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Feature: Heroes

Zach for… Evil

Zachary Quinto as Sylar You can’t keep a good villain down, as Zachary Quinto, aka the power-craving Sylar, is delighted to tell us


Depicted as a super-powered serial killer on Heroes, pigeon-holing Sylar as the hit American show’s resident evil is a no-brainer. That is unless you are Zachary Quinto, the 30-year-old actor who plays the brain-robbing baddie to such parasitic perfection. “I don’t think that he is all bad,” laughs Quinto in describing a character that makes a habit of lobotomizing heroes with his index finger before stealing their power-packed brains.

“It’s real fun to play an incredibly multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, layered character who is really ultimately wrestling with ideas and notions that I think a lot of people can relate to,” explains Quinto. “That’s partly why the character, and the show itself, are so popular. That’s what is most gratifying about it.”

In the finale of Season One, Sylar is apparently killed by the sword of Space/Time-bender Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka). However, in the epilogue, his body has disappeared, leaving only a trail of blood and one of those great survivors, a cockroach, behind.

So where did he go? “You haven’t seen the last of him,” reveals the amiable Quinto. “I don’t think he is any less hungry for power and that kind of dark violence but I think he has a few different kinds of obstacles in the way now. So that will be a lot of what he is doing when we pick back up with him in Season Two.”

As for whether or not Sylar will be facing off against Hiro, Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) or Claire the cheerleader (Hayden Panettiere) again anytime soon, Quinto teased, “Sylar has scenes with versions of characters that you know from Season One.”

Due to scheduling conflicts created by the actor landing the role of young Spock in JJ Abrams’s (Lost) upcoming Star Trek feature, Quinto won’t be featured in every episode of Season Two of Heroes, but says his role in the overall story remains vital to the show. “I am not in all of the episodes this year. I am in a significant number of them. There is a ton of new people and new stories and I think that’s another thing that is really interesting in our show,” says Quinto. “Our storylines kind of ebb and flow. I think my character received an incredible amount of attention, especially towards the end of last season, and it’s really nice to be able to stay in the woods and be on the fringe and sort of figure out what the next step will be. It will be an interesting re-emergence.”

Quinto, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a graduate of the world-renowned Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, says if your heart was racing watching episodes in Season One, don’t expect to catch your breath just yet. “The season picks up four months after the first season ended,” shares Quinto. “So you are picking up, as is characteristic of the show, with characters in high intensity situations, some of which they as characters don’t even understand, so as an audience you are certainly not going to understand.”

by Jeff Renaud

Read the full interview in
Cult Times #146

Photo © NBC
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times #146
November 2007
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