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Zachary Quinto on Star Trek

Published May 8, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Paramount
Star Trek Star Trek

Spock is the role that made Leonard Nimoy, and it stayed with him forever. Zachary Quinto plays young Spock after already establishing himself as the fan favorite villain Sylar on Heroes. After that, jumping into Vulcan ears could be a bit of a stretch.

Zachary Quinto is Spock

“I think any actor brings their baggage,” Quinto said. “I think that's what we work with. We work with our own understandings and our own sort of points of reference. Certainly, I think I bring to it a very clear understanding of being split between my heart and my head. That's something that I can relate to personally and I think everything else was really informed by this incredible script that was written by Bob [Orci] and Alex [Kurtzman]. As an actor, for me, all of the answers should be in the script so I spent a lot of time really engaged in that and really understanding where this character was as we pick up with this iteration of the story.”

With Nimoy reprising his role as Spock from the future, Quinto got to know his predecessor without letting it impact his performance. “Leonard and I have become good friends through this process and I value my presence in his life as a friend tremendously. I think he's an incredible man. I have a tremendous respect and affinity for him, and I often feel that if I could live half the life that he's lived when I'm his age, I would be very content. He’s just formidable spirit. He's evolved from himself and emerged from himself many times over the years and I think he dealt with a certain amount of restriction as an actor because of his association with this role. It's been remarkable to see how he never held onto that. He just re-emerged as a director and a writer and a photographer and an art collector and he's got this amazing life as a result. And there's tremendous lessons in that for me. The more you can sort of let go of your expectations and be open to what your life holds, I think the happier you'll be.”

Don’t expect Quinto to be answering Spock questions at conventions in his retirement. At least they’ll just be Sylar questions. “I don't have the same worry. We live in a very different time and there's not the same stigma attached to science fiction now as there was in 1967. Nor is there the same attention span in our culture to have something stick so much as it did then. You can argue as to whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, that our culture's so fractured from itself and disconnected from itself. We'd rather spend time connecting on Facebook than connecting in person, which is infuriating to me, personally, but everybody has different opinions about that, so I leave that to them. But yeah, I don't think it's the same climate and I don't think it has the same. I don't think I'll deal with the same adversity as he did as an actor. Also because it's my goal not to, so I intend to work hard to make sure that doesn't happen.”

With that in mind, Quinto boldly let it be known he wanted the role of Spock well before he ever auditioned for it. “I read for the role exactly once. I went in on tape for the casting director in April. Two days after that I left the country for two months and went traveling. I was in Europe backpacking, I was in New York, I was all over the place. And while I was gone, all of this stuff was happening that I didn't know about or care about because I was just gallivanting around on trains in Berlin and Barcelona. It was kind of remarkable because then I got back to New York and about a week before I came home to LA, I got a call from my manager at the time saying that J.J. had seen the tape and wanted to meet me and I got back to LA on my thirtieth birthday. Two days later I went in and sat down with J.J., and I think it was the next day or the day after that that I got the offer to play the role. As far as audition processes go, especially for a film this big and a role this big, was not extensive.”

Star Trek is out in theaters now.

For the posters, trailers, stills, reviews and additional info, go to the Star Trek Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Paramount

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