In a recent interview, legendary actor Leonard Nimoy admits that titling his 1975 autobiography “I Am Not Spock” was “a big mistake.” The idea for this title was born when he described how a woman at an airport introduced him to her child as “Mr. Spock” but the child looked at the actor and could not see Spock.
This encounter inspired Nimoy to write a chapter about the differences between him and his character and about the creative process that an actor uses in building a character by both relying on personal characteristics and on elements from other individuals. The title of the chapter, which also became the title of the whole book, “I Am Not Spock” was intended to show that Nimoy was simply an actor portraying Spock.
Unfortunately, some people thought the title meant Leonard Nimoy was rejecting Spock and, as a result, did not read the autobiography. If they had read it, they would know that the deeply respected and admired Spock.
In the book, Nimoy explains:
I said if I was given a chance to identify with any character on television, I would choose Spock.
It seems that he feels even closer and more familiar with his character as time passes.
Nimoy also says the made the decision to become an actor when he was 17 “not only to entertain people but to offer some kind of enlightenment to help people understand their lives and the world we live in.”
He proudly shares that being part of Star Trek allowed him to accomplish his goal of making acting an opportunity for an exchange of ideas and enlightenment. Unlike many of his castmates, who have struggled through a love/hate relationship with the series, “Mr. Spock” feels just as satisfied with becoming a science fiction legend now as he felt about 46 years ago.
Read the complete interview in the official Star Trek Magazine issue #40, which is on sale now.
Visit Star Trek Magazine for subscription information.
Alex works as a tax attorney advising non-profit organizations and, as a hobby, directs theater plays with the Bulgarian Amateur Theater in Boston. Like many performance art lovers, Alex enjoys writing reviews for plays, dance performances, and movies. She became an avid Star Trek fan in the ’90s, when she first watched TNG in her native country of Bulgaria. Alex is fluent in Bulgarian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian and French.