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Zachary Quinto Reveals Tom Cruise's Role in “Star Trek?”


The stars of the new “Star Trek” film Zachary Quinto & Leonard Nimoy spoke with Hyla from “Yo on E!” about Tom Cruise being in the new movie and why William Shatner is not.

Zachary Quinto Reveals Tom Cruise's Role in “Star Trek?”

Shooting is done already?

Nimoy/Quinto: “We’re done, yeah.”

What was it like seeing a younger version of yourself?

Nimoy: “It was great. The first thing they asked me to do was look at some film on Zachary, which I did, and I immediately saw the resemblance and that made a lot of sense, but much more important was that I understood very quickly that he’s a very good actor and also a very smart actor, and he understands the character and has a sense of how to approach it and how to do it, and I think the character is in great hands. I feel terrific about passing the torch.”

One of the continuing story arcs for Spock in the last 40 years has been his struggle being a Vulcan and a Human. Where is that in this movie?

Quinto: “I think that is this movie in a lot of ways. I think that exploration is a huge part of my character’s journey and hugely important to defining a lot of things that fans have come to rely on and expect from the franchise and from the characters, and I think that’s what this movie sets up in a really different way, new way, cool way.”

I know you want to make the character your own. What are some elements where you made it your own but tried to respect what Leonard did at the same time?

Quinto: “I don’t think there is a way to play this character without respecting what Leonard did before. It was always infusing the choices I was making in the work I was doing, but just knowing I had his support and his openness to the process and to what I was going to do with it, and he was always available as a resource or a support system…”

Did you call him a lot?

Nimoy: “We talked, yeah.”

I was speaking with the casting director for this film and she said that when she first saw you before they were casting for “Trek” she thought, “Wow, if they ever do another “Trek” movie, Zac would be the perfect person for Spock.

Quinto: “That was like five years ago.”

Did you ever think when you were getting into the business that this is one of the rolls I want to take on?

Quinto: “Only more recently, only in the past couple of years actually. I really didn’t think that far ahead, you know what I mean? A lot of the choices that I was making when I got out of school was just to get me to the next point, the next job really. It’s interesting to look back on all those little choices to see how they added up. Their was no way to really have a sense for that when it was happening.”

Who is the better looking Spock?

Leonard: “I can tell you I’m the older looking Spock, no question about that. I win that one. (laughter) Oh My, oh my.”

Quinto: [to Leonard] “It’s no contest really, look at him. He’s shaming me here, its embarrassing is what it is.”

You guys have a lot of similarities in terms of your career. You guys both had Sci-Fi projects before with “Trek,” and you both have singing backgrounds, Leonard with Bilbo Baggins. You can find some fantastic You Tube video…

Nimoy: “Why do you feel compelled to talk about that, I want to know. Why do I see a devilish gleam in your eye when you bringing up Bilbo Baggins. Why do you have to do that? Are you toying with me? (laughter)

Absolutely not, I could not disrespect you like that. What I’m excited for is you guys are working on a movie together, and Zac was on my radio show and he also sings. One of his favorite songs is by an artist Jackie Tone. I was just wondering when the album is going to come out.

Quinto: “We could work on something.”

Nimoy: “That’s a good idea, thank you.”

Quinto: “That’s the best idea I ever heard of Hyla.”

Nimoy: “It’s just about time for that.” (laughter)

Quinto: “We’ll get back to you when it drops.”

Yes! If I could rap on it or something that would be great. Some Sci-Fi rap would be fantastic.

Last time we spoke you were working hard to try and host “Saturday Night Live.” Are we close to that, can we talk about that?

Quinto: “That’s just sort of a long term goal that I certainly would be really excited about, but it’s well down the line if it happens. [to Leonard] Will you be on?”

Nimoy: “No no no, that’s your territory.”

Oh come one. I think a skit with Amy Poehler, Seth Myers, Andy Samberg, Leonard Nimoy, Zachary Quinto…

Quinto: “It’s like the Second City recreated basically.”

I think it would be fantastic.

Quinto: “We’ll keep you posted. We have a lot to keep you informed about. Album dropping, “Saturday Night Live” date, you’re going to be the first call that I make.”

We have that one tape, I’ll put it on Youtube.

Is Tom Cruise in the movie?

(Nimoy/Quinto turn and exchange very guilty looks)

Quinto: “Not that I know of.”

Nimoy: “What’s your next question?”

Interesting, have you had a chance to meet him?

Nimoy: “Yeah, he came and visited one day… he made “Mission Impossible 3” with JJ Abrams was this director of this movie and directed him in Mission 3, and he visited one day, and we chatted about that movie and about that fact that we met before, Tom Cruise and I. We talked about his interest in “Star Trek.” I worked on “Mission” for two seasons back in the late ‘60’s and so we talked about that a little bit. It was a very fun kind of conversation light hearted, easy about careers about movies. We had a good time.”

Isn’t it weird having Tom Cruise on the set just hanging out?

Quinto: “I didn’t know he was there for our day. He came a few times actually to see JJ. He was there one day when we were shooting a fight scene sequence so we were all gathered around the monitor to see if the punches were landing, and I was looking at the monitor and I looked up and to where JJ was standing and I was like, (whispered) ‘It’s Tom Cruise.’ (laughter) It was totally out of blue. He was so cool and really supportive. It was nice to have him around.”

Will the old school fans love this movie?

Nimoy: “I was thinking about this question about where “Star Trek” is now on the way over here, and I remembered that 10 years ago in 1998 their was a “Star Trek” movie called “,”Insurrection and it occurred to me that this movie is the resurrection of “Star Trek.” I mean that very sincerely. I think that “Star Trek” has kind of drifted along and maybe meandered and lost its way some what over the last few years, and I think this picture is going to put it back on track. I think it’s going to revive interest in the entire franchise, the “Star Trek” story, the “Star Trek” idea, and I think above all its going to be a very exciting movie. There is a great pull of talent coming together to make this film. JJ Abrams is a very, very talented and creative director, great writers, exciting script and on a gigantic scale. I’ve been in the business 58 years, and I have never worked on a film of this size. And the great talent I see in Abrams is he’s able to see that very, very large vision and shoot it very, very well, but at the same time is able to deal very intimately with the moments between the people in the film.

Quinto: “The first thing JJ ever said when I sat down with him to talk about playing the role was, ‘We’re making a movie for people who have loved “Star Trek” for forty years, and we’re making a movie for people who have never seen it before in their lives.”

Well, that’s my question because I think the old school people will go because they’re going to give it a chance regardless, but how do you bring new people who aren’t necessarily Sci-Fi fans?

Quinto: “Well I think you utilize the many talents of the people who are working on the film to infuse it with a different energy and rhythm so it’s going to be unexpected, so I think that young people who might have only preconceived notions of what “Star Trek” was or what “Star Trek” is are going to be sort of, blastingly surprised.”

Tough question, Should William Shatner be in this film?

Nimoy: “I don’t understand the question. What do you mean by should? I’m really curious, what do you meant by that?”

Well, I’ve had the chance to interview him a couple times, and I know he would like to be… And I think he would be at the end of the day but…

Nimoy: “Ok. I’d like to talk about that. Bill Shatner’s character, Captain Kirk, as we all know died several movies back. And it was a great loss, a great character and a wonderful actor were lost to “Star Trek.” I have not been privy to the discussions with the writers and producers and JJ about what efforts they made to try to introduce him into this movie. The fact is they couldn’t and didn’t. It’s a loss. There’s no question about it. I think it would’ve been wonderful if he could’ve been in the movie, but at the same time I understand why he’s not. And I think Bill has come to an understanding about that, I was with him a couple weeks ago. And my sense is he now understands that his time has passed. I think after this film my film has passed. I was very lucky. When Spock died at the end of “Star Trek II,” there was a hint even in that film that Spock wasn’t really gone. In fact, the next film was about the resurrection of Spock. But that didn’t happen with the Kirk character. I think it was a waste, frankly. I thought the character should not have died, should certainly not have died that way in that movie. I said to Bill, if I had been there you wouldn’t have died. But I wasn’t in that film. And that’s where we are today. We have a film without Bill Shatner, and it’s a loss. But we have to move on, and I think its going to be a great film. There’s a great new Captain Kirk. Christopher Pine is going to be a great Captain Kirk, along with Zach and the rest of the cast. I think there’s going to be a very exciting new kind of “Star Trek” for the audience to see.”

Can you give me a little insight? I was watching some old “Trek” today and one of the questions that popped into my mind was the bridge of the Enterprise. Obviously it looks really old school in the original episodes. Is it going to have that old school feel to it?

Quinto: “You’re going to recognize it, but it’s on a whole new level. Scott Chambliss is our production designer and every time we walked onto the set, we had to stand there for five minutes before we could even speak. I mean, really, they are so incredible and dynamic.”

So is it futuristic looking?

Quinto: “It’s got a look all of its own. Like this movie, it’s an infusion of what came before.”

Because I’ve seen the go-go boots and short skirts so I know you’re keeping some of those old school elements. The ladies are rocking the short skirts.

Nimoy: “Back to the sixties huh?” (laughter)

But the bridge, I’m trying to get a sense of it, flat screens and LCD’s or like buttons that still fall off the chair like they did back in the day?

Quinto: “Things fell off every now and again when we were in there for three weeks every day for 18 hours, but you know, they were glued on appropriately.”

Can you give me a quick update on “Heroes”?

Quinto: “We go back into production in two weeks so it’s really exciting. Everybody is looking forward to getting back and reconnecting and re-approaching the whole new season. I think everyone is really excited and the writers are all regrouped and rested.

Have you read anything?

Quinto: “I haven’t gotten any scripts yet, so I’m expecting them probably within the next week or so.”

Are the “Heroes” fans and “Trek” fans going to get along or is there going to be beefing in the streets?

Quinto: “I don’t see why there has to be. I think “Heroes” and “Trek” are both built on the tenants that there is a lot to be found in everybody, and I think that they will celebrate that. They better.”

And I know you’ve been on the campaign trail a lot. You’ve been stumping for Barack Obama. And there is another “Heroes” cast mate of yours who’s been doing a lot. Hayden with the dolphins, have you been watching her? What are your thoughts?

Quinto: “Well I have a lot of respect for somebody that is so young and can have the foresight and the commitment to see something through that dramatically and that sort of bravely. I have nothing but respect for Hayden, and I think she represents that in a lot of different ways.”

Yo on E! airs on Radio, Sirius Channel 107 and XM Channel 162. For more information, log on to http://www.eonline.com/on/radio/yoone/index.jsp














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