Nimoy Returned To Star Trek For Abrams

By Michelle
October 16, 2007 - 10:35 PM

Leonard Nimoy had told interviewers for many years that he was retired from acting when the opportunity to play Spock came up again. So why did he choose to return to the Star Trek franchise now that his career as aphotographer is his primary artistic outlet?

"A very talented man called JJ Abrams will be directing the movie. He has a very talented team of writers, and they have come up with a strong idea," Nimoy told London's Jewish Chronicle, which also reported - possibly erroneously - that "many of the surviving members of the original cast" will be joining him in the movie.

Nimoy explained that the title of his 1977 autobiography I Am Not Spock was "a mistake" and added, "Anyone who read the book would be able to tell that I enjoyed playing the Spock character. I loved the Spock character." He merely wanted to distinguish between himself as an actor and the character he had developed.

Nimoy called himself "flattered, amused and delighted" by the ongoing popularity of Star Trek and said that the stories were "universal and stand up over time." He said he appreciated both the opportunities the series had given him and the fans, who have made it easier to draw attention to his photography projects, the latest of which is Full Body Project - a book of photographs exploring preconceptions about obesity in women.

"We have an obsession with body size in the US," Nimoy explained, saying that the project began when a woman questioned why his models in The Shekhina Project had all been slender and offered to let Nimoy photograph her "different type body."

"There is an enormous industry built up around selling things to women to make them feel better about themselves, essentially telling them: 'You don’t look right'. It’s a cruel message, because being that slim is an unattainable goal for most people," observed 76-year-old Nimoy. "I'm not suggesting that obesity is healthy," he added. "I'm simply putting out these images. Look, the women I found are comfortable with their bodies, the photos have a joy in them, a joie de vivre."

He said that the response to this project has been more positive than that to The Shekhina Project, which angered some Jewish groups as the photos juxtaposed nude models with religious items. "Even though a lot of people clearly hated it, I had an awful lot of people tell me that these were beautiful pictures. Many Jewish women said that they loved the photographs because they were a very positive representation of Jewish women as beautiful and sensual, compared to the way Jewish women are often portrayed as naggy and not attractive...that project had a great deal to do with my Jewish experience, my experience as an artist within Judaism and the Judaism within my heart," said Nimoy.

The Vulcan salute was adapted by Nimoy from a hand gesture he first observed in synagogue as a child. The Star Trek movie shoot will take three to four months, after which Nimoy expects to return to photography.

The original article is here.

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