Leonard Nimoy On The ‘Fringe’ of Retirement, Done Playing Spock

As a card-carrying “Star Trek” fan, it was an honor and a privilege to interview Leonard Nimoy last year when the great “Star Trek” reboot came out. I was a little worried about meeting one of my heroes, because I didn’t want to be disappointed, but he was even nicer (and a lot cooler!) than I ever could have hoped.

I got another chance to speak with Nimoy over the phone, though I had to share him with about 20 other journalists on a conference call. Nimoy was on hand to talk about his guest-starring appearances as Dr. William Bell on “Fringe,” which is having its season finale next week on FOX.

What I really want to ask him was about his retirement from acting, which he announced to the press just a few weeks ago. Not surprisingly, another journalist beat me to it about three questions in.

His response? After 60 years in the business, the 79-year-old Nimoy was just ready to move on. He revealed that he actually quit acting a few years ago, but was lured back in front of the camera by J.J. Abrams to play Spock one last time. He had such a great time working with Abrams, that when asked if he would play a multi-episode arc on “Fringe” (which Abrams produces), he couldn’t turn him down.

But this, really, is it. He’s done. That’s what he told me when I finally got to ask about the next “Trek” movie, which is scheduled for release on June 29, 2012. He’s done playing Spock; he went out on a high note and now it’s time to get off the stage and let Zachary Quinto take over the role. I couldn’t resist asking if he knew anything about William Shatner’s participation in the next movie. He didn’t know anything, but if Shatner and Abrams are indeed talking about it, he hopes it all works out.

Other journalists asked about Nimoy’s post-retirement plans, which included his critically acclaimed photography, but if this is indeed his last hurrah in front of the camera, at least I got to speak with one of my heroes one last time.

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