Monday, November 16, 2009

Leonard Nimoy at New England Fan Experience

made it there yesterday, and it was amazing!
I've filmed the entire Q&A panel but the quality is so crappy I'll compensate with a quick recap. [info]valoscope also filmed it, maybe hers will be better... And [info]coasterchild also rocked the place with her amazing Girl!Mirror!Spock costume, so hopefully we'll get the event nicely covered here. :)

I got there in time to get an autograph and even saw both John De Lancie and Leonard walking past our line! Nimoy looked badass in his Hammer hat and black coat, but it was too quick to take the picture.
Signing went quick as there was a handler next to Leonard hurrying everyone on and allowing only one signature.

But I still managed to show him writer's notebooks of my kids which they pasted with pictures of TOS!Spock on their own accord. And later on the panel Nimoy mentioned, in relation to new generation of fans who got into TOS after watching the movie, that for a long time it was kids saying to him that their parents're crazy about him, and now it's parents saying that about their kids. :) Not sure if it's related or not, but it was still nice to hear.

Ok, now to the crappy Flip camera videos (it's only good for filming kids and small cute animals from very close distance), and the recap under the cut.

Here Mayor's Nimoy Day proclamation is given to Leonard by the organizers, on which he replies: "Where's Mayor?" And: "Do I get anything for it? Like keys from the city?" :) The entire thing was a hoot, I'm telling you!

The rest:
The entrance:
Q&A Part 1:
Q&A Part 2:
Q&A Part 3:
Q&A Part 4:
Q&A Part 5:
The final word and the exit:

Part 1.

Leonard started with reading some notes.

One was about that rumour that Shatner tried to drown him in ST-4. He said - I don't know, I was in that robe which absorbed 20lb of water at once, and I went to the bottom like a rock. And did Shatner come after me? Noooo!

In another someone asked: "could you get me De Lancie's phone number? Or Quinto's". Leonard: why not - I can get you both, where are you? :) Sure, as far as number is not his. :D

He also said that 25 best videos/photo sessions from his project "Secret Selfs" will be on exbition in the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Northampton (I think).
And then he said that it's nice to be established as a good photographer, as once they met Tom Hanks in the parking lot, and some guy came on to Hanks, asking if he can take a picture with him, and then turned out for someone to take a picture, and saw Leonard. Can you take our picture, he said, recognizing Leonard. Leonard like: what a sweet deal that guy got!

Then he said nice things about the new movie - his usual trope. He also said that he was jealous about Nu!Spock and Uhura, and if he were 50 years younger, he'd see who would have gotten her. On that there were shouts from the audience - "you still got it, still can do it". :)

Then he did hilarious impersonation of youngsters being intimidated by him on the set of ST-11: "Shshsh, the old guy is on the set! The original one is here, Spock!Prime is here! You better behave, or he'll neck-pinch you!"

Part 2

There's hilarious moment when the first woman to ask questions said she's so shy, she's not sure she can say what she means, on which Leonard told her: "it's OK, I can read your mind. I can mind-meld with you, you know? Right here!" Aww, I wouldn't mind that too! ;)

Then it appeared this woman is from New York, and it was a repeated joke - first couple of questioners were not from Boston but from somewhere else - New Jersey, North Caroline, Detroit etc., so finally Leonard like: "is anyone here from Boston at all? Raise your hand!" Thankfully, majority of the hands went up. :)

So her question was on how he felt about resurgence of interest in TOS after ST-11, and he said - it's great folks go back to the original source and see what's it's all about, and he grumbled a bit about people moving on to new ST shows and forgetting the roots. Aww, that grudge never gonna go, it seems.

Next question - what was his major in Boston College and how did he move to acting from there? He said that his friend was a BC student and he staged a play in which Nimoy played a role, at 18, and some theater people saw him and arranged a scholarship for him for 8 weeks summer acting school at BC, and after that he hopped on the train to California, spend 3 days in a coach seat, and that he doesn't recommend that to anyone. Yikes indeed! And that was it, he was off to acting.

Next question: have you started to feel similar affinity to Chris Pine as you felt to Bill Shatner, how did it play out? Aww, what a pertinent question!
Leonard said that yes, and that many attitudes and energy of Chris reminded him of Bill while not being a carbon copy. Said how much he enjoyed the scene around the fire, then said the usual nice things about Quinto.

Part 3.

Next question from a girl studying acting in Detroit - you made such an iconic character, how did you keep growing into the character and kept it loyal to what fans expect?
Leonard: What you have to understand, there are people which are called "writers", they type stuff on typewriter or a computer nowadays, and then they give you a list of paper and you read what's on it. I can't take credit for my character alone. :)
Then he said about the evolution of Spock character, how he became more human in the end, and unsettled in the beginning, and how Quinto played that unsettled Spock appropriately. Mentioned his "flipping off" of VSA. :)

Next Q from a loss prevention guy, who's finally from MA. :) The guy tries to explain who he is - loss prevention or security person. The guy says: "I'm a little of both". Nimoy: a little of security or a little of person? :)

The guy asks whether Leonard did a voice in some old 1986 Transformers movie.
Leonard - it was when, 23 years ago? I only remember things up to 22 years back. So no, it's not true.
Then he said his joke about his wife being Michael Bay's cousin and still Bay wouldn't hire him for Transformers.

Next guy asked: what it was like to direct ST-3 and ST-4, especially working with William Shatner.
Leonard - with who? William who? :)
Then he said the usual thing: that actors were wary of him being a director at first, that he and Bill are great, great friends, but during the original TOS they were competitive and it was like sibling rivalry, but then they came to respect each other's contribution. And how Shatner was vital for him to find and ground Spock character.
And that they are great friends and meet each other when they can, but Bill is never in the same place, he's always like - oops, I have to catch a plane, and off he goes. :)

Part 4.

Next question is - groan - about Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, asking Nimoy to sing it.
Leonard: Who sent you? Did Bill Shatner send you? :)
Then he went on about how he got to record some albums and then this song, as he read LotR trilogy and thought it would be a great fun song for kids. :) Heh, it came off as a bit too trippy, but OK. :)
Then: - and now, I guess because of the LotR movies, it pops up all over the place! It got more than a million hits on Youtube! (To the questioner): is it you hitting it? :)
Then he sang a verse and then: "that's all you get!"

Next is the woman from North Caroline, with strong southern accent, and she said - De Forest Kelly was the only one in the cast who didn't have an accent. Nimoy was like - vow, what a clever joke! And then he talked about Kelly a bit, and then saw that this lady is wearing T-Shirt with his photo of big women dancing a la Matiss.
And he invites her to stand with him to show this photo to everyone! (Note to self - next time wear T-Shirt with Nimoy's photos!)
And she asks him if she still can model for large women project - but he said no, that project is done and he's now doing Secret Selves.

Part 5

Ugh, looks like I either missed a part or it was overwritten because Flip-camera was out of memory.

One girl asked a question I was dying to ask myself, but was too shy! Thank you, the brave brave girl!
The question was: you have such a great chemistry with Shatner, would you consider doing a sitcom with him?
Leonard - well, we did Priceline together. And Mind Meld video - have you seen it? (Duh - yes of course!) So did Mind Meld give you this udea?
She: no, your DragonCon appearance. (me - yess, she's one of us :) )
Leonard: Yes, we had a great time there. And first thing I asked was: "Have you seen any good movies lately?" So, did it seem to you that we had a great time?
She: yeah...
And then Leonard teased her a bit about if that's what she wanted to hear, and then - well, yeah, maybe I mention this to Bill, but he's just too busy!

The girl who's studying to be a writer asked how he can combine so many things, also mentioned that she's studying not for a writer bit for something which will pay.
Leonard: my father gave me an advice, when I told him I want to be an actor, that to support myself I should learn to play accordeon. Well I never did. :)
Then he told a story about working as a taxi driver in LA and in 1956 picking up John Kennedy, then an unknown senator, for a ride. And then how Kennedy was pleased that Leonard recognized him as also from MA and Boston.
And how they shared that both acting and politics is so competive. And he told Leonard, on his driving a taxi while trying be an actor: "There's always room for one more good one". I.e. always work at it and hope for an opportunity.

And the last one was the girl who thanked him for making her to come to terms with her family's judaism, and basically thanking him for everything.

In the end Leonard said a lot of nice things about Boston, with which I heartily agreed!
About how much it has to offer kids: museums, theaters, how he went to Esplanade concerts as a kid, and how he wanted to be a magician. Aww.
And about how good it was to be home. And then he was off, and we were recovering our breaths, absolutely dazed and thrilled.

He was rocking the crowd, there was so much laughter and energy, it was awesome!