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Friday, May 1, 2009

'Star Trek' lives long and prospers

By Kelley L. Carter

USA, 01 May, 2009

LOS ANGELES — While filming Star Trek, Zachary Quinto and his dramatic, plucked eyebrows rarely made a public appearance.

"I wore these big framed black sunglasses whenever I did go out to hide those eyebrows. And I didn't really go out unless I just had to," Quinto said Thursday night on the black carpet at the film's Hollywood premiere.

Quinto — he plays Spock, and thankfully his brows are back to normal — the cast of the new film, several original members from the TV series and famous Trekkies posed, greeted one another and milled around a large scale starship.Quinto said he studied his iconic character so much he could write a dissertation on him. 

"Having Leonard Nimoy around helped," Quinto added. (Nimoy played the original Spock). "But there's no shortage about the mythology of the characters out there, so I read a lot."Zoe Saldana, who plays Uhura, said there were times where she could barely wrap her head around taking on the role .

"There were moments of consciousness about it and then there were moments where I didn't need to think about that in order to contribute to the character," Saldana said.

She joked that her biggest fear wasn't pleasing director J.J. Abrams, who handpicked her for the part originally played by Nichelle Nichols. It was her mom, who was a big fan of the original series and would watch it religiously in Spanish.

"Oh my God," Saldana said in an exaggerated drawl, "Sometimes on my voicemail while we were filming, she would leave on my phone 'Zoe! Zoe! — and my mom has this really beautiful New York and Spanish accent — Oh my God! Uhura is very sexy and commanding and you need to be like that!' I was like 'Um, thank you very much mom.' I guess she thought she was directing me too."

Chris Pine, who steps into William Shatner's Captain Kirk role, said he tried to think less about the pop culture phenomenon that is Star Trek, and more about making a new film that appeals to both diehards and new fans.

"I think if JJ had presented me a vision of this movie that was one of impersonation and mimickery, I would have run as far from that room as possible," he said, laughing. "But his vision was about reimagining it, taking it from the fundamental core and moving on and looking at it with a different perspective. I felt like that was a good challenge and something that I wanted to be a part of."


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