'I Am Grateful They Found Each Other’: Adam Nimoy Weighs In On Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy And William Shatner’s Surprising Friendship And Falling Out

 Spock and Kirk talking.
Spock and Kirk talking.

Kirk and Spock are among the most famous duos not just in Star Trek, but across all of pop culture. Notably, co-stars Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner shared a similarly strong bond behind the scenes, though they were also rivals for a time, and were eventually estranged at the time of Nimoy's death. The actor's son, TV director Adam Nimoy, touched on the two legends' complex relationship in his latest book, and shared his insight about their bond with CinemaBlend.

I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to Nimoy about his book The Most Human: Reconciling With My Father, in which he details his personal journey to sobriety as well as his shifting relationship with his fan-favorite father. In the book, Adam Nimoy addresses the surprise he felt learning that his dad and William Shatner became best friends, having been aware of their tension while filming Star Trek, and he noted a similar sense of surprise upon their falling out towards the end of Nimoy's life.

I noted during our interview that Adam also had an up-and-down relationship with his father and asked if the situation with Shatner was just part of the mysterious nature behind Leonard Nimoy's feelings about personal relationships in general. The writer responded:

Well, yeah, I think my father is mysterious sometimes with how he works. Here's the thing. I know that Bill [Shatner] loves Leonard., I mean, he wrote a book about that. I know Bill loved my dad and still loves him. Leonard is a complicated person to love. I can tell you that right now from years of personal experience, he's very complicated. You know, they just had some problems. These things happen. There's no explanation for it. I know a lot of the history. I know a lot of the details because I was my father's confidant. None of that is even worth repeating. None of it. It's just unfortunate.

The world was intrigued when William Shatner skipped Leonard Nimoy's funeral, but to hear it straight from Adam Nimoy's mouth, the reasons for their falling out are not even worth repeating. It gives the impression that their bond suffered a blow that could've been repaired, but there seemingly wasn't the time to do so. Adam Nimoy himself attested to going long stretches of time without speaking to his father, but also said they always found a way to reconnect eventually.

While the friendship was finite, Nimoy also told CinemaBlend that he was happy that the TV icons were able to share a bond, however non-permanent. At the root of any tension they had, both shared a lot more in common than some Star Trek fans may even realize, which he talked about below:

I am grateful that they found each other, number one, and had this kind of renaissance and mutual love affair and closeness, you know, like brothers really. They were like brothers. They're four days apart in age and they had a very similar experience growing up. And it's unfortunate that they couldn't sustain it. It's just sad.But I am grateful that they were together for that period of time.

While Leonard Nimoy had maintained sobriety throughout his friendship and falling out with William Shatner, Adam Nimoy writes in The Most Human: Reconciling With My Father that his father struggled to complete the 12-Step Program in sobriety. Those who read the book will see from his son's perspective that the Star Trek actor struggled all around to make amends with people, which led to their complicated relationship.

Of course, take a look at any project they're together on, many of which are available with a Paramount+ subscription, and the tension won't be evident. Kirk and Spock appear as though they're the closest of friends or at least as close as Spock's Vulcan personality would allow Kirk to get. As Nimoy noted, nothing between them was ever so inflammatory that it impacted the show, and they made some magic together:

The point is that even though there was a lot of competition between those two guys when they were making the original series, when the camera turned on, they are brilliant together. Period. They have one of the best dynamic duos I have ever seen and I have seen a lot of comic book, film, TV. I've seen a lot of it and I just think that they are in the top of the pantheon. They are so professional. They are so in it, they relate to each other. They play off each other. They are fabulous together, and that's what we should be celebrating.

I should note that while Adam Nimoy only briefly touches on William Shatner's relationship with Leonard Nimoy in its pages, The Most Human: Reconciling With My Father still paints a picture of what it was like to be the child of one of Star Trek's greatest characters, which can be theoretically extrapolated to include Shatner. I think many might guess it isn't always easy, but Nimoy talks about some of the specific struggles in a way that readers probably wouldn't understand otherwise.

Leonard Nimoy's Daughter Julie Nimoy Shares Kind Words About William Shatner In Support Of Spock Projects

Spock and Kirk in Star Trek II
Spock and Kirk in Star Trek II

CinemaBlend spoke to Leonard Nimoy's daughter in 2021.

It's a great read for those waiting for more upcoming Star Trek shows to arrive. Strange New Worlds actor Ethan Peck praised the book, once telling CinemaBlend he needed to understand Leonard Nimoy to embody Spock. As a fan, I felt like I walked away with a better understanding of the actor while also understanding the struggles of picking up the pieces after dealing with addiction.

It's the latest project for Adam Nimoy, who has chronicled his father's legacy in the past with critical acclaim. Fans might've seen his documentary For The Love Of Spock, which dove into the role that Leonard Nimoy was most celebrated for. I would imagine the book will find the same acclaim, thanks to an honest and unflinching portrayal of overcoming addiction and working through difficult relationships with loved ones.

The Most Human: Reconciling With My Father is available in stores now. Those looking to see more of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek roles can always check out Paramount+, and definitely should with the current lull in programming.