Quinto's Spock a logical action hero in new 'Star Trek'
05:00 AM, May 17, 2013
See Spock run.
The USS Enterprise’s resident Vulcan turns action hero in the new Star Trek Into Darkness, with actor Zachary Quinto playing the famously logical and pointy-eared dude a second time around as both rough-and-ready but also as a more emotional dude than ever before.
“The first Star Trek movie (in 2009) was my first movie,” says Quinto, a star of the TV series Heroes and American Horror Story. “For me on that experience, it was literally every day just trying to manage and get through what was right in front of me, and now I have a little more perspective and experience and I brought that to bear in the making of this movie as well.”
While Into Darkness was more comfortable for him in certain ways, physically it was more challenging, especially in an extended sequence where he has to race on foot in futuristic London to catch Benedict Cumberbatch’s villainous John Harrison and then engages in some serious fisticuffs. (Spock also has a hairy adventure in the inside of a volcano.)
Quinto began training for all that two months before director J.J. Abrams began filming, the actor says, and he enjoyed creating a “whole physical vocabulary for how he engages in that level of exertion” when his character is so historically associated with logic and stillness.
“It required a lot of preparation and training just to get my body in shape to sprint and develop a run for the character that made sense,” Quinto says. “But I love that kind of stuff and I’m a pretty active guy in my regular life as well, so it was good for me to be able to apply that to my work.”
To get ready for three days during the filming that were basically just chasing and running, Quinto spent about three weeks to get his stamina up and then another three to focus specifically on how Spock would run.
“How does a character who operates from a place of real economy and real logic exert himself to that degree and what does that look like? Then it became a matter of trying to apply that to the condition of sprinting and the next amount of time until we shot the sequence (to blend) these two things together,” Quinto explains.
“The interesting thing was pushing myself to my own physical limits, and then the epiphanies come when you push yourself a little further beyond them. That happened to me I would say a number of times throughout this process and just realizing what I’m capable of and then applying that to the internal life of the character.”
Quinto was also able to tap into Spock’s increasingly loving and emotional nature toward Zoe Saldana’s Uhura. They fell for each other in Abrams’ first Trek, and Into Darkness still finds them caring for each other but also getting into real-life couple bickering.
“The first movie was a lot about Spock grappling with his humanity, and this movie is more about him embracing it and allowing himself to be more vulnerable and to be witnessed in that vulnerability.”
And of course, there is the continuing bromance between Spock and his pal Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), a relationship that’s been around since the 1960s with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy (who himself shows up in Into Darkness).
Quinto sees that friendship as very relevant to a 2013 audience.
“We live in a world that is becoming increasingly fractured, and technological advancements, which in some ways have surpassed the projections of what science fiction portrayed in the 1960s, have led us under the guise of connection,” he says. “Everybody’s so connected, connected, connected. But if you really step back and look at how we relate to one another we’re much more disconnected now than we were before those technological advancements.
“The journey that Spock and Kirk take in this film really relates to the value of genuine connection and friendship and respect and admiration and learning from each other’s differences and diversity. That’s a good message to be a part of.”