Interfaith Voices Leonard Nimoy: On Judaism, Spock and Spirituality (2012) (more/close)
From 1966 to 1969, Leonard Nimoy played Mr. Spock on the original Star Trek series. Those three years as a half-human, half-Vulcan science fiction character would change his life, making him the public face of one of the most popular franchises in television history.
But there is an intensely private, spiritual side of Leonard Nimoy that isn’t as well known. The son of a barber, Nimoy grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Boston, where he became captivated by the mystery and poetry of Jewish rituals. His interest in Judaism has stayed with him, informing his work as a poet, photographer, and even his portrayal of Mr. Spock.
He spoke to Nadine Epstein, editor of Moment Magazine, the national independent Jewish publication co-founded by Elie Wiesel. This is part of our collaboration with Moment that explores great Jewish artists and thinkers.
There is a second installment that includes the above interview and adds physicist Brian Greene's thoughts on extraterrestrials.
The Divine Universe: Leonard Nimoy, Extraterrestrials, and Physicist Brian Greene
An interview with Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy, the religious implications of finding intelligent alien life, and the deeper meaning of studying the cosmos.
Leonard Nimoy: Commencement Wisdom And West End Memories
In Boston, references to a place called the “West End” often provoke quizzical looks. Where is it? What is it?
The West End, in a nutshell, is the area between Beacon Hill and North Station, near Mass. General Hospital and Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary. The streets are tangled, dominated by huge hospital buildings, residential towers, and parking lots.
It wasn’t always that way. There used to be a tight urban neighborhood there, much like the North End. But it fell victim to the 1950s “urban renewal” craze, when the Boston Redevelopment Authority leveled whole neighborhoods in favor of modern “super blocks,” like Government Center.
Today there are few people left who remember the working-class tenement buildings of the West End. But one of them, remarkably, is actor Leonard Nimoy.
Yes, the man who played Mr. Spock on Star Trek was born and raised in the West End and often speaks fondly of his Boston roots. That’s at least part of the reason why Boston University invited Nimoy to address graduates of the College of Fine Arts on Saturday. Radio Boston‘s Adam Ragusea attended and spoke backstage with Nimoy.
Source: Radio Boston
Leonard Nimoy is coming to Dallas and KLUV radio talked to him on the phone about him doing a voice for Transformers, the Vulcan salut and his photography.
Rock on Request. FOX conference call interview about Fringe and retirement plans. (2010) (more/close)
Last year a lot of articles were written based on a conference call interview organized by FOX with Leonard Nimoy where he talked about Fringe, his announcement to retire and more. Rock On Request Magazine posted an audio file running a little over 18 minutes of this interview here. It's available for download too. A transcript of the interview can be found at Fringe Bloggers.
Leonard Nimoy spoke about his Secret Selves exhibition, identity issues, Star Trek, feeling like almost adopting Zachary Quinto and much more on The Callie Crossley Show on WGBH
You can download it here.
Prime Time Postscript
Don’t Call Him Mr. Spock
Leonard Nimoy shows he’s more than an actor in his latest project
Leonard Nimoy has been in more than 50 movies and television shows, while most people still know him as Mr. Spock from Star Trek, underneath the alien ears lies an artist who wields a camera instead of a Vulcan salute. Listen as independent producer Michael Krall brings into focus Leonard Nimoy's other calling: photography.
Listen to it here.
Another piece about Secret Selves on wbur.org radio. The page also offers a transcript of the interview.
Leonard Nimoy Explores ‘Secret Selves’ In New Show
BOSTON — Actor Leonard Nimoy, known to so many as Mr. Spock on “Star Trek,” has another side. He’s also an enterprising photographer.
A solo show of portraits by Nimoy, called “Secret Selves,” just opened at MASS MoCA in North Adams. And a retrospective of his work is on display at the Michelson Gallery in Northampton, where we met up with him recently. We found Nimoy’s show to be part art, part therapy.
For so many years, Nimoy played a logical, pointy-eared Vulcan. But the lifelong actor has been contemplating a deeply human inner conflict ever since drama school.
“I’m fascinated with the idea that most people do have some aspect of themselves that doesn’t come to light very often,” Nimoy said. “That is a hidden or fantasy or secret part of themselves that they don’t get to display.”
The Greek playwright and philosopher Aristophanes was also taken by this idea. He dreamed up a wild notion that humans, at one time, were double-people — with four arms, four legs and two heads. We were powerful in that state, and we angered the gods. So Zeus split us in two. Since then, Aristophanes postulated, humans have been full of anxiety, trying to re-integrate and feel whole again.
When Nimoy read that story decades ago he started to ask, “I wonder if there’s something here that could present itself photographically, if we asked people to come as this other part of themselves that they’re missing or that they fantasize about, what might we see?”
Well, now Nimoy knows. Nearly 100 Northampton area residents showed up for a casting call at the Michelson Gallery last year. They brought costumes and props to an event that sounds like a Halloween party with a therapeutic edge.
Leonard Nimoy appeared on The Take Away on Sep. 3rd to talk about his Secret Selves exhibition. (2010) (more/close)
The podcast for the radio program is available here. The interview, by phone, starts at 1h20m.
On his blog the interviewer elaborated a bit on how he met Mr. Nimoy and his thoughts on the occasion.
September 03, 2010
By John Hockenberry
When I First Met Spock
We talked to Nimoy today on the show and it allowed me to convey to him how his life was something of a beacon for one confused teenager just starting out. Back in 1974 the staff at the Cherry County Playhouse was thrilled to have Nimoy that season. He was a big TV star from "Star Trek," but they didn’t want any funny business from the young apprentices. We were told in no uncertain terms that Nimoy hated the whole Vulcan hand gesture Spock thing, he was a serious actor/ artist, and if we were caught joking around and referencing any Trekkie stuff during his stay we would be sent home. Yikes, the warning scared us all pretty good.
Nimoy flew his own plane to Northern Michigan with his young daughter, Julie (who was immediately the object of the affections of some of the apprentices — not me). He was a very erudite, lovely man. I wondered why he was so bitter inside about Spock. "Star Trek" was just another cancelled TV series back in 1974 and the coming global cult immortality of "Star Trek" and Nimoy was hard to envision. I thought it was so sad that Nimoy felt he was in this box as Mr. Spock. Years later when Nimoy came back to the movie versions of "Star Trek" and even directed one of my favorites ("The Return Home") I felt that he had found a certain kind of redemption by embracing his inner Spock and becoming a gigantic star for all time which was hardly limiting and in fact led to many more acting opportunities. Nimoy is also a regular voice for public radio listeners on "Selected Shorts" among other programs. But I kept that summer stock theatre experience as a parable whenever I was worried about whether I was chasing or being chased by my fears and dreams of what I would do with my life.
It was thoughts of Nimoy embracing Spock that helped me to embrace the task of writing a memoir about my experiences as a man in a wheelchair and a global reporter back in the early nineties. That became a successful book “Moving Violations,” which still sells even though it is desperately in need of a sequel, five kids after it was originally published. Today on the show I got to ask Nimoy about the admonition to not mention Spock around him back in 1974. He laughed a big long laugh, remembered vividly that summer and even little old me, and insisted he would never have made such a rule. “I’ve always been a very happy and grateful guy.” He said.
Hey Leonard Nimoy, that makes two of us! Thanks for the memory, Mr. Spock. Live long and prosper!
SciFi Talk Live chats with Leonard Nimoy about The Leonard Nimoy Angel Award, Star Trek and Fringe. (2009) (more/close)
Note to people using Internet Explorer: please go directly to the website to listen to the interview as it won't display the embedded player correctly.
Taped interview with the Star Trek actor on his being honored with an award, The Leonard Nimoy Angel Award by Company Of Angels Theater Company, he helped found. We also chat about Star Trek and Fringe.
More ground is covered as the interviewer keeps him talking for the next 15 min. The part with Mr. Nimoy starts at approx. 09.57 min
When he joined the cast of Star Trek in the mid 60's. He says the setting was science-fiction action but it was the great stories that kept the series alive.
"That's why it's lasted so long. It's not just about ships, and chasing, and guns, and explosions. I mean we have our share of that, but there's also some very interesting ideas behind all of the episodes and they're good stories.
Nimoy now shares the role of Spock with actor Zachary Quinto who plays a younger version of the character in the new Star Trek film series. Nimoy says he's pleased with the work Quinto did with the famous character.
"It made me very proud that the character was strong enough that it could be passed onto someone else so successfully. I'm very proud of him. I'm very proud of the movie."
More audio at MyNorthwest.com
David Boze Show (2010) (more/close)
Leonard Nimoy gave an interview by phone to the David Boze Show at MyNorthWest yesterday. They talk about William Shatner, the impact on the science community he'd had, him being in Abram's Star Trek movie, Galaxy Quest, directing comedy, guest starring in other franchises and he doesn't need the money, so why is he doing it to himself going to these conventions. Then the show moves on to take callers for Mr. Nimoy. Topics included his poetry, photography, Roddenberry, Devil in the Dark, did he keep any mementos from the show, In Search Of..., the next movie, and Star Trek and Spock helping one of the callers through a difficult time.
Friday, March 12, 2010
3:00 pm-4:00 pm
3pm Dave Fisher Spokesman for Stop Washington hidden Gas Taxes Coalition3:30pmDave talks with Leonard Nimoy (Spock forn Star Trek) [sic]
The part with Mr. Nimoy starts at 18:10 min and you can listen to or download the show here.
Go here for the interview.
A Conversation With Leonard Nimoy (2009) (more/close)
Podwom has up an interview done by phone with Leonard Nimoy talking about the Full Body Project, Spock and the new movie, new cast, voice acting, being a public figure, the Identity Project, and Fringe. The interview has also been uploaded to YouTube in two parts.
War of the Worlds & The Lost World Web Extra: Q&A with Leonard Nimoy (2009) (more/close)
Leonard Nimoy Returns To TV As 'Fringe' Character (2009) (more/close)
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! (2008) (more/close)
You can find photos here and here are some saved from pages that sadly no longer seem to exist:
Mr. Spock: The 'Mystery of Masculinity' Embodied (2008) (more/close)
NPR takes a closer look at Spock in their "In Character" series. The piece features sound bites from Leonard Nimoy, D.C. Fontana and Henry Jenkins, humanities professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who compares Spock to Hamlet:
While Jenkins says Nimoy's performance as Spock was a marvel of sensitivity and nuance, he is looking forward to a new actor playing Spock in an upcoming movie. Jenkins is brave enough to make a comparison to Hamlet: Like Shakespeare's conflicted hero, Jenkins says, Spock is a character for the ages.
"We can imagine seeing hundreds of different actors play Hamlet, and indeed the richness of Hamlet is seeing differences and the different interpretations of that character," Jenkins says. "With the new movie, we will for the first time see Spock as a character larger than an actor."
Listen to it or read the transcript here.
"SIMON: You note this book for the photography teacher who once told you to do what scares you. Now, your respect for these women notwithstanding, was that part of your fascination with this?
Mr. NIMOY: Actually, it began with an individual lady who came to me after a presentation I was doing. It was a seminar of some previous work. And she said to me you're working with a particular body-type model, which was true at the time. She said, I'm not of that type; I'm of a different body type. Will you be interested in working with me? And she was a very, very large lady. And this was in Northern California - I have a home up there - and we invited her to our studio in the home and photographed her there. (...)"
National Public Radio, November 3, 2007. You can read the transcript of the interview, listen to it, or download it here.
BBC Breakfast Show (2005) (more/close)
Leonard Nimoy On The BBC
May 23, 2005, by Sam Sloan
While Leonard Nimoy was in London, England this past week for the London Expo he dropped in on Danny Baker and gave a fun interview on BBC’s famous Breakfast Show.
When asked by Baker when he became aware of the power of the Star Trek series Nimoy stated that almost immediately after the show was put on the air there was a core of intense viewers, “not in hugh numbers but an extremely intense audience” was there from the beginning.Star Trek series
Leonard Nimoy stated he still remembers the day he got the call from a NBC Vice President telling him that Star Trek was being cancelled. The first words out of his mouth to the executive were, “You’re a fool!”
Leonard Nimoy Talks 'Zombies Of The Stratosphere'
The whole world is familiar Leonard Nimoy from his role as Spock on the original Star Trek series. But what's a lot less known is that Nimoy originally expected to become a star by playing a completely different kind of alien.
"I had a very important job in what we used to call a serial," Nimoy said last week on a BBC Radio breakfast show, recalling one of the first jobs he had as a 21-year old actor. "[They played] ach Saturday afternoon, a 50-minute with a cliffhanger at the end. The hero or the heroine is in terrible trouble, come back next week and see what happens. And I was in one of those, I was very important in it, and I thought it would rocket me to stardom. It was called Zombies of the Stratosphere. And I was one. One of four that came from Mars. We stole a pickup truck and a revolver, and we were going to take over Earth."
Unfortunately, the role didn't prove to be quite as lasting as Nimoy he had hoped, and for the next dozen years the actor found himself struggling to make a living. "I was always a supporting player, ocassionally a guest star, but usually a supporting player. Second or third man through the door, they used to call them. It was a period in which good-looking guys that lived next door were the kind of people they were looking for. And I was not that type, I was considered off-beat, ethnic-looking so forth, and my eyes were too small, my nose a little too crooked, my hair not quite right, and the wrong colour. And I hadn't really come into myself."
The download link unfortunately doesn't work anymore. Did somebody download or tape this in 2005 and might share it?
Science In Science Fiction (1998) (more/close)
An NPR interview with Leonard Nimoy by phone on the subject:
Many of our recent scientific advances were first predicted by science fiction: cloning, genetic engineering, even a computer that can beat you at chess. Does science fiction help us prepare for the future or fill us with fear? And are real scientists influenced by science fiction? This hour, we'll talk about the relationship between science and science fiction with special guest Leonard Nimoy.
Guests: Leonard Nimoy Actor, Director, Author Beverly Hills, California John Cramer Professor, Physics University of Washington Seattle, Washington Robert Sawyer Science Fiction Writer President Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Toronto, Canada
Leonard Nimoy on Cruisin' America with Cousin Brucie (Sound Bite, 1987) (more/close)
Star Trek Radio Special (1982) (more/close)
Trek Movie found a rare radio special produced on the occasion of the premiere of The Wrath of Khan.
Before the Internet and Ipods, radio programs were a popular source of entertainment and a potent promotional strategy. In 1982, for the premiere of Nicholas Meyer’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Source, a then popular radio network for young adults, featured an hour long program called “The Voyage of Star Trek” about both the history of Star Trek and the making of TWOK. New interviews with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Ricardo Montalban, writer/director Meyer, fan Bjo Trimble, and science fiction author Isaac Asimov are featured. Also included are re-recordings of Gene Roddenberry’s lectures to college students during the 1970s (and originally available on the LP Inside Star Trek). The actors and crew discuss their thoughts on every from the popularity of Star Trek to their feelings about their characters. Especially interesting are the trivia included, such as Ricardo Montalban realizing during his interview that he starred in Gene Roddenberry’s first ever science fiction script for a television program back in the 1950s. (...)