the "...ward bound" part happened on tuesday. it is 6:30 in the morning in los angeles. i have been back for two days now. i have done a relatively decent job of escaping the clenches of jetlag. i go to bed at a normal hour. and wake up early. now i know how most of the world does it. it's good to be home for a brief time. a couple of days before everything swirls up again. it's hard to believe after all we experienced abroad - that there are still three more weeks before all is said and done. we jump into the domestic press leg starting tomorrow. press conferences. interviews. talk shows. then on to tokyo. that part is very exciting - as i have never been to that part of the world. my last post was in paris. and then from there things went into a kind of warp mode (no pun intended). it went a little something like this: two days of press in paris and then wednesday evening to berlin. arrive at 8:30pm. whisked to group dinner. after dinner hung with friends who live in the city. in bed by 2:00am. next morning. press begins at 9:00am and goes all day. finish at 5:00pm. have 45 minutes to shower and change for the berlin premiere. cars pick us up at the hotel at 5:45pm. get to carpet by 6ish. an hour and twenty minutes of interviews and photos and signing. run upstairs. time for one glass of champagne to celebrate the impressive turn out at the sony center at postdamer platz. ushered through the back corridors to the side door of the enormous theater. introduced on stage to wish the audience an enjoyable experience. ushered back out the side door. back through the corridors to our waiting cars. driven directly to airport where we board the jet and fly immediately to madrid. arrive madrid at 11:30pm. get to hotel by midnight and convene in the hotel bar for a nightcap and a check-in with my fellow travelers. in bed by 2:00am. next morning. press begins at 8:30am. at lunch time i make arrangements to get raced to reina sofia to see picasso's masterpiece guernica. by the time we get to the museum - we have 15 staggering minutes - to contemplate this breathtaking piece - before we have to leave to get back for the second half of the day. we make it on time. more translated press. finish press day at 4:30pm. we are in our cars by 5:00pm on our way to the airport where we board the jet again for london. arrive in london at 7:30pm. now we have two days off in london. and i just want days off. didn't make the time to update my adventures - i was too busy having them. monday in london was mad press and monday night the insane premiere and party. ended on a high note. and headed back to la on tuesday afternoon. so here we are. that pretty much brings us up to speed. some pictures below. nothing earthshattering. just a sense of where we've been. more to come with regard to where we're going...
brother and our driver markus at my friend's flat in berlin. it's always good to make friends with the drivers. they know everything...
on the way back to my berlin hotel room. getting artsy in the elevator...
a brief moment of connection with my berlin friends who came to the premiere. i had time to hug them all before getting ushered off...
in madrid the hotel used to be a duchess' villa. this was the study. now the restaurant.
sitting in the cockpit during take off from madrid to london. one of the many perks of flying private...
in claridge's hotel - one of my favorites - the view from the top of our floor's staircase...
after all - a weary traveler waiting for the final leg to bring him home...
Todd McCarthy's fantastic review of STAR TREK is in Variety magazine today.
Quote on film: "Blasting onto the screen at warp speed and remaining there for two hours, the new and improved "Star Trek" will transport fans to sci-fi nirvana.... Paramount won't need any economic stimulus package with all the money it'll rake in with this one globally, and a follow-up won't arrive soon enough."
Choice quotes: "Paced at warp speed with spectacular action sequences rendered brilliantly and with a cast so expert that all the familiar characters are instantly identifiable, the film gives Paramount Pictures a new lease of life on its franchise."
Trek uber-blogger Anthony Pascale over at Trekmovie.com has extensive coverage on the London Premiere of STAR TREK. Here's an interview video that they posted on YouTube - JJ, Zachary, and the rest of the cast interviewed on the blue carpet.
There's a cool project that Paramount is doing, involving photo mosaics composed of photos taken in STAR TREK branded Photobooths. Check out the first steps of the marketing effort, with a mosaic of ZQ as Spock.
Zachary and the cast of STAR TREK on the blue carpet at the film's Berlin premiere at the Sony Center. He joined Chris Pine, Eric Bana, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Karl Urban, and of course JJ Abrams.
two years ago today - i put
myself on tape to play the role of spock. this was on the wall of the
bar where we went last night. coincidence? i don't believe in
coincidence. so this first photo doesn't count as one of the three. i
just thought it was a crazy little anniversary present from the
of the most fascinating and remote destinations on the whole trip is
with out a doubt kuwait. we travelled almost 19 hours from new zealand
through dubai to get there and then spent less than a day before
heading another 9 hours to paris. i have never been so simultaneously
exhausted and exhilarated in my whole life. as soon as we arrived in
the middle east - the energy shifted for me. it exists in such stark
juxtaposition to the nature of our trip and the essence of our culture.
to be in the region that engenders so much passion and
misunderstanding throughout the rest of the world was so unique and
illuminating. we all felt it immediately. it took a while to get into
the country - even with guides and handlers. after so much time on
planes it required a specific kind of patience in the hour and a half
we stood at the processing desk waiting for all of our visas to clear.
eventually they did - and we were escorted by military liaisons and
local police via passenger bus (with curtains that we were not allowed
to open due to forced protection) to a hotel where we had less than an
hour to get ready for our trip to camp arifjan - the biggest and
central u.s. military base in the theater of the middle eastern
operations. once there we were greeted by the general and introduced
to the rules and our surroundings. although photos were limited on the
base while outside - it is an absolutely massive place. fences behind
which hundreds of tanks sit idle. huge transport vehicles and humvees
everywhere. and desert as far as the eye can see. it was apparent
immediately how genuinely excited the troops were to have us. as
trivial as what we do can seem in the face of the sacrifices they and
their families are making - it was deeply humbling to hear how
important our work can be to them. one soldier told me that she would
ration her episodes of heroes so she could make the experience last
longer during her active tour in iraq. the idea of their need to
escape from the relentless intensity of their responsibilities and the
associated pressure actually put the contribution of our work in a new
kind of perspective. i felt so grateful to share time with them and to
share the movie with them. they were excited and responsive and it was
an all around incredible part of the journey. after we introduced the
screening at arifjan - we split into groups and boarded two military
blackhawk helicopters for a 30 minute flight to camp lsa which is the
base from which all troops leave to enter active duty in all parts of
the middle eastern war. it is also the base through which they pass at
the end of their tours and before and after departure for r&r
trips. in other words - it is the gateway to the entire war - and as
such had a much deeper and more resonant energy for all of us. there
we sat and signed with troops who were literally waiting to be called
on to c130 planes that would take them to the frontlines in iraq and
afghanistan. as military flights do not run on a specific schedule
like commercial airlines - the troops have to congregate in this huge
hall and wait there for anywhere from an hour to an entire day or more
before they are deployed. while we were there - a group of soldiers
were called to their planes and left immediately for points unknown to
us. that was sobering to say the least. from there it was back on to
the blackhawks and arifjan where we boarded the bus to return to kuwait
city - and the airport for our trip to europe. a couple words about
blackhawks... HOLY SHIT! i don't even know how to describe the
experience. first of all - we flew with the doors open. 150 miles per
hour. our pilots were the officers that fly the three and four star
generals all throughout the middle eastern theater. so essentially
they are the best of the best. soaring over the open desert above
bedouin camps and camels and burning oil valves and just desert and
desert and desert. it was arguably one of the most incredible
experiences i have ever had in my life. absolutely staggering and hard
to wrap my mind around on so many levels. pictures could not begin to
do it justice. but they will have to suffice. it was definitely good
to head out of there - but the part of the trip i think we were all
most curious and excited about most certainly didn't disappoint. now
on to the city of lights... in stark contrast - but no less vivid.
more to come...
our military escort leads the way.
the somehow ominous road out of town...
the war room overseeing the entire middle eastern operation... literally.
two down. what can i say about new zealand... other than i wish we could have stayed much longer. the premiere went really well. people were excited - but not frenzied. i have noticed a kind of ease about the people in this part of the world. understandable when you consider the natural beauty that surrounds them. the kind of chaotic hollywood experience of flash and celebrity and spectacle doesn't quite have the same effect. and i prefer it. but what they do have is a tremendous spirit of adventure. something i did not know is that bungee jumping was invented in auckland. and apparently the saying goes - you can't leave auckland without jumping off of something. so when in rome... or auckland. the day after the premiere elder quinto and i - along with our intrepid paramount publicist angharad - took a leap off of the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. it's called the sky jump. and it is a controlled descent - but a descent nonetheless - of 630 feet in 11 seconds. working on some video to post. but for now you'll have to take my word for the fact that it was one of the scariest and exhilarating experiences i have had in a very long time. then - after that adventure - we were treated to a helicopter ride over auckland which landed us at te whau vineyard - one of the most exquisite restaurants in the city. overlooking the water and with stunning views all around - the lot of us had an incredible lunch before beginning our epic journey to the next leg of the trip. the middle eastern leg. definitely not sure what to expect of that. but will be excited to see how it all unfolds. some pictures of the auckland fun. until next time...
this is a pre-premiere reception at the top of sky tower. by the end of the next morning i will have jumped from this height...
helicopter ride to lunch? i won't say no...
a bird's eye view of one of auckland's harbors - where they say everyone and their dog has a boat.
a view from te whau vineyard. not a bad lunch spot.
just got into my hotel room in auckland after a couple of incredible days in sydney. the world premiere was a thrill. could the lit up sydney opera house look any more like the starfleet insignia?! even in the face of some trekker upheaval - it seems obvious why the world premiere was held there. and the austin sneak premiere feels like a fair exchange - with spock #1 on hand for the festivities. we are in new zealand for a couple of days now - then on to kuwait. most of us are looking forward to that leg of the trip above everything else. the troops. the movie. a good combination. i am going to fall asleep imminently. here are some pics from our travels today. a lot happening. a lot to look forward to. more to come... as usual.
a backstage view of the premiere crowd.
the brothers quinto. on our way.
a somehow fitting auckland street sign. a green light. but no green girl...
first day in sydney. spent it walking about and absorbing this phenomenal city. also reconnected with an old friend who lives here - and whom i haven't seen in over five years. that was a blast. tomorrow won't be so leisurely - but probably infinitely more exhilarating.
if you look very closely on the steps of the opera house - you can just make out the beginnings of the red carpet. this is from the roof of our hotel.
here's a closer look.
elder quinto out and about. and in a phone booth... why not?
the future may begin may 8th for the rest of the
world.but tonight it begins for
us.the adventure.the circus.the maelstrom.almost two years to the day after first putting myself on tape to play
the role of spock - i find myself sitting in the airport lounge with the gang -
waiting to board the qantas flight that will ultimately change all of our
lives.i've never been to
australia - and was laughing earlier that my first experience of sydney will
basically be every postcard i have ever seen of the city.the premiere is at the opera house
(the first film ever to premiere in the actual concert hall there) -
which is kind ofunfathomable to
begin with.almost 1700 aussies
will join us tuesday night for the world premiere of the movie.needless to say - we are all looking
forward to it.more to come...
zq. taking it all in.
a view of the sunrise from qantas flight 12 as we descend into sydney.
Zachary, Chris Pine, J.J. Abrams, Eric Bana, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Simon Pegg, and Karl Urban leave this Saturday, April 4th for a Worldwide Press Tour in support of the release of STAR TREK on May 8th.
The 4-issue STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN comic book series released its fourth issue today. The four-issue arc tells the story of what happened in the Star Trek Universe between the end of last movie and the beginning on the new J.J. Abrams film. The story for the comic series is by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman (screenwriters of the new film), it's written by Mike Johnson & Tim Jones, and published by IDW.
Next week, the trade paperback collecting all four issues into one graphic novel will be available. It's available for pre-order through the store section of this website - link. Cover art for the fourth issue is below (there are alternate covers for this issue in some stores with a photo of Zachary as young Spock in the place of this old Spock artwork).