In a new interview on Hero Complex: The Show, Star Trek‘s Leonard Nimoy reminisces about: his work on Star Trek, Star Wars‘ influence on Star Trek, typecasting, A Woman Called Golda, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, Spock and Zachary Quinto, Amok Time and the genesis of the Vulcan greeting.
Nimoy began by explaining how the success of another science fiction movie led to Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
“I was doing Equus on Broadway in 1977, when I began hearing about this extraordinary success called Star Wars,” he said. “And on an afternoon off, when I was not working, I went down to Times Square and I walked in to a theater that was packed with cheering, screaming people watching this science fiction movie and I thought, ‘I think I’m going to be getting a call from Paramount pretty soon. Sure enough, within a few days, they called.”
However, the movie that was made as a result of the success of Star Wars, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, was not a critical success, and Nimoy believes this is because the film was more of a space film than a Star Trek film. “I think [Robert Wise] and Gene Roddenberry were looking for a space odyssey kind of film, kind of thing that [Stanley] Kubrick had done,” said Nimoy. “Kind of cold, cool, kind we’re out here in space and it’s quiet and things move very slowly. There was a lot of that and a lot of cerebral stuff. … It wasn’t a Star Trek movie, really. It had the Star Trek people, but it didn’t use us as Star Trek characters very well.
Nimoy also spoke about being typecast, but unlike some actors, he did not believe that typecasting was always a negative thing. “My feeling about typecasting is that it is a double-edged thing,” he said. “On the one hand, it can limit the roles you are being offered. On the other hand, it helps producers and directors to understand how to use you. It gives them a sense of how you might be useful to them. I have never been out of work since Star Trek went on the air so it’s worked well for me.”
At the end of the interview, don’t miss Nimoy’s imitation of a Shatner scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.