Leonard Nimoy offers inside details about his role on 'Fringe'

Fringe_dl 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?

addCredit(“Craig Blankenhorn/FOX”)

Comments (13 total) Add your comment
  • mage?!

    How freakin’ awesome is that? I can not wait to see what happens. Fringe is already one of my favorites. Go Lenny!

  • evelyn27

    I’m not a Star Trek fan or anything, but he seems like such a cool guy. I like Fringe, and I’m definitely looking forward to the finale, even more so now that I know he’s gonna be on it.

  • Adam
  • Meg

    Incredibly excited for this! I’ve been following the series and I’m a Trekkie, so I think Leonard Nimoy will give the show a shot of pure awesome.

  • gillian

    My Leonard Nimoy crush may get me to watch Fringe.

  • lathspel

    Dang, there goes my pet theory: that Walter Bishop actually *was* William Bell (same initials!), but had forgotten about it / modified his own memory to escape his guilt over what he’d done.

  • jon

    The big problem with stars like Nimoy is the “baggage” they bring along from their past roles. I’m still not sure I can handle “Sylar” as “Spock” but i have an open mind. In this case Fringe is such a fantastic show, incredible writing, amazingly convincing and strong characters that I imagine Mr. Nimoy’s “Spock” association will “vanish”. The story line and characters are so strong on their own that even now I can’t imagine his role in Fringe being anything but fantastic. I really hope it turns out as great as I imagine. With a “character” and actor like Nimoy in that role with those writers how can it go wrong? it would be fantastic to see him make a splash on TV again in a hit show. A role that will transcend his Spock character. If you see Nimoy in other roles you know he is ten times better than Spock but got locked into that role. I think Fringe has the potential to break that stereotype for him.

  • zft

    I’m so happy that Leonard Nimoy is guest starring on Fringe. I’m also glad to hear that he might do more than 3 episodes! He’s an iconic actor and Fringe could use such an icon at this juncture. A wonderful choice for William Bell!

  • ciohete

    I saw Leonard a few years back in an Outer Limits episode I could never make a connection between that character and “Spock”. I know that we are in for a great ride in story line and top-quality acting.

  • pam

    I love Fringe so much and having Leonard Nimoy Come on! What a great bunch of characters! I have heard he is such a wonderful man. When they refer to Star Trek on The Big Bang Theory all of the time-I heard Leonard actually signed a napkin for the episode with the signed napkin by him in it. That show is so funny and was so nice of him. I can’t wait to actually see him on Fringe! Thanks for the news!

  • gidian

    I’m definitely looking forward to the final episodes. I think Leonard Nimoy is a good actor. It’s wonderful choice as the founder of Massive Dynamic.

  • Red Special

    leonard nimoy in the shoes of william bell is good idea

  • James

    so far it seems few have noticed a coicidence….in the lat 70’s Nimoy hosted a show called ” In Search of…”…which dealt with paranormal and unexplainable occurances

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