It seems like everyone is getting Star Trek before us. Yesterday, John Cho, Eric Bana, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, J.J. Abrams, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg and Karl Urban, had a press conference in London to talk about the film. Thanks to /Film’s coverage we have some quotes from Quinto, Pine, Pegg, and Abrams. Overall they mainly talk about bringing Star Trek to a 2009 audiences, how they approached their roles, and what it is was like working on the film.
Check out some of the highlights below…
The first question “Do you need to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy the movie?”
Abrams: Chris Pine, take it!
Pine: Oh, pressure! I do not think you have to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy the movie and I think what appealed to me in the beginning is when I spoke to JJ we came from a similar place which is that we weren’t initially fans of the series. And this speaks really to the genius of this man right here [Pine gestures to JJ] is that he knows how to combine big spectacular effects and wonderful imagery with something that is smaller which I think is the great character drama that’s in this film that we’ve whether you’re a fan of small movies or big movies I think you’ll find something in this that will appeal.
What aspect of the original Trek seemed the most insurmountable?
Abrams: I think that the world of Star Trek is so much bigger than anything I’ve worked on before. The scope of it is so crazy and despite it being Star Trek and being a fantasy our goal was really it make the thing feel real and alive and it’s a strange one because it s dealing with a lot of over the top, you know, science fiction, it’s a clear fantasy, but I really wanted to make sure you believe it and the only way to do that is with the characters. So the bigger sort of challenge was to take something that has pre-existed us by decades and make it feel legitimate and vital and relevant for today and the only way to do that is through the characters that these actors, I think, brilliantly portray. None of the visual effects spectacle would matter if you didn’t care about and believe those characters. That was the thing that was the goal we had and I believe that they achieved it.
Pine and Pegg on the re-birth of Star Trek for a new generation and how much they relied on the original cast?
Pine: So having not been a fan, I was aware of the show but hadn’t really watched it – I’d seen some of the old episodes. So then going back and you know, JJ’s team had all of the remastered original series to look at so I went home and started my due diligence and started watching. I found kind of midway through the first season as much as it was a positive adventure searching through that world and seeing the dynamics between characters and the aesthetic of theTV show, I really found myself paying more attention to how could I perfect the ideal William Shatner as James T Kirk impression and that was not the mandate that JJ had set forth at beginning of this process, it really was to, while paying homage to what was done before so you kind of had a sense of continuity between Mr. Shatner an myself, it really was time to breathe new life into these characters and give it a new fresh perspective. So I kind of abandoned that effort and I felt that I had gotten enough of the series and the world and the spirit with which Gene Roddenberry had created the series, and then it was really a matter of a conversation between JJ and I about what little nuances we could pick from Mr. Shatner’s performance to pepper in my own.
Pegg: Chris is absolutely right. You don’t have to but if you are a Star Trek fan there’s a lot in it for you, there is a level of conversation between viewer and film in this. If you do know Star Trek you’ll get lots of little bits and pieces and you’ll feel spoken to and acknowledged as well. Its an important fanbase, [for] Star Trek, they’re dedicated, they love their stuff and you know its and important thing and what JJ has miraculously managed to achieve with this… lots of people, in the past, when you try to appeal to an existing fanbase and a new viewership it’s a very hard balance to strike. I think this nails it completely because you can watch this not knowing anything about the pre-existing history and love it for the sheer adventure and human story and the ideas of it, but if you do know it and you see that the surface of Vulcan looks a little bit like Vasquez rocks in California where they shot the episode Arena – nerd! – you think fantastic, you know. It just nails it and I’m very proud of it for that reason.
How everyone got the role…
Did you have to lobby for the part?
Quinto: First of all it was a sort of unintentional campaign that I ended up involved in. I was doing press for Heroes just as I found out JJ was making the movie. A journalist from my hometown newspaper asked me if there was any other project I’d be interested in and I mentioned how much I would enjoy playing Spock in this new iteration of the franchise. And then this article got syndicated and subsequently other journalists that were interviewing me about Heroes started asking me about Star trek so it was something that happened very unintentionally but also organically in that regard.
Pegg, is there any truth to the rumors that you originally turned down the role of Scotty?
Pegg: I never turned it down. JJ e-mailed me, like he does, rather than just sort of go through all the usual rigmarole, I just got an e-mail saying ‘Would you like to play Scotty?’ and just going ‘Yes please!’ felt like ridiculous, I felt I should think about this, I should take a couple of days and I did, but I was always going to say yes.
Abrams: You said ‘I don’t think I could do that’ and so I sent back saying ‘Oh well, next time’ and then immediately ‘Not so fast!’
At the press conference they did announce that they were filming the press conference for Sky Movies, so if you want to see it for yourself, you can check it out on Sky TV (if you can find it) or on the Sky Movies website (although I just went on and it’s not posted yet).
We’ll be interviewing Abrams and the cast this Sunday, so keep an eye out for more Star Trek interviews!