Fringe fans are bracing for a Spock: Leonard Nimoy will guest-star in the May 12 finale of J.J. Abrams’ Fox drama as…William Bell. That’s right — we will finally meet the mysterious founder of Massive Dynamic. (He’ll return next season for at least two episodes.) Here’s what Nimoy, who also stars in Abrams’ big-screen update of Star Trek, revealed about his TV guest gig.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You worked with J.J. on Trek. Is that how this role came about?
LEONARD NIMOY: Yeah, he called me and said: “We have this character that’s been referred to but never seen.” He gave me some backstory on the guy and sent me some episodes to look at. I think the show’s extremely well done. And there’s enough intrigue about the guy to make it interesting.
There is a lot of intrigue surrounding William Bell. What can you tell us about him?
I can tell you that he’s very intriguing…. [Laughs] He has a great sense of his place in the scheme of things. Profoundly successful, very smart…. What’s going to be explored is the story of his relationship with [former lab partner Walter Bishop], what he wants with [special agent Olivia Dunham], what he is intending to do with all this money and power that he has, what are his idiosyncrasies. I think we managed to get some interesting touches into the brief scene with Anna [Torv, who plays Olivia]. We’re going to have some fun with this guy. I think we’re going to ring somebody’s bell…. It’s a blank canvas, and maybe a misleading blank canvas. Maybe there have been some clues about him that are misleading, and I think that’s part of the fun of the show.
Are you open to doing more than three episodes?
Yes, I am, depending on how much fun we have. It’s got to be fun for me these days, otherwise why bother? I had a terrific time doing what we already did, and I like [cocreators Abrams, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman] a lot. I like the possibility of this character. I’m excited for the first time in a long time.
Is the plan now to move from J.J. Abrams project to J.J. Abrams project?
Well, let me put it this way: When he calls, I definitely take the call.
What do you enjoy about working with him?
He’s so creative and energetic and loving. He’s a multi-tasking brilliant guy. You know, I worked for his father [producer Gerry Abrams] maybe 30 years ago on a TV movie [A Woman Called Golda].
So now you can say you’ve worked with multiple Abrams.
Talk about generations, right?