Credit: Albert L. Ortega/WireImage

Zachary Quinto spent most of the summer filming Star Trek Beyond (and he’s got the Spock eyebrows to prove it), but he took a short break from shooting to sit down with Hamptons magazine. In the magazine’s new cover story, Quinto discusses everything from renting a house in Southampton to working at a suicide prevention hotline for the Trevor Project, but the actor also talked about his close friendship with the late Leonard Nimoy.

“We met, and our relationship took on a life of its own and we became very close,” Quinto said. “I became close with his wife and his family. Losing him has been really hard, but also in a way beautiful. To be with someone, to experience someone at the end of his life, and to have that life be so well lived and fulfilled, he really left this earth just surrounded by love. I’m not afraid of exploring stuff like death and what life adds up to in the end, so he was a shining example of how to do it right. I feel now like my connection with him is just on a deeper level. It’s much more spiritual.”

Quinto added that he used to be more self-conscious about being the face of Spock (and going out in public with those eyebrows), but since Nimoy’s death, he said he feels like “carrying the torch fully for the role is important.”

“I have felt very embraced by fans, and people seem to be on board with what I’m bringing to the role,” Quinto said. “Some of my favorite moments in this film for Spock are some of the quietest and most intimate ones. In the big, huge landscape of action, of fighting, there’s some real depth in these quieter moments that I’m looking forward to bringing to this process, so that’s cool.”

Quinto also talked about working with Oliver Stone on the upcoming Edward Snowden biopic, in which he plays journalist Glenn Greenwald. To prepare for the role, he said he researched mass surveillance technology — which is why he now keeps a piece of tape over his computer’s camera.

“It made me not paranoid, just aware of how to communicate and when to be careful,” Quinto said. “Being a part of something like this film is like looking down the barrel at something.”

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Star Trek Beyond
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 120 minutes
  • Justin Lin