Spock's ears used to hurt Leonard Nimoy

By: H&I Staff     Posted: December 1, 2023, 2:21PM Tags: Tags: All Star Trek, ALLSTARTREK, Leonard Nimoy

Something hurt Leonard Nimoy's ears on the set of Star Trek, and it wasn't William Shatner's musical career. 

No, it turns out that one of the most iconic pieces of Star Trek iconography was also one of its most painful. The pointy ears that Leonard Nimoy wore as Spock were a total pain in the... ear. At least at first.

Nimoy reflected on the aural assault in a 1969 interview with Florida Today.

"Did you know there were two pilot films made for Star Trek? Jeffrey Hunter was the captain on the first one and Spock didn't have the pointed ears."

The casting and aesthetic changes might've been what sealed the deal for audiences. "The Cage," which was the pilot Roddenberry and company completed in January of 1965, was ultimately rejected by NBC. The only character to survive the changes between one pilot and the next was Mr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, with his signature ears.

"[The ears] were Gene Roddenberry's idea. I hated those things. Aside from the amount of time it took to put them on in makeup, they were painful as hell. Roddenberry promised me if I'd do 13 episodes with them and was still unhappy, he'd write an 'ear job' into a script so I could get rid of them."

Nimoy did as he was told but by the end of those 13 episodes, the ears had become an integral part of the series. Instead of giving the ears the axe, the makeup department devised easier-to-apply prosthetics that were far less painful for Nimoy.

Watch Star Trek: The Original Series on H&I

Sunday through Friday at 8 PM Eastern/Pacific

Love Star Trek? Discover where to watch on H&I