Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto in 2009. Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
May 15, 2013 at 05:22 PM EDT

Either way, the Spocks stage their own reunions month in and month out. Star Trek Into Darkness writer and producer Damon Lindelof said the friendship is light years removed from that photo-op first meeting.

“Zach and Leonard mind-melded in first sight and have been inseparable ever since,” Lindleof said. “I have never seen a more wonderful shared respect between actors.”

The commonalities go beyond the saturnine eyes. Both are the sons of barbers and grew up in working-man neighborhoods, Quinto in Pittsburgh and Nimoy in Boston. Neither has been content to stay in front of a camera. Nimoy became a director (his Three Men and a Baby the No. 1 film of 1987 in domestic box office) and Quinto was a producer of Margin Call, which picked up an Oscar nomination for its screenplay.

Both of them began as child actors on stage and the shared passion for the boards remains. For that February interview (for an EW’s Trek cover story), Quinto was on the line from Cambridge, Mass., where he was in his final night of prep for new production of The Glass Menagerie.

“The first preview night is tomorrow so we’re right there on the precipice,” said Quinto, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama. “It’s an exciting time but it’s also the most uncertain time. Leonard is coming next week to see the play.”

Quinto’s not only got glowing reviews (a “benchmark performance” was the New York Times appraisal), he will be making his Broadway debut in September when The Glass Menagerie starts 17-week engagement. And, yes, his Starfleet mentor also gave the show a thumbs up.

“I told him he was terrific, absolutely terrfic,” Nimoy said last week. “And he was wonderful. But that’s no surprise. He’s a very talented actor and he works hard and he is going to have success after success for years and years.”

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