Playing an established character meant deciding what should be brought to the new portrayal from the past as well as figuring out what made the character tick.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, playing Spock was an "interesting challenge" for Zachary Quinto. "The life of this character exists deeply within," explained Quinto. "For me it was about containment. But it was a matter of finding that baseline and exploring how far you can go away from that."
Quinto's Spock will be different than Leonard Nimoy's and not just because of the different actors portraying the character. "As Leonard portrayed the character he was much more grounded, but my experience with him is a bit different," said Quinto. "He's younger and hasn't mastered the acceptance of these dualities in himself as much as he does later."
But some things about Spock will be the same. "Especially with Spock, more so than Kirk, there are characteristic movements," said Quinto. "It's established in the mythology, this stillness and economy of movement. There are ways one holds oneself, such as the hands behind the back."
Quinto's castmate Chris Pine spoke of Kirk, and what Pine brought to the character in his portrayal of him in Star Trek XI. "There's a lot of humor, arrogance and decisiveness [in Kirk,] said Pine. "I tried to bring in these qualities, but with this new element of a young man coming into his own. He's a leader who doesn't know he's a leader yet. But the speech pattern? Absolutely not. In that territory it becomes an impersonation. I can only do my version of it."
Pine spoke about the legendary friendship between Kirk and Spock, warning fans that the pair weren't quite friendly early on in Star Trek XI. "My secrecy contract means there's not much I can say," said Pine. "But this version is very contentious, with Spock and Kirk not enjoying each other's company at first. The arc is that they find common ground through great conflict."
Fans might not like some of the things that Kirk does in Star Trek XI. "I'm not well-versed in the Trek canon," said Pine, "but we're venturing into territory that's only been covered in these paperback novels they sell. It's definitely not going to please everyone. There's a scene where my character is in a bar and he's definitely inebriated and under the influence of his own arrogance. It's him becoming the Kirk everyone knows. In my book that makes the journey a little more interesting. If he's a clear-cut leader from the beginning, you don't have anywhere to go."
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