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Hot Mess Zachary Quinto On American Horror Story And His Future Plans

“Playing Thredson has involved some of the most brutal, unsettling and personally affecting stuff I’ve ever done.”


Jeff Jenson for Inside TV

Last year, American Horror Story took eight episodes to reveal the identity of its rookie season’s hideously kinky house devil, Rubberman. The sophomore season’s masked monster – Bloody Face, a serial killer who skins and decapitates his female victims – has shown his true face after just five episodes. If you haven’t watched the reveal episode on national themes (racism, sexism, homophobia, religion, reproductive rights, mutant monsters, alien abduction, satanic possession, Anne Frank —  you know, the usual hot-button issues), then in the name of the Infantata, turn back now or we’ll puncture your eyeball with an orbitoclast of spoilers! So… SPOILER ALERT! It’s Dr. Oliver Thredson (Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto), the dashingly square Don Draper-meets-Bobby Kennedy psychotherapist. Turns out the brilliant fiend was only masquerading as a heroic headshrinker inside the Briarcliff Manor Sanatorium run by Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) in order to pin his filet-o-femme crimes on Kit Walker (Evan Peters) and abduct crusading journalist Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) for reasons to be determined. “I didn’t want to do ‘here’s the reveal and here’s how it’s wrapped up,’” says AHS co-creator Ryan Murphy. “I wanted to do a five-episode arc [exploring] the mythology of this man and why he is this way. Zach Quinto is not just going to sign on for a stereotypical bad guy.”

Especially since this isn’t Quinto’s first serial killer rodeo. The actor rocketed to fame as mass murderer Sylar on NBC’s Heroes, a star turn that earned him the role of Spock in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. He admits he was “hesitant” to go psycho anew, and he says he discussed he matter at great length with close friends and associates before committing to the part. “But I was drawn to the fact that he’s not a super-powered serial killer who’s telekinetically slicing people’s heads open,” says Quinto, 35. “ I think sometimes the things we resist in our own creative journey can be the most exciting to revisit. It was an opportunity to revisit similar territory in a different context, in a different way.”

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