Zachary Quinto is no stranger to playing TV villains. As Sylar on Heroes and Dr. Thredson a.k.a. Bloody Face on American Horror Story: Asylum, Quinto is quite familiar to television audiences as the embodiment of evil. In the upcoming AMC horror series NOS4A2, he’ll assume the role of the bad guy yet again playing Charlie Manx, a seemingly immortal predator that feeds off the souls of children, then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland — a twisted Christmas Village of Manx’s imagination where everyday is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law.
Though he’s played the hero before, appearing as Spock in the recent Star Trek films, Quinto acknowledged at the 2019 TCA winter press tour that he was a bit worried about being typecast as the baddie.
“There was an aspect of the experience that I was resistant to in the beginning because of the similarities of the genre and the character,” Quinto said, discussing Manx and similarities to past roles, “but then I read the script and I had a number of conversations with (creator) Jami (O’Brien) and I felt like there was such a unique complexity to this world and a really incredible collaborative spirit around the project, and so it drew me in in that way.”
Charlie Manx isn’t quite like most other villains. As created and described by original NOS4A2 author Joe Hill, Manx undergoes a severe physical transformation based on when he last “fed.” Early promotional photos of Quinto in the role have revealed the actor in both his natural handsome appearance and as a hunched over ancient monster. The opportunity to play such divergent physical characteristics within one character also attracted the actor to the role.
“The physical transformation that I was able to engage and embrace with this is something that I was really excited about,” Quinto said. “I hadn’t been on television in five years so there’s was kind of something also about coming back to a project that exists in a world that I know people like to see me live in, so I got really excited about it after that and thought of it more as a springboard into other opportunities and other diverse projects and it became exciting for me in that way.”
Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx will be behind the wheel of the 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith when NOS4A2 premieres on Sunday, June 2 at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.
Nick Harley is a tortured Cleveland sports fan, thinks Douglas Sirk would have made a killer Batman movie, Spider-Man should be a big-budget HBO series, and Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson should direct a script written by one another. For more thoughts like these, read Nick’s work here at Den of Geek or follow him on Twitter.