Q: How big a decision was it to do Star Trek and how did it go?
J.J. ABRAMS: It went incredibly well. It was such a big movie and such a spectacular experience because the cast was just… When you look at a movie like this in the form it's in now, which is incredibly rough – we just started editing – and a lot of times, it's hard to find. But because the cast is so good, you watch the scenes now and you're not looking at the green screen over there or that missing shot there. It's like they inhabited these roles so completely. So all I know is the characters are wonderful and the actors are… Like, you want to be one of the crew. You want to be with them, you know? The decision to do it was a big one, but I read the script and as a guy who really, I liked Star Trek, but I was never the rabid fan, it was really just that Alex and Bob wrote a great script and that I felt like I would be so agonizingly envious of whoever stepped in and directed the movie and I just thought I've got to direct this.
Q: When the strike ended, did you use the opportunity to do any little tweaks on the script?
ABRAMS: You know, when the strike was over we did more… I felt freer to do that, but the truth is I was making changes while we were shooting as a director. I wasn't rewriting, but you get to a script and you go, 'But this line doesn't make sense here.' So, I wasn't rewriting, but I was directing.
Q: What do you feel you're up against?
ABRAMS: The honest answer is I think you tell a good story. I feel like Star Trek or not, if it's something entertaining and exciting and emotional, despite it being Star Trek or whatever the franchise, it will work. But honestly, I'm not sure that the majority of the public is as aware of Star Trek as one might think, or even aware that there are 10 movies. I guarantee you, if you went around and asked randomly, 'How many Trek movies were there?,' people might say five or six. I don't think people realize there are ten movies. I feel like in a way, the way Trek has sort of existed over the last several years, I honestly feel that it doesn't really seem as relevant as it might, when you consider it's number 11 and there have been X number of hundred hours. So my feeling is, I think we are poised to introduce people who have never even seen Star Trek and to give the fans of the series this incredibly fun, exciting ride. Mostly, I feel like we've got the goods. I feel like we're in a great place when it comes out, and I think we can make it as good as I pray we can in editing. I think we're going to be in good shape.
Q: How intimidating was it to direct Leonard Nimoy?
ABRAMS: Well, the intimidating thing was going up to him and saying, 'Here's what I think you should do,' because I'm like, 'Who the hell am I to tell you what to do? You're Spock!' The truth is, he would literally grab me and say, 'Look, tell me, tell me, tell me.' When I say he was a sweetheart… Working with him was like working with the greatest person you'd ever work with. He was just open and curious and hungry to be better and that ended up being a pure joy. I love Nimoy.