Zachary Quinto, who takes over the role of Spock in J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Trek, told reporters that he almost had a mano-a-mano fight scene in the movie before Abrams stepped in. (Spoilers ahead!)
"There was originally in the film a sequence that was, I think it was, like, Spock against like six people hand to hand," Quinto told reporters in a group interview last weekend in Los Angeles. "And so I spent a lot of time learning this particular form of martial arts, and ... then, literally two days before we were shooting it, J.J. was like, 'Yeah, we're not going to do that. We're not going to do that. It's going to be a gunfight.' And I was like, 'OK ... ' It's actually worked out better, though. J.J. is always with a mind toward balance. And I think he understood in the context of the film what it needed, and it didn't need that in that moment, and so it changed."
Quinto twinkled when asked if Spock would use his patented Vulcan nerve pinch. "You know, there might be some of that," he said coyly. "We'll see ..."
In any case, the duality of the half-human, half-Vulcan Spock remains an important component of the character, Quinto added. "I think any actor brings their baggage [to a role]; I think that's what we work with," he said. "We work with our own understandings and our own sort of points of reference, and so certainly [I did]. I mean, I think I bring to it a very clear understanding of being split between my heart and my head. That's something that I can relate to personally. And I think everything else was really informed by this incredible script that was written by Bob [Roberto Orci] and Alex [Kurtzman]. And as an actor, for me, all of the answers should be in the script. So I spent a lot of time really engaged in that and really understanding where this character was as we pick up with this iteration of the story."
Quinto had nothing but praise for Abrams. "The other thing that J.J.'s so remarkable at is not being precious about what he likes," the actor said. "But rather being focused on what's the best story. And that's a tremendously important characteristic for a director, especially a director as talented as him. Because if you start to get precious about things, then, you know, you muddy the storytelling. And when I saw this film, it was very clear to me the ways in which that didn't happen." Star Trek opens on May 8.