When Star Trek: Discovery first revealed Michael Burnham as the adopted daughter of Sarek, the new Trek series originally stated it wouldn't recast someone to play the same Spock Leonard Nimoy played in the original Star Trek. Thoughts changed along the way, though and, months later, Ethan Peck was announced as the first person to play Prime Spock since Nimoy.
It didn't take long for the actor to win over fans with his portrayal and, ahead of his return in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Leonard Nimoy's daughter, Julie, said he won her over much sooner. I spoke to Nimoy and her husband, David, about their documentary Remembering Leonard Nimoy and the crowdfunding effort for The Leonard Nimoy Memorial, and she was kind enough to share a story of her first experience with Ethan Peck before he was officially announced as the new Spock.
We had a little afternoon meet up with him, my brother was there as well. We just kind of got to know each other, feel it out, and just get an idea of who this guy was and would he be right for the part and we just loved him. We thought he was awesome. His temperment is just very cool, calm, and introspective...I think he felt comfortable. It was really important for him to meet us and to get an idea of who our dad was not just as an actor, but as a person in his personal life. I think Ethan has done a great job, honestly. My brother and I met up with him for lunch before the pandemic started, just kind of checking in and making sure everything was going well with him and he was doing great...a real sweetheart.
It's really cool to hear that Ethan Peck met with Julie and Adam Nimoy to learn about Leonard Nimoy, and in a way to get their blessing to play the role. It certainly shows the level of commitment he had to get the character right, which was evident to fans during his appearances in Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery and his special Star Trek: Short Treks episode.
Obviously, Ethan Peck's conversations with Leonard Nimoy's children helped lead to that performance, as David Knight shared a bit of what the group talked about when they all came together. It seems the conversation wasn't just valuable for Knight and the Nimoy's but for Peck as well:
I think it really helped for him to meet Julie and Adam just to kind of pick their minds and get some advice. And how, you know, what Leonard did to prepare for the part. And of course, we were asking him questions about his background. And I think that made him much more confident.
Whatever the inspiration, Ethan Peck has done just as good a job as Zachary Quinto at preserving the character of Spock and matching the integrity and gravitas that Leonard Nimoy originally brought to the character. His awe-inspiring performances are a large part of why the character is so celebrated today, to the point that there's an effort to erect a 20-foot Vulcan Hand Salute statue in his honor. Donations for The Leonard Nimoy Memorial are now open, and fans wishing to donate can do so now.
Amazon Prime members can currently stream the documentary Remembering Leonard Nimoy, and others can currently purchase a physical Blu-ray on the LLAP website. For more on the Star Trek franchise, be sure to catch up on the news of the upcoming movie headed to theaters that, to this point, remains a complete mystery.