Leonard Nimoy will go down as one of the most influential actors of his generation in the history of cinema. The legendary American actor was best known for his portrayal of the half Vulcan half-human character of Spock in the Star Trek franchise and went on to play the iconic role for almost 50 years.
Despite Spock being Nimoy’s most famous portrayal, the American actor was allegedly done with the character after the first 2 movies of the franchise and even requested his character to be killed off in the 2nd movie. However, he was given the role of director in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and the actor once talked about the directing experience in an interview.
Leonard Nimoy did not like his directing experience for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Since his character was already killed off in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Leonard Nimoy had more time and freedom to pay more attention to his direction than acting in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. However, things were not as easy in his role as a director as well as the actor once talked about the situation in an interview. He said,
“I did feel that I was being quite controlled, I guess is the word. I was made to justify everything that I did and explain everything that I was doing, which took a lot of energy. And I resented it. It bothered me that I was being so carefully monitored because I really felt that I knew what I was doing.”
Nimoy further revealed although Star Trek III: The Search for Spock was not such a massive success at the box office, it did what it had set out to do and that was the revival of Spock.
The Mission: Impossible actor agreed to his character getting killed off in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Leonard Nimoy got his autobiography, I am not Spock, published back in 1975 which came as a huge blow to both the production studio and fandom of the Star Trek franchise. In his autobiography, Nimoy clearly stated that he was done portraying the role of the half-Vulcan character and he would not be returning to play the role ever again. However, the screenwriter of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Jack Sowards had a great plan to convince the actor to reprise his role as Spock and he did succeed eventually. He said,
“When I first took the Star Trek assignment, one of the problems was that Leonard Nimoy had already written his book I Am Not Spock. He had publicly put it out there that he’d never do Spock again. And one of my first challenges was to convince Leonard that he should come back, because it wouldn’t be Star Trek without him. I finally convinced him with a very simple, actor-proof argument. I said, ‘Leonard, if you come back, I’m going to give you the greatest death scene since Janet Leigh in Psycho. One third of the way into the picture, we’re going to kill you. The audience will be shocked. It will be the end of your problems with Spock and we will go on to complete the story.'”
However, the end of Spock’s character was done so beautifully that even Leonard Nimoy was convinced and wanted to reprise his role once again and that is exactly what he did at the end of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
All the movies of the Star Trek franchise are currently streaming on Paramount Plus.