Martin Landau might have been Spock if he hadn't turned it down

By: H&I Staff     Posted: April 22, 2021, 5:27PM

When you think of iconic sci-fi characters throughout the decades, it is only logical that Leonard Nimoy’s Spock comes to mind. Few actors have been as involved in helping create their characters the way Nimoy had with our favorite science officer. From creating the Vulcan salute to even writing expansive lore on the character, Leonard Nimoy made the Spock we know and love today.

Despite having such a deep connection with the character from the inception of Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy wasn’t the initial choice for Spock. Known for his role as the Rollin Hand in the Mission: Impossible TV series, Martin Landau was heavily considered by Gene Roddenberry himself for the role.

When he was initially offered the part it is unclear whether he was chosen over Nimoy or was just being heavily considered for the part. We do however know his reasoning behind not wanting to step aboard the Enterprise.

"It would've been torturous. I would've probably died playing that role. I mean, even the thought of it now upsets me. It was the antithesis of why I became an actor. I mean, to play a character that Lenny (Leonard Nimoy) was better suited for, frankly, a guy who speaks in a monotone who never gets excited, never has any guilt, never has any fear, or was affected on a visceral level. Who wants to do that?" Landau noted in a 1986 interview with Starlog.

Landau would turn down Star Trek and instead take the role of the master of disguise, Rollin Hand, on Mission: Impossible. In a bizarre twist of fate, after Landau left the series, Nimoy would replace him as the new master of disguise on Mission: Impossible, Andrew Paris.

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