Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nimoy Talks Retirement, Shatner in Sequel

Leonard Nimoy may be making his last appearance as an actor this Thursday on the season two finale of Fringe. He spoke with Movie Web to promote the episode, reflecting on his career, impending retirement and William Shatner's potential to be in the sequel to Star Trek. Below are the Trek related portions of the interview, full interview (worth reading) is here.

You've talked recently about how you're going to be retiring from acting. After you had done Dr. Bell on Fringe, was there something that felt like there was a finality, like you had cleared what characters you wanted to play, or is it just a time and space that you just don't feel like acting is going to open any more experiences for you? Some thoughts on why this show is going to be your last?
Leonard Nimoy: It's really coincidental. It wasn't anything about the Fringe job or the character of William Bell that made me decide I didn't want to do this anymore. It's a coincidence. I've been at this for 60 years. My first professional work in film was in 1950. 60 years, I think, is long enough. I had decided not to do anymore acting and directing several years ago. I was called back to work to do the Star Trek movie, which was very attractive. I thought it was going to be a wonderful film. I read the script and a great handling of the Spock character and an introduction of wonderful new actor to play Spock. Then, J.J. Abrams who is the executive producer of Fringe asked me to do the William Bell character. I thought I owed him that. I'm very glad that I did it because it was an exciting project. It's just coincidental that I decided some time ago that I really didn't want to do this anymore. I just did this last job as a favor to J.J. Abrams. I'm glad I did it. I think we'll see an exciting episode next week. It's a very good note to go out on.

I just wanted to follow-up a little more on the announcement of your retirement, the finale for Fringe next week, and also - there were some lingering reports online that you might actually be in the next Star Trek film. Doesn't sound like that's going to happen, but any word on maybe whether or not your good friend, William Shatner, might be in the next film?
Leonard Nimoy: I have no idea about the next film regarding Bill Shatner. I'm quite sure - I think I can be definitive about the fact that I will not be in it. I have said that I think it's time for me to get off the stage and make some room for Zachary Quinto who is the new Spock and a wonderful actor, looks a lot like me. And I'm very flattered that the character will be continued by an actor of that caliber. He's very well trained and very talented. I have no expectations whatsoever even being asked to be in the next Star Trek film. I cannot speak for J.J. Abrams or William Shatner. If they have a common interest, I hope it works out.

I wanted to find out if you could perhaps tell us what has made a career in this industry rewarding for you, would you say after all these years?
Leonard Nimoy: Well, I set out to be an actor when I was 17 or 18 years old. I left Boston, traveled to California to try to build a career. My very first efforts were very humble. I worked in a Saturday afternoon serial called, "Zombies of the Stratosphere." It was very primitive and very crude, but I was eager to do the work and happy to get it. It's been exciting to me to work on soundstages and on locations all around the world. I've worked with some great, great talents. I worked with a number of Academy Award winners and a number of Emmy winners, with wonderful, talented people. The Star Trek character, Mr. Spock, has been a blessing to me because I find it a very dignified and a positive character and a great role model for a lot of people. I am one very, very grateful guy. Ever since Star Trek put on the air 1966, I have never even had to consider myself with whether or not I would work again. There was always work available to me. So, it's all about gratitude for me these days. Thanks for the question.

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