Even if he wasn’t played by his father, it would be hard to fault filmmaker Adam Nimoy for being such a big fan of Mr. Spock.
Adam Nimoy is the director of a new documentary that commemorates the life and work of his father Leonard Nimoy, titled “For the Love of Spock — which is, appropriately enough, playing at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space Sept. 9-18.
While Leonard Nimoy had many memorable roles beyond the beloved Vulcan Spock on “Star Trek,” the actor is so intertwined with the character that it can be difficult to separate them — even for his son.
“I’m a huge fan of Spock, but it’s tough,” Adam Nimoy says. “There’s so much of dad in Spock. There’s so much I recognize in Spock that is really my father Leonard Nimoy, and there’s so much of my father, conversely, that is Spock. There are times when dad would be quiet and pensive and I’ll say to him, ‘Dad, you’re in Spock mode now, I need more reaction from you, I need more information.’”
Leonard Nimoy passed away on Feb. 27, 2015, after he and his son had begun working on the documentary, which at that time was more about Spock and the franchise’s 50th anniversary, which lands on Sept. 8.
After the actor’s death, the film turned into a tribute to Leonard as well, looking at his life, family and entire career, not to mention Adam Nimoy’s sometime tumultuous relationship with his dad.
Making the film, in that sense, became a coping mechanism for the son.
“It was a nice experience in that it kept him close to me while I was adjusting to my new world without Leonard Nimoy, which is a big life change,” he says. “It’s nice because it was a great way to process all the grieving and the mourning that I’d been going through and creating the film was just kind of a great way of giving him a final goodbye, a tribute, a love letter goodbye to him.”
Of course, Spock and Leonard Nimoy are beloved worldwide to an extent that surprised even Adam Nimoy while making the documentary.
“The thing that completely took me by surprise, was when we were up in Vancouver in September of last year interviewing the new ‘Star Trek’ cast members, the new crew of the Enterprise,” he says. “Each one of the individuals talked about their reverence for my dad and how validated they felt in making this new J.J. Abrams incarnation of “’Star Trek”’ because my dad had participated with them.
“The thing they said that kind of blew my mind was that they felt his spirit was so very much with them, even though my dad was not actively participating in ‘Star Trek Beyond,’” Adam Nimoy continues. “They still sensed his joy, his spirit, his energy, and it was a great source of inspiration to them. It’s amazing. Each one, individually, that I interviewed said the exact same thing. I found that amazing and comforting at the same time.”