As well as sharing one of sci-fi's most iconic roles, Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy also shared a close personal relationship away from the realm of prosthetic ears and spaceships.
Consequently, Quinto was left devastated following Nimoy's death in February last year, but through the grief, the actor has still been able to find a source of light, channelling the raw emotion into his portrayal of Spock for the upcoming Star Trek: Beyond.
The 38-year-old refused to give interviews while on set, and while often a Hollywood A-lister's reluctance to talk to the media is associated with arrogance or pretentiousness, Quinto's silence was the result of a touching tribute.
A Deep Connection With Mr. Spock
In an interview with iO9, Quinto revealed he refrained from talking to the press while on set in honor of Nimoy, who himself declined interviews while in character. He also reflected on how Nimoy's death galvanized his performance. He said:
“I would say my connection to the character is deeper now because of our relationship. I feel a real responsibility to honor him and to do the character a real kind of justice. So I think my connection to that is a lot stronger now even though he’s not with us anymore.”
Nimoy, who died aged 83, had portrayed Spock from the original TV pilot made in 1966, all the way to his appearance in 2013's Star Trek: Into Darkness. In his final film, Nimoy starred as an elderly version of the half human, half vulcan, opposite his protégé Quinto.
A Fitting Tribute
Following over four decades in the Star Trek universe, Nimoy became synonymous with the character of Mr. Spock, evidenced by his appearance as a future version of the character in 2009's Star Trek and Into Darkness.
Star Trek: Beyond director Justin Lin has previously confirmed that Nimoy's presence will be felt in the movie, and that there is an "attempt to acknowledge [his death] in some way." This sentiment was echoed by Quinto who added:
“This movie is being made with him in all of our hearts and he’ll be honored as a result of that. We miss him all the time. His spirit is really with all of us, and will continue to be for sure.”
The Next Chapter For Star Trek
Beyond is the thirteenth movie in the Stark Trek franchise, and the third instalment of the rebooted series. It follows on directly from Into Darkness (2013). As well as Quinto, most of the cast will reprise their roles, including Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk.
British actor Idris Elba will also have an influential role in the movie; his character — the enigmatic and villainous reptilian alien named Krall — will capture crew members of the Starship Enterprise following an attack on the spaceship.
Star Trek: Beyond is released on July 22.
How would you like to see Nimoy honored in Star Trek: Beyond?