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Leonard Nimoy’s son talks his dad, Shatner at Spock doc screening

Adam and Leonard Nimoy in the documentary “For the Love of Spock.” For the Love of Spock

“Star Trek” fans like the character of Mr. Spock because he’s low-key and emotionally detached. But it turns out Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played the Vulcan with the pointy ears, was the same way in real life, which wasn’t so great for his son. That’s the sense one gets watching Adam Nimoy’s documentary about his dad, “For the Love of Spock,” which screened at the Revere Hotel this week. (The movie, which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, comes out Sept. 9.)

Monday’s invite-only screening was for Trekkies who contributed to the filmmaker’s Kickstarter campaign, an effort that raised a whopping $660,000. (That ranks as one of the crowd-funding platform’s most successful campaigns ever.)


Introducing “For the Love of Spock,” Adam Nimoy said it was a special treat to screen the film in Boston, where his dad grew up. (The elder Nimoy was raised in the West End and hawked newspapers in Boston Common as a kid.)

The director said what began as a straightforward doc about Spock, timed to coincide with this year’s 50th anniversary of the iconic sci-fi TV series, became a more nuanced portrait of his dad as he neared the end of his life. (Nimoy was 83 when he died last year of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.)

The younger Nimoy said he was proud of his father when “Star Trek” was first on, but their relationship grew complicated when Spock became a pop culture phenomenon.

“I’d have these ridiculous fights with him and then I’d go to the dry cleaner and someone would say, ‘Nimoy? Are you related to him? That character saved my life,’ ” the director said. “I’d say, ‘Shut up. I don’t want to hear it. Give me my shirts.’ ”

Eventually, of course, father and son reconciled. There was some snickering in the crowd when actor William Shatner appeared on the screen, chewing the scenery as he often did as Captain Kirk.


But Adam Nimoy said Shatner was a dear friend of his father’s and a great supporter of the film.

“Every time he tweeted, we got another $10,000 for Kickstarter,” he said. “I’m not kidding.”

The film also includes interviews with George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Zachary Quinto, J.J. Abrams, Simon Pegg, and Zoe Saldana.