What's New July 2010
Recently the BBC re-imagined and updated another beloved character to the 21st century that once also was played by Leonard Nimoy on stage: Sherlock Holmes. On first sight I wasn't quite sure what to make of the new series, but on a second viewing found the new concept very entertaining and am looking forward to the next episode. Mr. Nimoy's Holmes sprouted the hat, cape and pipe that we have come to expect from the character as much as the pointed ears and eyebrows from Spock. The new Holmes wears three nicotine patches at times because in modern London it's too difficult to sustain a smoking habit and describes himself as a highly functioning sociopath. Mr. Nimoy's take on Sherlock Holmes was less harsh, characterizing him as "asocial", "very much an alien" and "outsider" (in the series he's called a freak) in the interview, the last two being traits that he could relate to. Because of it's anachronism, camp was the way to play it, with him portraying Holmes as a "straight ahead hero -- sort of." In the interview comparisons are drawn to Star Trek, and with the successful re-imagining of both franchises, this has become even more true. Fascinating characters won't die and he himself was instrumental in creating one that has as much taken root in society as the one thought up by Arthur Conan Doyle. The Next Generation, Voyager and Deep Space Nine might wither away, but Kirk, Spock and McCoy will probably be with us for a long time because they're down and dirty archetypes who can be adapted to represent different things to different generations while remaining stable at the core. (See also the analysis of Spock's appeal in the 1976 Monster Magazine article, part 2, below.)
Updates to Interviews/Print
May 20, 2010
By Alex Zalben
Leonard Nimoy Spoils Fringe Finale Facial Hair!
With all of that important stuff out of the way, we had to ask the one question so nerdy, so geeky, there was no way around not asking it: will William Bell be going up his alternate universe double in the season finale... And if so, will that evil double have a goatee?
After Nimoy’s laughter died down, he was gracious enough to give us an answer – and more than that, spoil a little bit of what happens:
“A goatee! [Laughter] We’re getting close to doing a spoiler here, but I think it’s safe to say there’s only one William Bell that you’re going to see Thursday night. You’re right. All of the others do have alternates. The alternates are fascinating. I watched last night’s episode [Over There, Part 1], and was delighted with the way the actors have taken on different personalities for their alternate roles. I was only given one William Bell to play. That’s the William Bell you’ll see in closure Thursday night.” (more)
By Curt Wagner
Leonard Nimoy Treks Back to 'Fringe'
When Leonard Nimoy was offered a role on "Fringe," he knew he was getting into another series with a cult following.
"I can't help but laugh," the actor most famous for playing Mr. Spock in "Star Trek," said during a Wednesday conference call. "The series is at the very least to say intriguing ... There's an opportunity to build an interesting and unpredictable character. I'm enjoying it a lot." (more)
Apr 15, 2008
With the summer 2009 premiere of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek still more than a year away, Leonard Nimoy has officially passed the torch as Spock to cast mate Zachary Quinto. The rite of passage happened at Sunday's Grand Slam XVI Sci Fi Summit in Burbank, Calif., and came in the form of a T-shirt that said "No.1 Vulcan." "I think I'm going to have to grab a marker and change it to 'No. 2 Vulcan,'" a touched Quinto said to the audience. TV Guide later welcomed the opportunity to talk with the "two Spocks." - Carita Rizzo
TV Guide: Zachary, what kind of questions did you have for Leonard?
Zachary Quinto: They came up as things evolved. The process that I went through to play this part was very internal and private, but in terms of what we're getting into today, I couldn't ask for a better introduction to the experience and to the fans than to engage in it with him here by my side. It's literally unbelievable.
TV Guide: Can the Star Trek life experience be described, Leonard?
Leonard Nimoy: Not in a word. It's been a long, long road for me. I first got involved in 1964, about 44 years ago, and it's had the ups and downs of a very long relationship. There were times when it was fantastic, and there were times when it was dismal, painful. There have been times of struggle, times of questioning - What are we into and what should we do next? Should we do anything about this and why don't we just stop? And then suddenly there's a revival and it gets exciting again. It's a long and very, very interesting ride and now I really feel that I can let it go personally and watch it go off in a very good direction. (more)
Another piece about Mr. Nimoy's exhibition from timesunion.com:
Nimoy became enamored of photography when he was 13 and living in a tenement apartment in Boston -- six people (three generations), two bedrooms and one bathroom. A neighbor showed him how to develop a roll of film in a darkroom, and Nimoy started doing it in his bathroom -- as relatives banged on the door to get in.
He eventually got busy boldly going where no man had gone before. But after three seasons of "Star Trek" (yes, only three seasons, from fall 1966 to summer 1969) and two of "Mission: Impossible," he studied photography at UCLA under Robert Heinecken. He discovered that he enjoyed conceptual work.
"I'm not interested in photojournalism. I'm not interested in fashion or commercial photography," he says. "But when I develop a concept, an idea, that I want to work on photographically, then it becomes very passionate for me and very enthralling. And I have spent sometimes three, four or five years on one of these projects following it through."
For at least two of the subjects, the experience of being photographed proved transformative. A writer who posed with a violin but had to be shown how to hold it has since taken up the instrument for real. And Tammy Twotone, the transgendered former Marine, decided to stop living a double life. “During the day I would switch back to living the life of a male,” she explained at Mr. Michelson’s gallery, joking that she was Clark Kent during the daytime and Rita Hayworth at night.
“I had been wanting to fully transition for years but couldn’t figure out how to make the change,” she went on. “Mr. Nimoy was very blunt and straightforward. He sort of whittled things down, trying to get a sense of who I am, and at one point he asked, ‘How do you do it?’ I was stumped. No one had ever asked me that before. How do you do that? And a week or two after meeting him I decided to fully transition. I became much more relaxed, and it seemed like everything was a lot simpler.”
This article by The New York Times comes with a beautiful photograph of Mr. Nimoy looking as happy as he said he was with the exhibition.
AVC: So the way they presented themselves—their image, the costumes, and all of that—it was entirely their choice?
LN: Oh, yeah. They all came with their own story. Each of them had written a brief statement about who they were in their obvious daily lives, and what their hidden or secret fantasy self was all about. They came with their own wardrobe and their own props or whatever.
AVC: Some of their self-conceptions were so ambitious that I had to wonder if they came prepared with all of it, or they worked it out with you in advance.
LN: No, you’re right. And it’s not only ambitious, it’s very generous. They came fully loaded. [Laughs.] I had no idea what to expect! We explained what we were after, and the whole thing could have been a total dud, but these people walked in, and really, it was a very powerful experience—at turns very funny, and at times very touching. It was really quite extraordinary.
AVC: So you didn’t find you had to coax anything out of people to reveal their secret selves?
LN: Of the 95, there were a handful who didn't’t really know how to go about doing this. They just wanted to come in and have their pictures taken, you know. [Laughs.] But only a handful. The vast majority, by and large, came with very strong ideas about what their other hidden, or fantasy, selves were all about.
More here at boston.com
It's probably never going to happen, but if Mr. Nimoy should ever change his mind, show runner Jeff Pinkner told the audience at ComicCon that "Fringe has 'another story to tell' about William Bell." Source: E! Online.
And Zap2It reports:
The Bennington Banner interviewed him on the subject:
The work marks some major aesthetic departures for Nimoy -- it is his first using a digital camera, his first color series and the first to include men as subjects, as well as some other changes in the technical side. Nimoy says the techniques employed were all about the subjects in the photos and not his own personal whims.
"The nature of the project demanded color," he said during a telephone interview last week. "It demanded a total presentation of whatever these people brought to the session. The black and white would have done them an injustice, I think. It would have eliminated or discriminated against a lot of what was happening in front of the camera. Black and white makes its own comment, which I enjoy very much in certain situations, but in this particular situation, it was very clear to me that we had to see -- if you’ll pardon the pun -- the colorful aspects of these people. So I went to color."
more here. Update August 10th, the interview is no longer available at the website.
In this Trek Movie interview Walter Koenig talks about the different directing styles of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner.
Playwright Vern Thiessen has four project in the making, one of them in collaboration with the Nimoy's.
Source: Winnipeg Free Press.
Wearables, Symposium at MIT's Media Laboratory (1997)
Prof. Neil Gershenfeld demonstrates his prototype table-top quantum computer with a little help from Leonard Nimoy. You can download the clip here. Mr. Nimoy served as host and master of ceremonies at the event, "a day-long inquiry into computers as clothing and clothing that computes". More here and here.
Here you can watch or download a short segment from The Next Wave.
According to the description at Photobucket this is a shot from the Kid Monk Baroni wrap party, 1952. Click the photo or go to spockside's album.
Go here for a feast on behind the scenes pictures from Abrams Star Trek, TNG and TOS. (Found by Jackie, many many thanks!)
A report from the Star Trek DVD release party last year.
Another piece from the Star Trek movies hits the market. This time it's Spock's undershirt:
From the Nimoy Library of Recorded Jewish Books
I'm pretty sure I've never seen this photo before. Go to Flicker for better resolution.
And at Zimbio, you can find 3 pictures of Mr. Nimoy arriving at the Vancouver International Airport to film Fringe in 2010.
Artblog has posted a short interview with Leonard Nimoy about his upcoming Secret Selves exhibition.
Leonard Nimoy narrates the making of Mission Genesis, a 1997 SciFi Channel show. (Thank you ribbonrain for the alert.)
A short while ago memorabilia from Abrams Star Trek movie, the Roddenberry estate, and William Shatner were auctioned off. Spock Prime's coat went for $7,000, his torch for $750 and William Shatner's Harley-Davidson for $8,500. (See Trek Movie for more.) Motorcycling and some of the grief it caused also plays a part in this tabloid piece:
Saturn Awards - Mr. Nimoy's Acceptance Speech