Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy believed playing Spock directly altered his personality. Even without his Vulcan ears and fringe, Leonard Nimoy is one of the most recognizable faces from Star Trek‘s very long history.
The actor and director appeared as Spock (believed by many to be the best Star Trek character) in the very first Star Trek series and the TOS-era Star Trek movies, as well as having minor cameos in both Star Trek The Next Generation – in the two-parter Unification – and the JJ Abrams reboot movies.
So, with portraying such an iconic character for such a long period of time, it’s almost inevitable that some of Spock’s traits transferred to the actor himself.
Speaking to the BBC in 1989, Nimoy reflected on the influence of Spock on his personality. “I think [Spock impacted my personality] a lot. In terms of functioning logically, thinking logically, I think [Spock changed me] a lot. I think that I was much more emotionally directed rather than logically directed before I started playing the character.”
Nimoy then continued on, talking about how the character had also evolved too, “In fact, Spock when I first started playing him was a much more emotional character than he is now. I look [back to when I first started playing him] and I think it’s such ancient history. A different character entirely.”
While Nimoy’s autobiography might have been titled ‘I am not Spock’ it’s clear that his time as the character had a deep and lasting impact on him. Star Trek was the defining series of Nimoy’s career, and his rich legacy continues on today.
Over the past two decades, Spock has been played by new actors with Zachary Quinto taking over on the big screen and Ethan Peck playing a younger version of the character on Strange New Worlds (which we think is Star Trek’s best TV series since Voyager ended). Each actor brings something new to Spock, while also retaining a degree of familiarity that reminds us of Nimoy.
For more on Star Trek, check out our picks for the best Star Trek captains before learning more about the Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 release date. You can also peruse our choices for the best movies of all time, and look at our handy guide to all the new movies coming in 2023.