Mark and Nina

2009 June 

Nina: I've got on the line ... a ... a legend ...
Mark: You just got smacked, you're speechless. 
Nina: A legend. We are interviewing one of America's finest actors and one of "Star Trek's" most memorable actors, it is of course leonard Nimoy, aka "Spock". 

Listen to the interview  (Thanks to Grace for sharing this link)

Mark: Good evening, Leonard! 
Leonard Nimoy sings: Yesterday

Nina and Mark are laughing
Leonard Nimoy goes on singing :  ... all my trouble seemed so far away, I believe that love was here to stay, Oh I believe in yesterday.
Nina: You missed a vocation, I hear, didn't you?
LN: so, enough of this.. 
Mark: It is a lovely song, isn't it? Leonard, how are you?
LN: Very well, how are you today? 
Mark: We are very well, it's lovely and sunny here today, what's the weather over there at the moment?
LN: Today here at the moment it's foggy, and supposedly it will be clearing oin about four or five hours. Not a great day. 
Nina: Is it often foggy? 
LN: What's it like in London? 
Nina: Here, where we are it's absolutely gorgeous, it' s Leicestershire.
LN: Oh, good, good , all right
Mark: It's lovely here and we'll start now: What a pleasure it is interviewing you, thank you so much for taking  the time out to chat with us. 
LN: My pleasure.
Mark: So, you've had such a diverse acting career, it's "Star Trek" what you are best known for. What would you say is your most favorite and challenging role? 
LN: Well, certainly Spock was a challenging role because I'm not at all like Spock personally, so I had to seek on a characteristic for a person that's from different from my own. But that's what I'm trying to do, I'm a trained actor and that's what an actor is supposed to do. A carpenter knows how to deal with wooden neals, an actor knows how to deal with characters. 
Nina: Yes, he was very, ... he didn't have a sense of humor, did he? He takes everything lterally. ...
LN: Oh no, I think that's notreally accurate. Quite a devilish sense of humor. yeah.
Nina: I obviously didn't get it then. 
LN: A very dry sense of humor, definitely. 
Nina: OK. 
LN: My favorite in all of Star Trek dialogs was in a moment with William Shatner playing captain Kirk at the end of one of the episodes when he said to me as Spock: 'Spock, there is more and more hope for you, you're becoming more human all the time.' And Spock says: 'Captain, I see no reason to stand here and be insulted.' and walks away. 
Nina and Marc are laughing. 
LN: So that's funny. I find that funny. 
Nina: It is funny, but I still think that the way you played it, it was like Spock didn't get it. And he was being serious. 
Leonard is laughing. 
Nina: Perhaps it was me who didn't get it.
Everybody is laughing.
LN: I think that Spock gets it (laughing)
Nina: When you look at the first Star Trek series back in the sixties, the technology is uncomparable to the new Star Trek movie. Do you enjoy working with the new space age virtual technology or do you prefer the man-made ...
LN: You know, the technology in films has come so far, that it's really quite extraordinary. I directed two of the Star Trek films in the 1980ies, some 23, 24 years ago, I would have to go back to school if I had to direct a Star Trek movie today. I would have to sit in a class-room like a beginner, I would not know how to use the technology which has come so far. 
Mark: There are so many film so dependent on the technology, you have got like the Simpsons which ahve got so much technology behind it to make it come from the drawingboard right to the TV screens, the technique is quite shocking how it has come on. 
Nina: But we take it all for granted, don't we? 
Leonard: I agree. But what I about the wonderful thing about the current "Star Trek", the new movie is, although it has all the technology in visual aspect, it has great heart at the center of it, and that is quite unusual for a big adventure film. It's difficult to manage both, to get the gigantic scale and to get the humanity at the center of it. It manages both, it accomplishes it very successfully. 
Nina: I think the .. you tell me what it was called, the one about the whales. I think it was just wonderful. It was amazing.
Leonard: Thank you! That's one of the ones I directed and I'm very proud of it. 
Nina: I haven't sen the new Star Trek movie yet, but I promise: I will, I will! 
Leonard: Have you been so busy? 
Nina: Yes. There's a lot of good stuff, movies at the moment, so ...
Leonard: Wait, wait, wait!  You have known for days that I'm coming, For days! And you haven't been able to find your way to a movie theater, ..
Nina: I'm a busy girl!
Leonard: And the cheek to admit it as well! You've made my day now! 
Mark (laughing): Now moving on, my dad is a massive fan of "Mission:Impossible". Explain what your role was, and was it more challenging than "Star Trek" or did you find it more layed back?
Leonard: Well, this is an interesting question. I was on "Mission:Impossible" for two seasons and the challenge was a very different challenge because I was playing a very different character in each and every episode. So I played old men, I played Asian men, I played European men, I plaed South American men, I played all kinds of different characters so completely disguised so that I'm afraid people didn't even realized that it was me. (laughing) I was so hidden behind these make-ups and dialects. I enjoyed it a lot, it was very challenging, it was a great excercise for me as an actor, week after week as a different character. I found after two seasons that the same characters were coming around again: The European dictator, the South American dictator, and so forth, and I felt: No, I've done this before, the challenge is over and I asked to be let out of my contract. They let me out of the business to do other work. 
Mark: I mean "Mission:Impossible" was a great show, there was great writing behind it.
Leonard: Yes, great show! For eight seasons it was an extraordinary success and a great sell.
Mark: It started in the 1970ies, late sixties, the late 1960ies.
Leonard: Well, "Mission:Impossible"  and "Star Trek" both went on the air at exactly the same time in the fall of 66. And "Star Trek" was finished after three seasons and "Mission" went for eight seasons. 
Nina: Who would have expected that?
Leonard. Yeah, we're actual sister-shows coming from the same company and we were filming at ajoining stages, so we could walk over and say "Hello!" to each other.
Nina: Are you still talking to me, Leonard?
Leonard: Sort of  ... sort of
Nina is laughing
Leonard .. carefully, carefully ...
Nina: I'll be very careful with this next question, I promise. I don't want to offend you. (laughing)
You have been in a lot of programs. We've mentioned "Star TRek" and "Mission:Impossible", but also "the Outer Limits", "Atlantis" and most recently "Fringe". After "Star Trek" which is your most favorite work and why?
Leonard: I had som ewonderful opportunities, I would certainly have to mention a television movie about Golda Meir who was the prime minister of Isreal some years ago and I played her husband and I had the opportunity to work with Ingrid Bergman who played Golda. The role was split between July Davis who played her in her younger years and then Ingrid Bergman who played her in her older years. I played the husband against both of them. July Davis is a wonderful actress, and of course Ingrid Bergman is a classic  favorite of mine, perhaps my most  favorite movie of all time is "Casablanca". She starred in so many brilliant roles and brilliant movies and to act with her was a great thrill.  ... very close on the top of my experiences as an actor. 
Mark: Obviously you have made a couple of appearances in ... "The Simpsons". 
Leonard: Where is Leicestershire relative to London? 
Nina: It is .. in ... in .. I'm not very good in geography
Mark: It is in .. let me think ... 
Leonard: Wait a moment. Are you saying that you wouldn't know how to get to London if you had to? 
Nina: Of course I know how to get to London, I go by the train (laughing)
Mark: On the train it takes about half an hour. 
Leonard: And what about Milton Keynes where I have never been to where I am going next weekend.
Mark: Milton Keynes, trust me, Milton Keynes is a lovely place, it really is. I'm not just saying that, it really is a lovely place. From London it's probably the same distance. It's probably half an hour from London.
Nina: As long as you are not driving. 
Leonard: No, I'm not driving. 
Nina: There's loads of roundabouts. It's a straight road and there is a roundabout and another roundabout and so it goes on about 15 roundabouts. 
Leonard: I think it is very clear, if I was driving, I wouldn't take my directions from you. 
All are laughing. 
Nina: So there is a lot you learned about me: I'm not good in directions, and I am good in insulting the celebrities we have on. 
All are laughing.
Leonard: I'll be there next week, so I'm looking forward to it.
Mark: I was just coming to that. You'll be at this convention Collectormania ....  William Shatner was there and he is a lovely guy. ...
Leonard: He's coming over to my home this evening. I will tell him that you said nice things about him. 
Mark: Yes, please, that would be lovely. 
Mark: Have you bee to the UK before? And do you like our little island?
Leonard: I've been there many, many times and worked there many times. I made a TV movie there with a wonderful actress named Susan Hampshire. I think it was called "Baffled" where I played a race-car driver. I had a lovely time there I enjoyed. As a matter of fact I was taking flying lessions at that time. I'm talking about many years ago. And I did my first solo flight at Elstree.
Mark: The film studios.
Nina: So, do you like our little island? 
Leonard: I do very much. And I mean it sincerely, I had a lovely time there.
Mark: It is amazing because a lot of celibrities from America they all say that they love the UK as well. We should be swapping. Maybe we swop for a weekend.  
Leonard: Come on over, we'll treat you well. 
Nina: So, waht are your futur work plans, Leonard?
Leonard: Well, I'm going to work on a series called "Fringe". I don't know if you get it over there.
Mark: Yes we do.
Leonard: I did an appearance at the final episode of this last season. And I will do an appearnace on perhaps a couple of episodes in the coming season. I'm a very happy semi-retired person although I do a lot of photography work.
Mark: Yes, I was reading about it.
Leonard: I have published a couple of books, one of them is calles "Shekhina" (he is spellling it) which is about the feminine aspect of god according to Jewish mysticism and the second book of photography is called "The Full Body Project" which is an essay about larger sized women which I think became very popular in the States because so many women are concerned about their weight, are concerned about their size and this is a book about some larger kind of women who are quite happy about it, about what they are. 
Nina: Absolutely. Do you knoe Dwan Finch?
Leonard: Absolutely.
Nina: A British actress. She's an example. She always seems extremely happy with herself.
Leonard: Uhu, there you are. So, it's called "The Full Body Project", and I have a website where people can see my photography.
Mark: Oh yes, please, tell us.
Leonard: This website has an extraordinary creative name, the website is called:  
Nina: That's nice and easy to remember:
We'll have to have a look at that. 
Leonard: Yuh.
Mark: We'll put a link to that on our very own site. Sounds great. Thank you for your time. Leonard!
Leonard: My very pleasure talking to you. Nina, please, see the Star Trek movie.
Nina: I will! I promise I will, I'm sorry!
Leonard: I'll be watching my e-mail to see how much you loved it. 
Nina: I will do. I have to go, I will!
Leonard: Thank you so much, take care!
Mark: I will, can't wait to see you next weekend. And we hope, you'll enjoy your time in the UK. 
Leonard: I'll see you at Milton Keynes, thank you very much!
Nina and Mark: Thank you!! Bye-bye!!






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