Zachary Quinto’s ‘Spock’ Eyebrow Agony
by Jeanne Wolf
Zachary Quinto already has fans who love his deliciously dark performance as the mysterious serial killer Sylar on Heroes.
Now that he’s on the big screen, Quinto’s facing legions of fans who can’t wait to see him in the legendary role of Spock in Star Trek.
If Quinto is feeling the pressure, he’s keeping it hidden. But there’s no secret about the love and admiration he has for the star who made the Vulcan outcast an icon.
Don’t call him a Trekker, or even a Trekkie.
“I had seen the original series and was a moderate fan, but I wasn’t a fanatic. I certainly wasn’t ever a Trekker but I understood them, and how they’re so totally into everything Star Trek, especially after going to Comicon. It was like a rock concert with 6,500 people screaming their lungs out and I found it incredibly exhilarating. So you do want to deliver for them.”
Not being Leonard Nimoy.
“I didn’t want it to be about trying to recreate what he did 40 years ago. I wanted it to be about where Spock picks up with his journey. So I didn’t watch the TV show at all until we started shooting the movie. Then I always had sort of a loop of the original series playing in my trailer to remind me of that world and what it means.”
But there is a resemblance.
“Maybe a few times in my life someone was like, You kind of remind me of Leonard Nimoy,’ But it wasn’t like, ‘You look like Spock.’ Now I’m getting worried about showing pictures of myself as a kid because maybe people are going to see a connection.”
The Vulcan eyebrow makeover.
“Every day it took me two hours to do the hair, the makeup, the whole deal. The first time I went in, they shaved my eyebrows and then they give me the pointy look by gluing on about 75 individual hairs. I got conflicting reports on whether my eyebrows would ever grow back but they did with a vengeance.”
Meeting the man.
“Leonard and I went to Comicon to announce that I’d be playing the role of Spock. We didn’t even speak to each other until we were standing in the elevator and I was like, ‘Hi, Mr. Nimoy. I’m Zach.’ And he was like, ‘I’m Leonard.’ And then the elevator stopped, and as the doors opened, he went, ‘You have no idea what you’re in for, kid.’ But, later, he invited me over to his house and we ended up spending a lot of time together. As much as he would hang with me, I would hang with him. And that remains true today. I love that guy.”
Stepping onto the Enterprise.
“To walk on to the bridge of the Enterprise for the first time was staggering. Everything worked, all the screens, all the buttons. So it was incredibly fun to step out and sit in the Captain’s chair for the first time. Then, after we were there for 18 hours a day for almost a month, it was a little less fun — but shorter than a trip into space, I guess.”
The Star Trek laugh-fest.
“Chris Pine and I only had one mega breakdown when we just couldn’t stop laughing. It was literally like 3 in the morning, and we’d been working for hours. It got so bad J.J. Abrams, the director, actually left the set. He was like, ‘Whenever you’re ready to start again let me know, I’ll be in the other room.'”
Getting back to serial killing on Heroes after spacing out.
“Letting loose again, indulging in those impulses to murder and let loose in a violent kind of way was like coming home. I’d finished the movie before we started this past season, so after going away on a new and uncharted excursion to the ‘final frontier’ and playing such an iconic nature of the character it was nice to step into Sylar’s shoes again.”
Forget about Twittering him.
“Everybody is going to have an opinion, and I can’t let it bother me because I’ve done my job. Anyway, I do my part to stay detached from the blogging and social side of the Internet. I find it unsettling, especially the social networks which are really disconnecting. I’m not an advocate of them of them at all. That’s not who I am.”
What he does for fun.
“I spend a lot of time with my friends, and my closest friends are my oldest friends, people I’ve known for 10 and 15 years. So I like to lay low. If I go out, it’s to a dinner party at someone’s house or having people over to my house. I tend to be low key. I like to read. I also like to hike in the Hollywood hills and I have a favorite spot—but I guess I’d better not reveal it.”