For Zachary Quinto, while playing a bad guy isn’t new for him, getting to be in on the creation of the character from the beginning is.
Last season on American Horror Story, Quinto was seen as Chad Warwick, the ghost of the previous owner of a spooky restored mansion. This year, he portrays a different character, Dr. Oliver Thredson.
Thredson isn’t exactly the type of doctor to whom one would want to go, after the recent revelation that he was a sadistic killer. “Yes, I knew [about it] from the very beginning,” said Quinto. “It was part of the conversation that I had with Ryan Murphy about me coming back to the second installment of the show in the first place. I very much informed on the character that I was building from the beginning.
“As a result, I felt like my responsibility became to create a character that people could trust, or at least trust initially, and have some hope that perhaps he is actually the one voice of reason and sanity within this chaotic world. So it was actually more exciting for me to know from the beginning. It gave me more to play with, more to hold back and more secrets to keep.”
Quinto was a bit nervous about playing a bad guy again, but the chance to create a new character was irresistible. “I think any time an actor revisits territory that they’ve been in before, it can be a source of trepidation, as it was for me,” he explained. “But part of the reason that I loved what the opportunity stood for was that I got to know, going in; I got to really build something. With Heroes, that character was built before I was ever attached to it. There were eight episodes of anticipation that were built before you met Gabriel Gray in Heroes, but I had no participation in that.
“So for me it was really exciting to get to go in having all the information, and actually be that part of the process of creating a character. That, to me, was a difference.”
American Horror Story airs Wednesdays at 10 PM on FX.