Since he started working a couple decades ago, Zachary Quinto has established himself as a versatile and surprising actor: he’s played the villainous Sylar in Heroes, the super-creepy Dr. Oliver Thredson in American Horror Story: Asylum, the iconic (and much nicer!) Spock in Star Trek, shown off his comedy chops with guest appearances in Girls and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and won acclaim for his stage work on and off-Broadway.
Now he’s back on our screens in NOS4A2, AMC’s spooky new supernatural horror series airing Sundays at 10/9c, playing Charlie Manx, an immortal serial killer who feeds on the souls of children. It’s another menacing role for the actor, but here’s an insight into what he’s like when he’s not in hardcore baddie mode.
1. He decided to come out as gay following the tragic death of teenager Jamey Rodemeyer, who took his own life after years of being bullied for his sexuality.
Quinto wrote on his blog in October 2011: “In light of Jamey’s death, it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.”
He added: “I believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society, and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action. Jamey Rodemeyer’s life changed mine. And while his death only makes me wish that I had done this sooner, I am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for change within me. Now I can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world.”
2. Though he’s known for playing Spock in the recent Star Trek movies, he was actually more of a Star Wars fan growing up.
“I came up during the Star Wars generation and that was sort of the thing I plugged into much more,” Quinto told The Early Show in 2009. “[Star Trek] was a little before my time and I think it was sort of grappling with these intellectual ideas that were a little advanced for my young mind. At the time. But now I have a much deeper appreciation for it.”
3. He and original Spock actor Leonard Nimoy became great friends.
Reflecting on his relationship with Nimoy shortly after his death in 2015, Quinto told Entertainment Weekly: “I guess I never could have imagined how close we would become. [At first] I had just hoped that he would support me and my exploration of the role, and be available to me as questions arose, but it was through that process that we forged a friendship. And he became really much more of a father figure to me than anyone else in my life, and it was that that I really cherished and will continue to cherish even in his loss.”
4. Before he became famous, Quinto guest-starred on Lizzie McGuire.
He played a rather nasty theater director, in what was perhaps his first villain role!
5. He found himself drawn to the theater at a young age.
“I was definitely an extroverted personality at a young age and theater was an outlet for me to channel that energy,” Quinto told Interview in 2016. “Also, my dad died when I was a kid, so I think it became a place for me to go where my mom knew that I was safe and taken care of and looked after. It served a dual purpose. It was definitely a place where I could get a lot of emotions out and have them constructively expressed, rather than destructively expressed.”
6. He told his mom he wanted to become an actor after surviving a serious car accident at age 16.
“I blurted out, ‘I wanna be an actor,'” Quinto recalled. “That, somehow, just turned it. I think she saw in my impassioned plea something serious about what I was after.”
7. He can play the banjo.
Yes, really! Check out this cover of The Beatles‘ ‘Blackbird’ which he posted on Instagram a few years ago.
8. Oh, and he also does a mean George Michael.
Check him out taking on ‘Freedom 90’ on Lip Sync Battle
9. He likes to fly under the radar… but it doesn’t always work.
Zachary Quinto thinks he can come into MY Starbucks, use the fake name Josh for his order, and not get recognized?? Girl check ur eyebrows
— soph (@sophritos) March 20, 2018
“When I’m by myself I get a little, like, nervous or self-conscious, I don’t know,” Quinto later explained on The Late Late Show with James Corden. “[I think] maybe people don’t know me and I can go undercover but clearly that’s not always the case!”
10. If he hadn’t become an actor, he’d like to have been a psychologist.
“I love psychology and feel like I would likely find some expression or another of it in my vocation if not acting,” he told fans during a 2013 Reddit AMA.
Which is your favorite Zachary Quinto role?Read More