Young sci-fi star Quinto lands at UTA


"Heroes" star Zachary Quinto has leaped to UTA.

With his roles on one of TV's top series, "Heroes," and in one of the most anticipated movies, the J.J. Abrams-directed "Star Trek," the actor has become a hot commodity, sparking the interest of major talent agencies.

Quinto, who had been represented by SMS Talent for the past several years, took meetings with several big agencies — ICM, WMA and UTA — before making the decision.

Ultimately, it may have come down to persistence. UTA has been aggressively pursuing Quinto for the past two years since he starred opposite Tori Spelling on VH1's "So Notorious," which the agency packaged.

"Their interest and support of my work had been so strong, that it factored heavily into my decision," Quinto said. "I found them to be the most excited, enthusiastic and consistent in their pursuit."

Quinto follows the familiar Hollywood path of breakout actors, who often are developed by a smaller agency before they are scooped up by one of the big full-service agencies that offer them career expansion into new arenas including producing and endorsements. Still, that didn't make Quinto's decision to leave SMS any easier.

"I feel like the nature of the business is such that things are constricted so much, and I feel (switching) was a necessity," he said. "But I gave it a tremendous amount of thought and have nothing but respect and gratitude for the work (SMS) did for me."

Quinto is a sci-fi king right now with his roles as the evil Syler on NBC's "Heroes" and the Vulcan Spock in "Star Trek," but he was cast against type in both of the roles.

Syler was originally a small part (three to four episodes) for an older actor with proven villain chops. Quinto was coming off a gay character role in the comedy "Notorious" and playing a tech guy in a recurring role on Fox's "24." He auditioned anyway and, after a series of tests, ultimately got it.

When he did a work session for Spock with the "Trek" casting director in June, the response he received was that, after seeing his tape, Abrams "wasn't convinced" he was right for the role and had to move on and see other actors. That changed a couple of weeks later when Quinto met with Abrams. Soon after that, he became the first actor cast in the movie.

Next on the list for the Carnegie Mellon University drama major is returning to his theater roots. He is looking to do a stint onstage in New York during his summer hiatus from "Heroes."

On the management side, Quinto continues to be with Anonymous Content.