Saturday, May 29, 2010

Leonard Nimoy: 'Why I’m calling it day'

After 60 years in the business, Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy takes his final bow in next week’s Fringe on Sky1...

You have announced Fringe is your last acting job and you are going to retire – why?
“I’ve been at this for 60 years – my first professional work was in 1950 – and 60 years is long enough. I had decided not to do any more acting or directing several years ago then I was called back to work to do the Star Trek movie.”

So why did you decide to do Fringe?
“I had a wonderful time working on the new Star Trek movie with JJ Abrams and when it was done he asked me to play William Bell on Fringe. He had done a great job on Star Trek and I felt like I owed him the return of a favour. I’m glad I did it.”

What was your last day on set like?
“Very moving. It was a night scene with Anna Torv, who plays Olivia. When it was done the entire company gathered around and I said to them: ‘I have been at this 60 years and I have never met with a better company.' It feels really good to know I am saying goodbye to the work on such a positive note."

So should Olivia trust William Bell?
“He keeps telling Olivia she should trust him and she has no choice really, but we have no idea what his intentions are. The ambiguity is the charm of the character. And we will find out the answers.”

Is there a showdown between William Bell and Walter?
“There are very strong scenes between William and Walter that are at the heart of the episode. It was a very great pleasure for me to do those scenes with John Noble – I call him Noble John.”

Will you be in the next Star Trek movie?
“Let me be definitive - I will not be in it. I have said it is time to get off the stage and make room for Zachary Quinto, who is a wonderful actor. He looks a lot like me and I am flattered that the character will be continued by an actor of that calibre. I have no expectations whatsoever of even being asked to be in the next Star Trek film.”

How has science fiction changed since you started out?
“My first science fiction was a series of short films called Zombies Of The Stratosphere in which three of us came from Mars, landed on Earth and stole a pick up truck and a couple of revolvers and announced we were going to take over earth and knock it out of its orbit. It was a very simplistic fantastic notion. What we are dealing with today is much more nuanced and sophisticated. The writers are doing fascinating work and the production values are much more complex and sophisticated because of the advancement in the technology.”

How do you look back on your career?
“I am one very grateful guy. I’ve worked on locations all around the world with some great great talents. The character of Mr Spock has been a great blessing to me because I have found him a very dignified and inspiring character for a lot of people.”