American Horror Story alum Zachary Quinto is featured in the Summer 2018 issue of Essential Homme Magazine.
When a gay actor in Hollywood embarks on press rounds to promote his latest project, there must be a pressure—not to mention, fatigue—he feels when faced with the inevitable subject of queer representation in the industry. Zachary Quinto, on the heels of a starring role in a Broadway revival of the classic and controversial 1968 play The Boys in the Band, is nonplussed.
“Masculinity,” Quinto begins. “It’s so intertwined with male identity. I think the journey of gay men, of openly gay actors, and the heteronormative idea of what masculinity is, is still at odds in Hollywood. I think it’s something that is changing, but hasn’t changed entirely. It still has a ways to go.”
His eloquence feels earned, particularly when you look at the characters he’s played on stage and screen. Quinto isn’t a stranger to legendary 20th century works by gay playwrights. He played Louis Ironson in a 2010 Off-Broadway production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Tom Wingfield in a 2013 Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, and now Harold in Matt Crowley’s The Boys in the Band (produced by Ryan Murphy, who he also worked with on FX’s American Horror Story, and directed by Joe Mantello).
Considering these roles alongside his stage career and other choices—Quinto has a production company called Before the Door Pictures and has produced award-winning films like Margin Call (2011)—his decisions are pretty scattered. “A lot of the things that I’ve done have been zeitgeisty—American Horror Story and Heroes. Star Trek is very iconic. I remember that moment when I was doing Heroes and people didn’t know my name yet. It was a lot of, ‘Oh, you’re that character.’ I remember when it switched and people started recognizing me for myself.”
“[Heroes and Star Trek] was like hitting the lottery twice, as far as I’m concerned. Both of those projects were very sci-fi, comic book-y. That set a kind of expectation right away. Once you get known for something it becomes very difficult for people to know you for anything else.”
Zachary will star as a biological hacker in the new series Biopunk.
Photography: Kevin Sinclair / Styling: Joseph Episcopo / Grooming: Joanna Pensinger