Zachary Quinto knew the moment he signed up to play Spock in the rebooted Star Trek film franchise, he’d have big shoes to fill. But it didn’t become fully apparent to him until he met the man who made Spock, well, Spock for nearly 50 years: Leonard Nimoy.
More than a year after his passing, Quinto says he still misses the actor who quickly became a friend. And even started adopting some of Nimoy’s on-set practices — like never conducting interviews while in the Spock character.
“I would say my connection to the character is deeper now because of our relationship,” Quinto told io9 reporter Germain Lussier. “I feel a real responsibility to honor him and to do the character a real kind of justice. So I think my connection to that is a lot stronger now, though he’s not with us anymore.”
How and if “Star Trek: Beyond” will acknowledge Nimoy’s death is still not clear. Director Justin Lin alluded to some kind of recognition during an interview last month with Film Journal International, saying “it’s something you’ll see in the film.”
“It obviously affected everybody because he’s been a big part of our lives,” Lin told the publication. “There’s an attempt to acknowledge that in some way.”
Quinto, in the tradition of J.J. Abrams-style secrecy, remained vague in more recent comments about Nimoy and “Beyond.”
“In a way, I feel like he’s more a part of this film than he was the other two,” Quinto said, according to io9. “We were all so cognizant of his absence, but I think in the face of that, we all held him in our hearts more fully. Everyone on this film showed up to work in the spirit of celebrating his life and his indelible contribution to this franchise. He’s there in a really powerful way.”
To read more of Quinto’s remarks, read Lussier’s full story right here.
“Star Trek: Beyond” hits theaters July 22.