The original Spock made his appearance on the Fox series in last season's cliffhanger finale as William Bell, and will be gracing the screen again in tonight's episode. I can't tell you how excited I was to get an opportunity to talk to Leonard Nimoy himself in a conference call yesterday before his season two debut, but I'm sure you can imagine that I had to take a few deep breaths before dialing the number — come on, he's a geek legend!
Check out what Mr. Nimoy had to say about his sci-fi career, the state of the genre today, and what he's up to now when you read more.
G: Your body of work (even before Star Trek) leans heavily toward sci-fi, so I was wondering if you have always been a fan of the genre yourself?
LN: It's a good thing if you can find your niche as an actor. Back in 1951, I acted in my first science fiction project, which was probably not very well known (but I thought it was going to rocket me to stardom if you pardon my expression), and it was called Zombies of the Stratosphere. I was the third group of zombies that came to earth to take over earth's orbit, and it was a great project. But science fiction has been a fertile ground for the kind of work that I do, the kind of presence that I offer, and I'm grateful for the niche that science fiction has given me.
- On if he's a "techie": I use a computer. I don't know if that qualifies me as a techie, but I'm pretty good on a computer!
- On how he feels about the current state of the sci-fi genre on TV and film: I'm concerned about the positioning of story in terms of importance. When I see a lot of explosions and a lot of chases, I'm not terribly impressed. I think that there are three important elements that must be given priority position in science fiction (as well as any other kind of drama). The first is story, the second is story, and the third is story. If the story is compelling and interesting, all the other elements will find their place.
- On other projects he's working on now: I'm doing a lot of photography work. That's one of my major creative outlets right now. I have an exhibition opening at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art next year that I'm really excited about.
- On his relationship with J.J. Abrams and how he came into his role on Fringe: Well I first met him about three years ago when he first contacted me about the possibility of working together and I went to a meeting with him and some other production staff where they told me a very good, strong, and touching story about their feelings about Star TrekStar Trek series. I had a brilliant time working with them, so when they contacted me about working on Fringe — the same people, the same attitude, the same creativity — it was very enticing.
- On if he'll be making a cameo in Star Trek 2: Frankly, I doubt that I'll be called upon again. I think I was useful in this last film to help bridge the original characters and the new cast, but with the new cast in place, I'm sure they'll move ahead with that. I don't see at the moment why they would need me, but I wouldn't hesitate if they asked.