Thursday, August 7, 2008

Quinto Talks Trek with MTV

While at the San Diego Comic-Con last week MTV interviewed Zachary Quinto about the role of Spock and Star Trek in general.
MTV: One of the hottest collectibles on the floor this year is your Spock poster. I've seen mobs fighting over it. We have one for you.
Quinto: Is that true? That's crazy. I haven't seen this yet. [He unfurls it.] That's crazy! There it is, 5/8/09. I need to step a little closer to a razor, huh?

MTV: The first thing you notice is the famous Vulcan ears. Tell us about them.
Quinto: Yeah, the ears were about a two-hour process. ... They were fun. I'd often forget about them once they were on.

MTV: Did you ever make a Starbucks run and accidentally leave them on?
Quinto: [Laughs.] No, they definitely wouldn't allow that.

MTV: When I first unrolled my copy of the poster, I thought for a few seconds that it was Leonard Nimoy. Do you take that as a compliment?
Quinto: Good, that's an enormous compliment. That's what we were going for. It's the character; he's so well-defined, and so clear. It's such an iconic character because of Leonard, and I think we'd be silly if we didn't welcome parallels between what we're doing and what came before.

MTV: Have you heard what happens if you put all four character posters together?
Quinto: Of course. It makes the Enterprise insignia; they're good like that. And it's such a great amalgam of the old and the new: You've got these classic "Star Trek" colors with red, yellow and blue. And then Eric Bana's is gray and black, and you have this style of photography that is so away from that. ... This really edgy, modern take on these characters.

MTV: When last we spoke, you were just beginning "Trek." Now that your work is done, what are you most proud of?
Quinto: I'm most proud of my eyebrows, for growing back as quickly as they did after I had to shave them. [Laughs.] No, the whole thing was an epic life-changer.

MTV: You all had to walk a fine line between tribute and reinvention. Which of your co-stars found that balance best?
Quinto: If I'm going to attribute the capturing of the right tone to anybody, it would have to be to J.J. [Abrams], because he hired the best people for every role. Chris Pine's performance is incredible — John Cho's performance, Simon Pegg, Anton [Yelchin], Zoe [Saldana], Karl [Urban], it's the whole gang. It was like we'd already done a movie together. ... I know it's just the beginning.

MTV: So, sequels are on the way?
Quinto: Those are conversations that have to be had by other people before they can be had with us. ... If the movie does as well as we hope it will, then the intention will be that there are more stories to tell. ... That's up to the fans, and to opening weekend.

MTV: Did Leonard Nimoy give you any special "Trek" items, as a sign of his approval?
Quinto: He's given me a couple things which I hold very dear. One thing I kept with me the entire time. It was always on my person. I can't say enough about that guy; he's an incredible man with an incredible life, and I hope to have half as much a rich experience. ... I'm incredibly grateful that he was involved in [the new film], because he made it a richer experience. And that's hard to do, because it was already up there.

MTV: Did you ever perfect your Vulcan salute?
Quinto: I worked on it a lot. I got it in the end.

MTV: Can you give us a little flavor?
Quinto: No, you guys have to wait! May 8 of '09. Until then, my lips are sealed.

MTV: When I think Spock, I can't help but recall the heartbreaking brilliance at the end of "Wrath of Khan." Is there a Spock moment in this film that even approaches that?
Quinto: Oh, yeah. That's what this movie is about, exploring the humanity of these people. And with humanity invariably comes challenge, and comes pain. We don't shy away from that at all. My character's story, in particular, is firmly rooted in an exploration of what that is. For somebody who's working so hard to stay so clearly separate, it's a collision course with himself in many ways.

MTV: How so?
Quinto: We visit [Spock] at a time when he's not as in control of his balance, and there's a lot of heartbreak in that.

MTV: Will you take the Spock poster home and hang it, like, above your bed?
Quinto: I would hang this in my office, more than in my house. My office is a place where I celebrate my work, and the work I will do. Although I don't know about this one — it's a little bit narcissistic to hang this one. It's me! C'mon, I know what I look like.

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