Zachary Quinto: Villains and Angels

Zachary Quinto
Zachary Quinto will appear at Guild Hall on Sunday.

It’s not every actor who has over 100,000 fans on his Facebook page. Or, come to think of it, a Facebook fan page dedicated solely to his eyebrows. 
            Zachary Quinto — best known for his work as the uber-villain (though possibly redeemed) Sylar on “Heroes” and for his role as Spock in 2009’s “Star Trek” — will play Clifford Glimmer at Guild Hall in Warren Leight’s Tony Award-winning play, “Side Man,” on Sunday at 7 p.m.
    The production, which also stars Frank Cook, reprising his original role as the troubled jazz musician Gene, and Melissa Leo as Terry, Gene’s wife, is being hosted at Guild Hall as a fund-raiser for Naked Angels, an Off Broadway theater company that is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
The story is narrated by Clifford, a part Mr. Quinto played in Pittsburgh, his hometown, about 10 years ago, “when I was way too young,” he said with a laugh. “I think I can bring more to it now.”
Portraying Louis Ironson in the most recent incarnation of “Angels in America” in New York City, Mr. Quinto received high marks from critics for his work.
He has worked with Naked Angels before. For this staged reading, he said, “They reached out to me, and I said yes with no hesitation.” He is happy also to be working with Geoffrey Nauffts, a longtime Naked Angels writer, actor, and director who is directing the evening at Guild Hall.
    Mr. Quinto gives a fair amount of his time to causes he believes in, not limited to theater. He received kudos from both the industry and the public for his involvement in the Trevor Project, a national organization focused on suicide prevention among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youth.
    His fairly recent name recognition offers “a kind of freedom, but also a kind of responsibility,” said the actor, who is 34. While others who have had fame thrust upon them can be seen in blaring headlines featuring jail time and rehabs, Mr. Quinto feels his fame “is a great gift. I’m very grateful, and I try to incorporate it into my journey in the industry. If I can help, my life’s just more rewarding that way.”    Mr. Quinto is the co-founder of Before The Door Pictures, a media production company formed in 2008 with his good friends and partners Neal Dodson and Corey Moosa. The first feature film the company released was “Margin Call,” which premiered at this year’s Sundance Festival. The movie stars Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Mr. Quinto, Demi Moore, and Stanley Tucci, and tracks eight people at a prominent investment bank in a tumultuous 24-hour period during the early stages of the financial crisis.
    Despite the confluence of big Hollywood names, Mr. Quinto is most pleased about the director and screenwriter of the project, J.C. Chandor, a newcomer to the industry.
    “Our tendency is to develop new voices,” Mr. Quinto said of Before The Door, which has two other feature films in different stages of completion. “All three films have first-time directors. We like to give opportunities to people who are enormously talented and innovative in some way.”
    Other projects include graphic novels and television shows.
    Zachary Quinto’s foray into space (the final frontier) as unarguably America’s most-beloved pointy-eared alien, while also portraying superhero-slash-villain Sylar on NBC’s “Heroes,” has sparked a bevy of Quintocentric Web sites and forums, including one called “Sylar’s Army,” with thousands of members who know every single scene from “Star Trek” and “Heroes.”
    Not only does Mr. Quinto have fanzines and forums, but so do the characters he has portrayed, which could be seen as a great compliment, or possibly a little creepy.
    “I have worked to cultivate a healthy exposure, with really clear boundaries,” the actor said. “I like to share my interests with people who are interested in my life, but it’s something outside of my vocation and my craft as an actor.”
    He has seen for himself how fame can take over someone’s life. “It can infiltrate,” he said. “I feel pretty lucky that it hasn’t happened to me.”
    Between his work, both in front of the camera and with nonprofits, Mr. Quinto finds time to enjoy life and keep his machine running well. “I practice yoga,” he said. “I try to take care of how I eat, and the relationship between my body and spirit.”
    “I try to get out of L.A. whenever I can, even out of the U.S., and try to expose myself to other cultures, to learn from them,” he said.
    For now, Mr. Quinto will be part of the culture in East Hampton, when “Side Man” is presented at Guild Hall on Sunday. Tickets run from $30 ($28 for members) to $100 for V.I.P. seating.


In the voice of an happy mariner you can find the atmosphere of a fine sensibility, and often the candle of a loving profile. Francesco Sinibaldi