Zachary Quinto: I'm "Not a Huge Fanatic of Marriage" (Q&A)
The actor dishes on 'The Slap,' 'Star Trek 3' and his new Genworth campaign.
Zachary Quinto has a thing for Germany right about now.
The actor is currently in Berlin, where he's in front of cameras doing reshoots for Hitman: Agent 47 before heading to Munich for a coveted role playing Glenn Greenwald in Oliver Stone's Snowden. That's a lot of Germany in the winter, but Quinto is loving every minute. "I love Berlin and come here all the time," the actor tells THR. "I have good friends who live here, and I'm always at home here. I would be happy to stay longer if I had to."
The 37-year-old actor also is happy to talk about another new role — he's one of a slew of high-profile stars (among Angela Bassett, Jim Nantz, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Maria Shriver and Rob Lowe) who have teamed with Genworth for the company's "Let's Talk Now" educational video to help educate the masses on the importance of long-term-care planning.
THR talked with Quinto by phone from Berlin about the new campaign, the new Star Trek installment and whether or not he wants a family of his own someday.
Any reactions to the Oscars — favorite moments?
I was so happy that Eddie [Redmayne] won. I think he’s such a talented actor and so committed to his craft and such a genuine guy. He did such astonishing work in that movie that I can’t imagine that anyone else would’ve won. I’m so glad it worked out that way — it doesn’t always. I had just gotten to Berlin, and I stayed up through the night to watch them, feeding my jet lag a little bit.
On the heels of the CitizenFour win at the Oscars, does that make you more excited about Oliver Stone’s Snowden project?
I’m thrilled for Laura [Poitras] and Glenn [Greenwald] and everyone who was a part of making that movie. I saw the movie months ago, and I was not surprised that it won the Oscar. It was an incredible documentary. It really captured a feeling and a sense that is hard to describe otherwise. They were going through an extraordinary experience together, and there was a lot of uncertainty and fear, I’m sure, and I thought it was captured really beautifully in that film. It makes me more excited, I guess. I was reading they did a reddit AMA with Edward Snowden and Glenn and Laura, and I was reading that this morning, and there is so much information and so many resources to dive into with a project like this. Playing Glenn Greenwald is an incredible experience. He’s such an incredibly intelligent and articulate guy, and I could prep for six months and not even scratch the surface of what there is to read that he’s written at The Guardian and independently. And I’m excited to work with [Joseph Gordon-Levitt], whom I’ve known for a long time, and Melissa [Leo], whom I’ve known for a long time.
Have you had any conversations with Edward Snowden?
I haven’t yet. I’m still in the earlier stages of prep because I don’t work on the movie until a little bit later in the shoot. I’m just now diving into it. I would certainly love to. I know that he’s been in close contact with Oliver, and he’s been an integral part of telling his story in this way. We’ll see how it evolves. For obvious reasons, I’m even more interested in talking to Glenn.
Let’s talk Genworth. Tell me why you decided to be a part of this campaign.
I was approached and asked to participate. It has a lot to do with my age, frankly. I feel like I’m at this crossroads in my own life where looking ahead and carving out the kind of future that I want for myself and the people I love is really important to me. I like the fact that this campaign is encouraging people to have conversations that are sometimes difficult to have. I, in my own life, tend to be someone who is not afraid of looking at or talking about or digging a little bit deeper into stuff that may be a little bit more uncomfortable. I thought that it was an appropriate fit. I try to align myself with campaigns of this nature that I actually can genuinely and authentically get behind. This is certainly one of them. It made sense for me and to me that I would be a part of this.
Has it sparked any conversations in your personal life with your group of friends on how they are preparing for the future?
These are conversations that I have and I’ve had with friends — friends who have parents who are aging, but also friends who have kids. It’s easy to not talk about it. That’s what we’re trying to work against. It might be uncomfortable or awkward to broach the subject, but the reality is that it’s nothing compared to how painful and stressful and messy it can be if you don’t have the conversation and find yourself in a situation, God forbid, where you or someone you love is incapacitated or dealing with an illness that is progressive and is going to need attention or care that you haven’t planned for. Being preemptive and proactive about it allows people to breathe a little easier and live the life they want to live and know that in the event of something happening, things are already in place. Why wouldn’t you want that structure for yourself and your family?
Speaking of family, these conversations take on a different tone when there is a spouse or children because there are other people to consider. Is a marriage or children something you want?
I definitely want kids, for sure. I gravitate toward the people in my life who have kids. I love fostering relationships with them and watching them discover the world and being a part of that. I definitely want that. There are benefits to the institution of marriage. I personally am not a huge fanatic of marriage, whether it’s gay or straight. Commitment and relationships are a very individual thing, and I don’t stand to tell other people what to do or who to do it with, but for me, love is defined by two people in an intimate and personal way, and superimposing an institution on that isn’t necessarily, for me, the most exciting idea. But then again, the fact that we’ve made such progress and marriage equality is very, very near and tangible and hopefully right around the corner — that frames it a little bit differently for me. It’s something I have been an advocate for and a fighter for in the past eight years. I want to see that continue. And maybe there will come a day when it makes perfect sense for me personally. We’ll see. … I don’t think either of us feel that we have to hurry up and do this. [Quinto has been dating model Miles McMillan.]
Let’s talk The Slap. You’re at the center of that show. Are you happy with how it’s been received, now that it’s out in the world?
I had a great time working on that show. It was a great group of people with intelligent and fearless writing. I was really satisfied creatively. Now that it’s out there, I left the country right as it started airing, so I haven’t really been around to gauge the response that it’s generating or engage with people in the real world. I hope people stick with it because it goes to a lot of unexpected places. You see the first episode and you think you know what it’s going to be about, but the reality is that there’s a lot of depth and complexity to these characters and how their relationships unfold over the course of the eight episodes.
You’re soon to return to Star Trek 3. I was just reading some casting news that said Bryan Cranston will join the cast. What other developments can you discuss about the next installment?
I haven’t heard that. You’re telling me something that nobody else told me, which is thrilling and exciting. I love Bryan Cranston. You know more than me, obviously. I have no information about the movie. I haven’t read a script. I haven‘t met or connected with Justin Lin. I have plenty of other things on my plate right now as an actor and as a producer, and I quite like the windows of time between the first and the second and the second and the third movies. I’m happy to be doing other stuff until the phone rings and it’s J.J. [Abrams]. That hasn’t happened yet, so I’m moving ahead with other aspects of my life and career, and when the time comes for us to get back into that world, we all will. I have no idea when that will be. I know they have a release date, and we are working backwards from there, so I imagine we will be in production at some point. Maybe I should be asking you the question about Star Trek 3.