JJ has said that he gave the actors liberty to recreate the characters, what qualities about William Shatner did you try to encompass?:
I used the script that Alex Kurtzmen and Bob Orci wrote as kind of my bible, and that gave me my back story in the sense of who this guy was and why he was who he was. I did go back and watch the series, and what appealed to me about William Shatnerís performance, and what I could use without hitting people over the head with a bad impression, were little physical characteristics, the way he moved about the deck of the ship, heís got a very theatrical quality that made me smile every time I watched it.
Were you a fan of Star Trek?:
I was not a fan growing up, I knew the series through my grandmother whoís a big William Shatner fan, but I was more of a Star Wars kid and only gained a greater appreciation for Star Trek once I started watching the series after I got the part.
What were the physical challenges playing the role?:
It was very scary doing a fight scene with Eric Bana [who plays Nero, the villain in the movie] when heís running at you at full speed and promising you beforehand that nothing bad will happen, but the fight or flight kicks in quite quickly. I was not prepared for it at all. Itís one thing to read the script and skim through the pages and say, ĎOh, thatís a fight sequence, letís get back to the scenes,í failing to realize that those four or five pages take about a month and a half to actually shoot.
Do you feel the pressure waiting for the reaction of the Trekkers to see you in the role?:
I have no control over what people think, and if I were to spend energy on that I would be a lifeless deadened human being. I hope that they like it, but I just simply have no control when itís in the can, weíve done a good job I think, Iím proud of it, I hope that theyíll accept these changes to their cannon that they hold so dear, which are definitely changes, but I donít think do anything other than tell a great story differently.
Have you met William Shatner yet?:
I saw him last night for the first time in the flesh and shook hands with him. It was a charity event for him, he raises money for all these wonderful childrenís charities, so I was there more to support him in the great work he does. But it was great to finally meet him, and I hope to have a chance to sit down with him for a longer period and talk to him about his experiences.