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Fringe Finale Interview: Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy’s Sneaky Return to Fringe

By Tara Bennett

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Oh, Leonard Nimoy… you got us! You and Fringe executive producers Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman managed to successfully keep the return of Leonard Nimoy as William Bell completely secret until his name was featured in the credits of the penultimate episode of the season, “A Brave New World Part 1.”

Two years ago, Nimoy announced that he would be retiring from acting and focusing his pursuits on photography and his family. Pretty awesome cover, we’ve got to hand it to him. But what did lure Nimoy back to the show or was this really a long con executed perfectly?

SFX had the chance to talk to Leonard Nimoy in a conference call yesterday where he gave us the truth about Bell’s epic return.

SFX : So how long did you know that you would be returning to Fringe ?

Leonard Nimoy: I’m not sure exactly the amount of time. I would say somewhere around two or three months from the time I knew I was going to do it until now.

What was the deciding factor?

Nimoy: I’m a sucker for a good role. JJ Abrams is a friend of mine and he calls and I take his call. When I was asked about coming backthis season, I said I thought the mystery of William had gone away by the end of last season because it was pretty clear he was a decent guy. I thought where are we going to go now? And it was explained to me that we’re opening up a whole new can of peas, so to speak, and William Bell is being recreated as something else. That intrigued me and I was ready to go back to work.

As a retired gentleman, what does it take in terms of a job offer now to make it worth your while, and will we see you in more projects?

Nimoy: The door is not completely closed, obviously. I said a couple years ago I was retiring and here I am talking about a performance that I just did. There are certain special situations that come along that can intrigue me and this one did. JJ Abrams, Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman are all friends. I think the writing is wonderfully imaginative. It’s a fascinating character with a great company. It’s nice to get off the couch, put on a little make-up and go back to work every once in awhile. I still enjoy it. It’s all about the right elements coming together in the right way at the right time.

So we might see William Bell back in the fifth and final season of Fringe ?

Nimoy: I’m sure that we will be having conversations about that before too long. I know the company was hoping for that; that they could have another season to close out successfully. I haven’t heard anything about Bell coming back but I’m sure I’ll be getting a call. We’ll talk about it and it will depend on my schedule and what they have in mind for my character but we’ll be talking.

The final episode of Fringe season four airs in the UK on Sky 1 next Wednesday

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