Late actor Leonard Nimoy was synonymous with the lovable yet logical character Mr. Spock from the Star Trek franchise. The American sci-fi series gave a new direction to the late actor’s Hollywood career, which even helped him earn multiple Awards and nominations.

Leonard Nimoy
Leonard Nimoy

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Leonard Nimoy immortalized the character of Mr. Spock. He announced his retirement from the famous franchise in 2010 but reprised the character of Mr. Spock in the 2013 released sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. However, not many people know that the celebrated actor was about to take an exit from the sci-fi franchise just after filming the first episode due to an unexpected reason.

Leonard Nimoy Wanted To Give Up On Star Trek For Playing The Emotionless Character Of Spock

Leonard Nimoy came into the media spotlight with the flawless portrayal of the character of Mr. Spock in the Star Trek franchise for more than decades. In author duo, Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross’ book The Fifty Year Mission — The First 25 Years, legendary filmmaker Joseph Sargent spoke about the movie. He mentioned how unhappy Leonard Nimoy was during the filming of the first episode of Star Trek, The Corbomite Maneuver. While recalling the reaction of Leonard Nimoy, the director said-

“He said, ‘How can I play a character without emotion? I don’t know how to do that. I’m going to be on one note throughout the entire series.’ I agreed with him and we worked like hell to give him some emotional context.  Gene [Roddenberry] said.”

Leonard Nimoy
Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in the Star Trek series

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He further added-

“‘Gene [Roddenberry] said, ‘No way, the very nature of this character’s contribution is that he isn’t an earthling. As a Vulcan, he is intellect over emotion.’ Leonard was ready to quit because he didn’t know how he was going to do it.”

Late actor Leonard Nimoy even quoted in the book that it was difficult to portray the character of the emotionless Mr. Spock. He had to control his emotions while filming the scenes and sometimes he used to burst into tears during the meetings as according to him the emotions had to come out somewhere.

Leonard Nimoy On Preparing For The Iconic Character Of Spock

The portrayal of the half-human and half-Vulcan star from the Star Trek series made the late actor Leonard Nimoy a prominent face in Hollywood. During an interview with the reputed media outlet Chicago Tribune, the late actor poured his heart out on Mr. Spock. He pointed out that both actors and astronauts share only one characteristic- being emotionless. He said-

“If Spock didn’t have any emotions, he wouldn’t be interesting. Vulcans regard any display of emotion as a breach of good taste. Actually, Spock has compassion, though he won’t allow himself to believe that.”

Leonard Nimoy
Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock and William Shatner as Captain James

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He further continued-

“When I first started as an actor, my work was over-emotional. I considered acting as an opportunity to express my emotion, and I took advantage of every opportunity I got. It took me a long time to discover that restraint can be admirable.”

While talking about the character of Mr. Spock, the late actor said-

“The thing that irks me is the lack of emotion trying to pass for restraint. Lack of emotion is pathological; restraint is civilized.”

Leonard Nimoy was not only a great actor, but also a talented director and writer. He died in 2015 after a long battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The legendary actor’s death became international news and media personalities, politicians and even scientists expressed grief and sadness. An asteroid was also named after Leonard Nimoy as 4864 Nimoy.

Source: The Fifty-Year Mission — The First 25 Years

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