Speakeasy – January 29, 2010

Zachary Quinto Has No Time for Tomfoolery. But For Those Who Do, There’s Star Trek Online

By Jamin Brophy-Warren

With the success of World of Warcraft, videogame publishers have been looking for new virtual worlds to offer to videogame players. Next week, there’s a new option with the release of Star Trek Online. Developed by Cryptic Studios, the game will allow fans be the head of their own starship as they travel the universe and battle rival ships and seek out new civilizations. Zachary Quinto, whose role as Spock in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” movie received a shout-out during this week’s iPad presentation, serves as one of the voices in the game. Speakeasy chatted with Quinto about his role in the game:

The Wall Street Journal: How did you first get involved with Star Trek Online?

They approached me and it seemed like it was natural progression from being in the Star Trek universe to explore the role of voice over work. People were saying that I was getting deeper into the Star Trek universe, but i don’t think you can get much deeper than playing Spock. This is a way to connect them with my work and I’m glad to be a part of things they enjoy.

Did you play a lot of videogames?

A little when I was a kid. i don’t find the time to do that stuff now. i had an Atari and played Pitfall and Frogger. Then, I graduated to Nintendo and I petered out in high school. There was a lot of other stuff that demanded my attention. i was really ambitious. I was focused.

Do you have an iPhone with games on it?

I’m just really busy, so I don’t have time for that tomfoolery.

But you must be around a lot of videogames on the set of “Heroes” [Quinto plays the evil power-stealing Sylar]?

Nobody plays games on set so not really. I think Milo [Ventimiglia ] was talking about getting sucked into a videogame once. But I don’t know what my castmates do with the games.

You’ve done voicework before such as for 24: The Videogame. How different is it prepping for a videogame role compared to an acting one?

Hah. I guess I did do that. I was at at a different place in my career for the 24 thing. [Star Trek Online] didn’t require a lot of prep. It’s just about articulating and understating the words.

Online multiplayer games like Star Trek Online often continue for years. Will you keep being involved?

I don’t have any plans to be involved any further. I guess that could change. This was a one time thing and I’m about to take some time away from “Star Trek” in general and this seemed like a good way to do it. We’re going to come back for another movie in 2012.

You mentioned playing Pitfall as a child. Would you ever do a movie version?

That’s a tough call. There would be so many variables. But maybe who knows? Pitfall the movie–that could be cool.