Quinto con­vinc­ing as an evil im­mor­tal in AMC’s ‘NOS4A2’

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - The Comics -

Fans of Zachary Quinto will find him in a char­ac­ter light years away from Spock in a se­ries pre­mier­ing this week on AMC.

In “NOS4A2,” a su­per­nat­u­ral hor­ror se­ries de­but­ing Sun­day, June 2, the 42-year-old “Star Trek” ac­tor is vir­tu­ally un­rec­og­niz­able un­der heavy pros­thet­ics and makeup as shriv­eled, old Char­lie Manx, an evil im­mor­tal who lures chil­dren into his an­tique car full of wrapped presents, feeds off their souls and de­posits the re­mains at Christ­masland, a twisted place of his imag­i­na­tion where it’s Christ­mas ev­ery day and un­hap­pi­ness is out­lawed.

Mean­while, New Hamp­shire teen Vic McQueen (Ash­leigh Cum­mings, “Miss Fisher’s Mur­der Mys­ter­ies”), a prod­uct of an un­happy home life, is just dis­cov­er­ing her su­per­nat­u­ral abil­ity to find lost things – in­clud­ing, pre­sum­ably, the souls of Manx’s young vic­tims.

“I had been look­ing for a project and a char­ac­ter that would give me the op­por­tu­nity to re­ally trans­form and into whom I could dis­ap­pear,” Quinto ex­plained to a re­cent gath­er­ing of jour­nal­ists in Pasadena, Calif. “So that was one of the as­pects of this ex­pe­ri­ence that was re­ally mag­ne­tiz­ing for me.

“I was a lit­tle re­sis­tant to be hon­est at first about the hor­ror na­ture of the show and the kind of ar­che­typal vil­lain that I’d be play­ing. But as

I read the scripts ... it seemed to me that there was a real depth and an emo­tional ground­ing in these char­ac­ters, and an in­cred­i­ble col­lab­o­ra­tive spirit around the project it­self. And so, those things – com­bined with this op­por­tu­nity to re­ally dive into who this im­mor­tal char­ac­ter was – made it re­ally ir­re­sistible for me in the end.”

The open­ing scene gives a good idea what to ex­pect. A late-night in­truder rousts a cou­ple and a young son from sleep. The boy runs from the house to find Manx parked out front in his gift-filled auto beck­on­ing him to come with him. Mom, who was in­jected with an un­known drug, pur­sues un­til she slows and falls. And Char­lie drives away with the boy, his li­cense plate read­ing ‘NOS4A2.’

“He ma­nip­u­lates and ex­ploits the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties of these chil­dren,” Quinto says, “be­cause he him­self was abused and ne­glected and ex­ploited in hor­ri­ble ways as a child, which you learn through the book and through the com­pan­ion graphic novel to ‘NOS4A2’ called ‘The Wraith,’ which re­ally dives in-depth into Char­lie Manx’s back­story. And so, un­der­stand­ing the ori­gins of trauma ... and how if it goes un­ex­am­ined and un­pro­cessed, it can lead to this kind of warped and twisted ma­nip­u­la­tion, is re­ally in­ter­est­ing.”

Zachary Quinto stars in “NOS4A2,” pre­mier­ing Sun­day on AMC.

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