I existed before Star Trek. I started in live television. I was there when the cameras were as big as a table, had internal fans that were whirring and tubes that, because of the heat, had to come right up to our face for a close-up. Now, we are talking about green screen and putting us in locations that we'll never visit. What has happened to us is a miracle, and the miracle is our inventiveness. The tragedy of our lives is also our inventiveness.
Even one word, or certainly one sentence, should be able to describe the basic characteristic that the scene has, or the character has, or the story has. And then you begin to detail that one spine, and you have offshoots from that spine, and it becomes more and more complex, but all of it stems from that one-word, one-line theme, which can give the character, the scene, or the play its uniqueness.
Within weeks of our premiere, it became obvious that Leonard [Nimoy] and the character of Spock were becoming something of a national phenomenon. ... And to be unflatteringly frank, it bugged me. ... [Then, Gene Roddenberry] said to me the wisest thing he could possibly have uttered. He said, 'Don't ever fear having good and popular people around you, because they can only enhance your own performance. The more you can play to these people, the better the show.'
I had been in a Shakespeare company for three years and done a lot of Shakespeare. That was fun. That was interesting. It was a lot of work - anything other than Shakespeare was less work. I had a lot of interesting roles, but I don't point to them and say, "That was more interesting than that," because I don't know what the criteria are.
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