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ZACHARY QUINTO On Stepping Back into the Shoes of a Villain on AMC’s NOS4A2

BY The Screen Spy Team

Published 5 years ago

ZACHARY QUINTO On Stepping Back into the Shoes of a Villain on AMC's NOS4A2

Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx – NOS4A2 _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

By Pauline Perenack

ScreenSpy recently sat down with with Heroes and Star Trek star Zachary Quinto to chat NOSFA2, AMC’s vampire horror hit, which recently aired its season one finale. With a second season now confirmed, Quinto was happy to reflect on the series as a whole, in addition to discussing what might be on the cards when the show returns. 

Please note, that during this interview, season two had yet to be officially announced, with some answers reflecting that uncertainty.

ScreenSpy: Are we going to learn more about Charlie’s relationship to the Wraith? 

Zachary Quinto: It was fun to work with the car. Challenging in its own ways. If we get a chance to tell more stories, I think that the relationship between Charlie and the Wraith is a great source of a really interesting narrative of possibilities. Joe [Hill], in addition to writing ‘NOS4A2’ the novel, also wrote a graphic novel called ‘The Wraith’ which is really all about Charlie’s relationship with the car, the backstory. We learn a lot about Charlie in that book in particular, so the two pieces were companions for me as I was getting ready to shoot. The car is an inextricable part of Charlie, and Charlie is an inextricable part of the car so I joke that it’s actually a character in its own right. So, to answer your question, I think we’ll learn more if we do more seasons of the show.


ScreenSpy: Talk about your work with co-star Ashleigh Cummings.

Zachary Quinto: I’m excited to be working with Ashleigh right now because she’s at this moment in her career in the States where she’s really emerging in such an incredible way. To watch her passion for what she does, and to see somebody so young and fresh stepping into themselves in such a powerful way — it’s such a great part of this experience. She’s got The Goldfinch coming out in October, and just has a lot of exciting, really interesting things happening right now. I’m so committed to her work and her life as an actress, and to her life as a person. The balance of someone so young as she is, is really impressive. She’s been remarkable to work with and to watch work, and I know she really, really wanted to ride the dirt bike, but insurance prevented her from doing it. She’s the kind of actress who is willing to throw herself at, or in, anything that she’s allowed to.


Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx – NOS4A2 _ Season 1, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

ScreenSpy: What has it been like stepping back into the shoes of a TV villain?  

Zachary Quinto: I haven’t done an adaptation like this one before so I really loved the process of working on the character from the perspective of the book and also the graphic novel, and then seeing how that was filtered through Jami’s point of view. The scripts were all very complex and interesting, and I was a little resistant at first, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to go down this road again, playing this supernatural villain again. I’ve done it a couple of times in the past, and I think this’ll probably be the last time for me to do it for a while after I’m done with this run of NOS4A2. But it was an interesting kind of bookend starting with Sylar and then going through Fritz and ending up here. Each is very different, but has echoes of each other. I felt like Manx was part of a continuum, and the transformation of the character was a way for me to explore a dimension of a character I was never able to before, based on where they fall on the spectrum. It’s also such a great group of people. Everybody is incentivized to do their best work with a great attitude. We have a great crew, great cast, and just a great vibe.


ScreenSpy: The show is very dark and creepy and intense. How do you navigate that atmosphere while working with kids?

Zachary Quinto: I deal with the kids a lot in a creepy kind of setting and scenario. It was super important to me that the kids were well tended to. I have to say, it was a real testament to our producers and the production in general, the well-being of those kids was number one priority. So I think making sure they were very clear of the differences between reality and imagination, that they had the opportunity to come by the makeup trailer while I was getting ready and got to feel they were part of the process.

Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx- NOS4A2 _ Season 1, Episode 10 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

And kids are really excited about that stuff when they know it’s fake, and for some of the more intense, gruesome stuff that happens later in the season, there was a child psychologist brought in that worked with all the kids, talked to all the kids. I had a lot of respect for the way that was handled on the show, and I feel it’s a real testament to the integrity of our producers and to the nature of AMC to make sure the environment is safe, and that the most vulnerable participants in any aspect of any season of a show are taken care of, and that they feel engaged and looked out for.

ScreenSpy: Will we be seeing any additional strong creatives next season?

Zachary Quinto: If we’re lucky enough to do more seasons.


ScreenSpy: What has been your favorite episode to film so far this season, and why?

Zachary Quinto: The whole season was really pretty fun. The last two episodes I think, aside from the fact that it was literally like 17 degrees below zero, so there was this kind of weird bonding thing that happened amongst all of us in the crew, and I’ve honestly never been so cold in my life.

In episode nine there’s this moment where Manx is coming after Vic and I’m sort of stalking her and screaming, and when I tell you my face was literally frozen — my mouth was literally not working. I’m trying to talk, and the wind is just howling, but it was fun!

NOSFA2 will return to AMC for season 2 at a later date.

Follow @ScreenSpy on Twitter for more TV scoop.

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