today i learned that the famous “nuclear wessels” scene from star trek iv (the whale one) wasn’t scripted or staged at all. grandpa leonard (leonard nimoy, director) told nichelle and walter just to ask random people in the street in san franscisco where alameda and the “nuclear vessels” were. so they played uhura and chekov ad lib while grandpa leonard subtly filmed from a little distance away. all the people’s reactions as they walked by were genuine, and the nice brunette girl who answered their question really was a nice brunette girl answering their question. they had to chase her down and negotiate a contract to pay her for having a speaking line in the movie. and it became one of the most popular moments in the whole franchise. i love star trek.
[W]e were in the water, standing on the hull of the ship, and as far as the story’s concerned, the storm’s now over, the whales have been saved, and as we stood there, victorious upon the hull, I said to everybody, “Let’s just have fun with this.” And then I looked over at you, and I knew I’d made a mistake, because I knew exactly what you were going to do. I could see that evil gleam in your eyes, and I knew immediately that you were determined to tear me loose from that fucking thing and throw me in the water.
Leonard Nimoy on William Shatner, Star Trek Movie Memories by William Shatner, page 202