassionate performance by Zoe that I was just so pleased to be a part of this movie, with all of you good people.