Discover Zachary Quinto's theatre roles, TV and film appearances, and more
James Graham’s hit play Best of Enemies, about a real-life series of debates that changed both TV and politics forever, has an exciting new cast member for its West End transfer: Zachary Quinto. The American actor, best known for playing Spock in the big-screen Star Trek reboot, is also a prestigious stage performer – and will make his keenly anticipated West End debut in this London run of Best of Enemies, at the Noël Coward Theatre.
Quinto joins David Harewood in the play, the latter reprising his much-praised performance as conservative William F Buckley Jr, opposite Quinto as liberal commentator Gore Vidal.
The opposing duo were paired up for a series of passionate and combative TV debates in the run-up to the 1968 American presidential election: a format that ushered in a new era of subjective – and argumentative – political coverage, made TV crucial to electoral success, and established a polarisation that is now at an extreme.
Graham’s incisive, witty and gripping play premiered at the Young Vic in 2019, directed by Jeremy Herrin, to great critical acclaim. It was nominated for two Olivier Awards – for Best New Play and Best Actor for Charles Edwards, who played Gore Vidal – and it won the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best New Play. Now audiences get a chance to see it in the West End, and with an intriguing new cast member. Ahead of your trip, learn a bit more about Zachary Quinto’s career up to now.
Zachary Quinto’s TV work
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1977, Quinto began acting while at school, then went on to study at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama. He made his professional screen debut with TV drama series The Others, about psychics and paranormal phenomena, and then went on to guest star in numerous series – including Touched by an Angel, CSI, Six Feet Under, Charmed, Miracles, and Lizzie McGuire.
Quinto’s first major recurring role was on the action thriller series 24. He joined the show in season three as computer analyst Adam Kaufman, and went on to appear in 23 episodes. Showing his versatility, Quinto then switched tack and played Sasan in the Tori Spelling sitcom So Notorious. Sasan was one of Spelling’s close friends, a bisexual Iranian-American character.
Quinto continued to build his profile with a key role in the superhero drama Heroes. He played Sylar, a serial killer who targeted other superhumans in order to steal their powers. He also appeared in three of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story anthology series: as the house’s previous owner Chad Warwick in Murder House, as psychiatrist Oliver Thredson in Asylum, and as Sam, manager and partner of photographer Theo, in NYC. He returned to the supernatural for NOS4A2, playing the immortal Charlie Manx, who feeds off the souls of children.
After all of those spooky ventures, it was a change of pace for Quinto with domestic drama The Slap – a TV adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas’s novel about how one person’s impulsive disciplining of a misbehaving child divides a family and a community. Quinto played Harry, the man who delivers that titular slap and sets all the subsequent events in motion.
Quinto then continued his run of making excellent guest appearances in popular shows, including Girls, Hannibal and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He also provided voice work for several series, such as Big Mouth, Invincible, Inside Job, and The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.
Zachary Quinto’s movies
Quinto made an unforgettable big-screen debut in the 2009 film Star Trek, JJ Abrams’s reboot of the classic sci-fi series. In this prequel story, Quinto starred as a young Spock opposite Chris Pine as James T Kirk. The pair meet at Starfleet Academy and become reluctant allies and crewmates upon the Enterprise.
The film was a huge box office hit, grossing more than $385.7 million worldwide, and Quinto’s performance was highly praised. He subsequently returned as Spock in two sequels: Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond. Quinto also entered another iconic franchise when he provided the villainous voice of Lex Luther for animated film Superman: Man of Tomorrow.
However, his film career also goes beyond superheroes and Spock. Quinto played Peter Sullivan, risk manager at an investment bank, in the financial thriller Margin Call, which essentially dramatised the circumstances that led to the ruinous financial crash of 2007-8. He also had supporting roles in the romantic comedies What’s Your Number? and We’ll Never Have Paris.
Quinto returned to real-life drama with I Am Michael, a film about a gay activist (played by James Franco) who renounced his sexuality to become a Christian pastor. Quinto starred as his former boyfriend, Bennett. He also played journalist Glenn Greenwald in Snowden, Oliver Stone’s biopic of the whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Quinto then switched back into action thriller mode with Hitman: Agent 47, based on the Hitman video games, in which he played a supersoldier working for the Syndicate. And, in another change of pace, he appeared in comedy-drama Tallulah. The indie film starred Elliot Page and Allison Janney, with Quinto playing Andreas – the man who Margo (Janney)’s husband had left her for.
Quinto starred in and produced the drama Aardvark, featuring Jenny Slate as a therapist whose mentally ill patient (Quinto) develops feelings for her, but she then falls for his brother, played by Jon Hamm. Quinto also led another drama film, Who We Are Now, alongside Julianne Nicholson and Emma Roberts, about a fraught custody battle, and had a supporting role in Jodie Foster’s futuristic film Hotel Artemis, centring on a hospital for criminals.
Quinto notched up yet another genre in his diverse career with Steven Soderbergh’s sports drama High Flying Bird, in which he played a tough-talking agent. Coming up in 2023, Quinto will voice the AI survival suit in sci-fi comedy film Distant. And finally, we can’t forget his superb performance as Harold in The Boys in the Band – a screen adaptation of the hit Broadway play.
Zachary Quinto’s stage work
Quinto made his theatre debut in 2010 with Tony Kushner’s titanic play Angels in America, at the Off-Broadway venue Signature Theatre Company. He played Louis Ironson, who struggles to cope with his lover Prior Walter’s Aids diagnosis, and who begins an affair with the closeted Mormon Joe Pitt. The production also featured Christian Borle, Billy Porter and Zoe Kazan.
Quinto then played Tom Wingfield in Tennessee Williams’s semi-autobiographical memory play, The Glass Menagerie, at the American Repertory Theater in Boston and then at the Booth Theatre on Broadway. John Tiffany’s celebrated revival, which also starred Cherry Jones, Celia Keenan-Bolger and Brian J Smith, was nominated for seven Tony Awards. Quinto followed that up with Noah Haidle’s magical-realist family drama Smokefall at New York’s MCC Theater.
Then, in 2018, Quinto starred in a landmark revival of Mart Crowley’s play The Boys in the Band at Broadway’s Booth Theatre. The 1968 work, about a group of gay men who gather together for a birthday party, was incredibly bold for its time, and Joe Mantello’s Tony-winning production made a new statement with it: looking at how far we have, or have not, come with regards to LGBTQ+ rights and social acceptance.
The starry, and openly gay, ensemble for the Broadway run featured Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchinson, Tuc Watkins, Robin de Jesús, and Michael Benjamin Washington. Quinto played Harold, the self-described “ugly, pock-marked Jew fairy”, who worries about ageing and his appearance, and so has mixed feelings about celebrating his birthday.
Following the huge success of the play, The Boys in the Band was adapted into a Netflix film, with all of the cast reprising their roles. Mantello also returned to direct, and Ryan Murphy produced it. The drama won the 2021 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film (Limited Release).
Quinto’s most recent theatre outing was in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. He played George, one half of a viciously sparring couple, who invite an unsuspecting younger professor and his wife for drinks. Quinto starred opposite Ally McBeal’s Calista Flockhart, as Martha.
Now, Quinto will bring all of that experience across his impressive and varied career to Best of Enemies, as he makes his West End debut playing Gore Vidal. This is a rare chance for London audiences to see him in action, so make sure you get booking to see Zachary Quinto on stage!
Photo credit: Best of Enemies, 24, Star Trek and The Boys in the Band (Photos courtesy of production, IMDB, Paramount Pictures, and by Joan Marcus respectively)
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