Thursday, November 19, 2009

Making Vulcan Ears Is More Art Than Science, Nimoy Says

Crafting a perfect set of Vulcan ears turns out to be more about art than logic, according to veteran Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy.

“The ears present interesting problems,” Nimoy says in a behind-the-scenes clip, embedded above, provided exclusively to and featured as an extra on the DVD and Blu-ray versions of J.J. Abrams’ successful Star Trek reboot.

Lots of makeup artists have made the pointy ears over the years, with subtle changes from one craftsman to the next. “It’s not a science — it’s an art form,” Nimoy says, as he discusses the pointy prosthetics with director Abrams.

Nimoy, Abrams and stars of the latest Trek came out Monday night to salute the release of Abrams’ sci-fi blockbuster on DVD and Blu-ray. The discs, released Tuesday, pack a vast collection of special features. During the release party at the Griffith Park Observatory in the Hollywood Hills, the movie’s creators and talent took a few moments to discuss the upcoming sequel.

At this early point in the next movie’s development process, Abrams is sticking to the company line that it’s too soon to discuss details on the next voyage of Star Fleet’s flagship. “We don’t even know what we’re going to call it yet,” Abrams told “Star Trek 2. Star Trek: Something. No idea yet. We’re just working through concepts now, and it’s too early to talk theme, let alone story.”

One thing is clear: Nimoy has little interest in reprising his role as Spock Prime.

“It was wonderful being a part of (the Trek reboot),” Nimoy said. “I’m glad I was involved and could bring the two generations together. But this new cast works so well, I think it’s time for them to take center stage. This is their experience now.”

startrekxi_3dsc_brd_frontWhen asked if co-star WIlliam Shatner ever saw the new Trek, Nimoy denied knowing the gentleman.

Zachary Quinto, Nimoy’s heir to the role of Spock, was the Muhammad Ali of geekdom Monday night. Slipping questions and flicking the verbal jab to keep reporters off him, Quinto used the old Freudian trick of turning any questions asked to him back on the interrogator.

A simple “What would you like to see in the sequel?” was met with: “I don’t know. What would you like to see?”

Quinto did take a standing eight count long enough to suggest his focus was on character development for the next voyage.

“I’d like to see the evolution and exploration of these characters now that we’ve established them,” Quinto said. “I want to present them with a dilemma and unravel it.”

Karl Urban, who played Dr. McCoy in the Trek reboot, took the exact opposite stance, putting it out there that he wanted to see more action next time around — with McCoy neck-deep in it.

“I watch that space-jump scene and the fighting, and I say, ‘I want in on that,’” Urban said. “I want to see McCoy mixing it up a little bit.”

Looking back on the first film, Urban admitted that he felt a great deal of pressure stepping into the Enterprise’s sickbay: “I think Simon Pegg (who played the young Montgomery “Scotty” Scott in Abrams’ reboot) and I were the cast members who came into the movie as the biggest Star Trek fans,” Urban said. “I had this immense sense of being handed something amazing and could only think, ‘Don’t screw it up.’”

With a worldwide box office take of almost $385 million and ongoing talk of an Oscar nomination (as the Academy has to find 10 Best Picture nominees somewhere), it’s clear that few people believe anyone screwed up the reborn Star Trek. Now, the challenge will be meeting the expectations for Star Trek 2: Electric Boogaloo (or whatever they choose to call it).