In a recent interview, Leonard Nimoy explained why people liked Spock and what playing the half-Vulcan, half-Human character meant career-wise, as well as why he decided to play Spock again in J.J. Abrams‘ Star Trek XI.
There was a time when Nimoy struggled to find acting jobs that weren’t related to the pointy-eared Vulcan character that he had made famous. “During that period (mid-1970s), I had a struggle,” he said. “I was busy. I had no problem finding work. But the work pretty much was related to the Spock character. I was, on the one hand, happy to be working because I know what it’s like to be an out-of-work actor. But at the same time I was hoping to broaden my scope, and eventually I did.”
But Nimoy came to terms with Spock and is willing to say what made Spock tick and why people were attracted to the character. “Well, I’ll tell you something,” he said. “I came to believe finally that Spock was at least as human, and perhaps more human, than any of the other characters on the show. Spock’s condition was a quintessentially human condition.
“I think that’s maybe the underlying secret to why so many people identify with him, because he had this inner life that so many people recognize, which is the struggle between our logic and our emotion; our right or left brain. We all, to some degree, have this process to deal with. Particularly young people who are in their formative years, trying to figure out how you’re supposed to function in relationships, in your career, in your personal choices. It’s a condition that’s easily recognizable.”
Why did Nimoy say “Yes” to playing Spock again after so many years? “[J.J. Abrams] asked me if I would come to a meeting,” explained Nimoy. “And this was before they started writing, I think. I met with him and his writers. The conversation, frankly, was actually moving to me, because it had been a number of years since I’d been asked to do anything with Star Trek.
“And here comes a guy named J.J. Abrams who has a lot of cachet, I thought, a very good filmmaker and his writers, and they’re telling me about their sense of Star Trek and their sense of the Spock character. I thought it was profound, frankly. I thought, ‘Wow, these guys really get it.'”
Nimoy will be appearing at the Dallas Comic Con this weekend.