At the 2007 San Diego Comic Con, director J.J. Abrams announced he would introduce a single cast member from the upcoming Star Trek franchise reboot. Instead, he reinterpreted this as “single character” and surprised the audience with Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy simultaneously. Not surprisingly, hall attendees lost their minds.
According to a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, this was the first time Quinto and Nimoy had ever met. The moment came when the two were waiting together backstage before Abrams’s big announcement:
I could tell immediately that he was someone who operated on very many different levels. I guess I never could have imagined how close we would become, at the time I had just hoped that he would support me and my exploration of the role, and be available to me as questions arose, but it was through that process that we forged a friendship. And he became really much more of a father figure to me than anyone else in my life, and it was that that I really cherished and will continue to cherish even in his loss.
From that moment on, the two began meeting regularly to prepare for the film. Nimoy spent time delving back into the character he’d created, while Quinto sought his advice and guidance about his interpretation’s new take. Yet what began as regularly “work” meeting quickly evolved into a budding, familial friendship:
Eventually it just became about being dear friends and staying in touch about each other’s lives. I became very, very close to his whole family, his wife Susan is very dear to me. It just evolved into something that was bigger than Star Trek, or bigger than the character, and much more meaningful and long lasting. Although it is the character that brought us together, it’s the friendship that we cultivated that I think will carry on.
Unlike William Shatner, who was stuck in Florida for a prior charity commitment, Quinto was able to get away from his filming schedule in Berlin and attend Nimoy’s funeral in Los Angeles:
I was really, really grateful to be able to be get in time to be here for his family and to be here for his funeral and to speak at his funeral and honor him in that way. It meant so much to me that I was able to be a part of saying goodbye to him in that way, because I felt that that’s who he was.
All the feels, Zachary. All the feels.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)