Correction to This Article
An earlier version of this story had a photo that incorrectly listed the movie as "Star Wars." The movie's correct name is "Star Trek."
Q& A

New Star of 'Star Trek' Got Help From the Original Spock, Leonard Nimoy

Zachary Quinto prepared to play Spock in the new "Star Trek" by working with the man who first embodied the character, Leonard Nimoy.
Zachary Quinto prepared to play Spock in the new "Star Trek" by working with the man who first embodied the character, Leonard Nimoy. (Paramount Pictures)
Friday, May 8, 2009

Trekkies the world over have been eagerly awaiting today's release of the new "Star Trek" movie. Weekend's Ellen McCarthy caught up with actor Zachary Quinto, who boldly went where only one man had gone before: into the role of the galaxy's most beloved half-Vulcan, Spock. Quinto, 31, plays the young Spock in this prequel.

So, were you a Star Trek fan as a kid?

I was not a Star Trek fan as a child. It was a little before my time -- it was a little intellectually advanced for my young mind.

Did you have to Netflix all the old episodes upon landing the role?

I didn't. I chose not to go that road. For me it was more interesting to read about the mythology of the series. . . . And then also I worked really closely with Leonard [Nimoy] through the whole process, and he's been such a valuable part of this experience for me.

What was your first encounter with Nimoy like?

We were at Comicon in San Diego. They were announcing that I was going to be playing the role and that Leonard would be in the film as well. We were hustled into an elevator to take us up to the second floor of the hall. And we were sort of peripherally introduced in the elevator.

Oh, how awkward.

It was, a little bit. And we were surrounded by about 20 people. . . . So there were a lot of awkward silences. And everybody in the elevator was aware that it was the first time we were encountering one another. It was fraught with the gravity of that situation. And then the elevator doors opened, and Leonard just turned to me and said, "You have no idea what you're in for, kid." And then he just walked out of the elevator.

Do you worry about the reaction to your performance among die-hard Trekkies?

I'm not worried about it, frankly. I feel strongly that there are only a finite number of things over which I have any control as I'm going through this experience. And fan reaction is not one of them. . . . I certainly hope people respond to the movie with as much enthusiasm as we had making it.

Have you ever been so grateful for your eyebrows?

I've been talking about them a lot lately. I'm just glad they grew back.

Were you worried about that?

I was worried about it. I was receiving some conflicting reports from people. It certainly gives me pause. The only part of continuing with the franchise at all that gives me any amount of pause is the future of my eyebrows. So, I don't know. We'll see. I might have to get them insured.

If you're heading to "Star Trek" this weekend and want a full sensory experience, head to the Avalon Theatre on Connecticut Avenue, where they're preparing a full Klingon menu for the occasion. Among the delicacies: Andorian Ale Ice Cream, Vulcan Plomeek Soup and Klingon Bloodwine.

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