LOS ANGELES — Few television characters have reached the iconic status of “Star Trek” science officer Spock — from his pointed ears to the “live longer and prosper” greeting, the character is entrenched in the pop-culture fabric.
It was Leonard Nimoy, a lanky actor from Boston, who gave Spock life first in the television series and then in a string of movies. Nimoy has returned to the role in the new “Star Trek” feature film, which looks at the early days of the “Star Trek” mythology when Spock and Kirk, and the rest of the Enterprise gang, came together. The plot includes a major role for Nimoy’s more mature version of the character.
“These people, the makers of this film, I think re-awakened in me the passion I had when we made the original film and series. I was put back in touch with what I cared about, what I like about ‘Star Trek’ and why I enjoyed being involved in ‘Star Trek.’ So, it was an easy way to come on home,” Nimoy, 78.
Nimoy had no input in the script. His first meeting with director J.J. Abrams, along with writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, was to see about his interest in playing Spock again. He read the script and agreed to sign on.
It was imperative that Nimoy be in the movie because the major storyline deals with the older Spock traveling through time to the year when he was first at Starfleet Academy.
Abrams also is the man behind such television shows as “Alias,’ “Lost” and “Fringe.” Nimoy will appear in this season’s finale of “Fringe” and will be in at least two more next season.
He was happy to take on the television role because, as Nimoy explains, “It’s a wonderful opportunity because it’s a blank canvas.” Most of the colors had already been filled in when it came to playing Spock again.
Nimoy had one other reason he agreed to be on “Fringe.”
“When they tell me J.J. Abrams is on the phone,” Nimoy says, “I have to take the call.”