American Horror Story Wiki
American Horror Story Wiki

Zachary John Quinto (born June 2, 1977) is an American actor.


Zachary Quinto is best known for his roles as Sylar on the TV show Heroes and Spock in the 2009 reboot of the Star Trek film franchise. He came out as gay in 2011 and his romantic relationship with Glee star Jonathan Groff ended in July of 2013.

Zachary Quinto was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his role as Dr. Oliver Thredson in Asylum.

Work on American Horror Story[]

Zachary Quinto guest starred in the first season of American Horror Story, titled Murder House as Chad Warwick, one of the previous owners of the haunted house.

Quinto joined the cast of the second season, Asylum in the starring role of Dr. Oliver Thredson, a psychiatrist at Briarcliff Manor. While on the set of Asylum, Quinto played his banjo between takes because the set was creepy and he considered that it would lighten up the mood.[1]

Describing the totally different character portrayed in the second season, Quinto said he "had a few conversations with Ryan and Brad, before we started. I asked some questions and had a chance to contribute to what I would like to see, but once they got going, their engine just drives all of us forward, in surprising and unexpected ways. The vast majority of that comes from them, and I bring it to life." [2]

After departing from the franchise in 2013, Quinto is expected to return in the eleventh installment, AHS: NYC as Sam, an art collector.

Zachary Quinto on Asylum[]

" I think stories that reflect societal fear back at the audience on some visceral level are the most compelling kind of horror stories. That’s what this show is doing, in a lot of ways. It tackles issues that have relevance to our modern society through another point of view or time period, filtered through different perspectives, and really getting to the root of what drives us as a society, as a culture and as an audience. I think that that can be really scary. That’s what’s really happening, in a lot of ways, with the characters that we’re all playing this year and in the scenarios with which they find themselves."[2]

Zachary Quinto mentioned the difficulty of certain scenes and the psychophysical toll on the actors, but also praised the production and crew for their relentless job.

"It’s just more rooted in character and relationship, and less rooted in the peripheral elements, like superpowers. I liked that this was grounded and real. Something that I’m always drawn to is always that connection. And it’s not a six-year commitment, as it could be with another show. It’s self-contained. It was an immersion that I’m not going to be repeating or carrying on, for an extended period of time. It was something I got to go do and contribute to and benefit, grow and learn from, and then be on to other creative pursuits. That’s an environment in which I thrive, so I was really excited about all those elements." [2]

Zachary Quinto on his role as Dr. Thredson[]

"A lot of his actions in the first four and a half episodes were serving some ulterior motive. I think he was trying to gain Lana’s trust, and gain some proximity to her and some intimacy with her," said Quinto on Dr. Thredson's personality. Moreover, "As barbaric as we can see it today, at the time, it was a pervasive social mentality that homosexuality was something that could be treated medically or psychologically. So, to that end, he was implementing the forward-thinking of the time to try to help her, to get her out of there. And then, when it didn’t work, it put him in a position to devise a more radical approach to getting her out." [2]

Questioned on wether everything about Dr. Thredson had been a ruse, or is there a side of him that believes in psychiatry, Quinto expressed insightful thoughts by contextualizing psychiatry in 1960.

"I think he definitely believes in it. Part of being a psychopath is an ability to dissociate from one reality and create another one, completely. I think he does that expertly. His level of medical training, intuition and instinct is something he’s very skilled at. I think that’s what allows him to get away with it as long as he does. So, I think he does believe in it, which is another layer of tragedy in the character. He could have been something else. He could have made a more significantly positive contribution, had he only re-channeled his traumas and energy." [2]

Adding on the aversion therapy scene, Quinto said that "the scene was very reflective of a pervasive mentality of the time, as unsettling as it is. I think it was powerful to revisit it and to present an audience with a reflection of that kind of really abhorrent thinking. Obviously, we’ve come a long way since then, and that’s great. There’s been so much progress made, but there’s more work to do. I think it’s always good when you’re able to, as an actor, allow your work to be some kind of a conduit for social discourse, and an examination of where we are, as a society. I think this installment of the show is really doing that, in a lot of powerful ways, that being one of many. That’s another reason why I’m grateful to be a part of this kind of storytelling and this kind of environment." [2]

Zachary Quinto on his role as Bloody Face[]

Talking about his role as Dr. Thredson and his serial killer persona, Bloody Face, Quinto revealed that:

"I knew from the very beginning. It was part of the conversation that I had with Ryan [Murphy] about me coming back for the second installment of the show, in the first place. It very much informed the character that I was building, from the beginning, as a result. I felt like my responsibility became to create a character that people could at least trust initially, and have some hope that he’s the one voice of reason and sanity within this chaotic world. It was actually more exciting for me to know, from the beginning, because it gave me more to play with and more to hold back and more secrets to keep."[2]

Quinto did not fear comparison to his previous role as Sylar in Heroes, or of getting typecast.

"I think any time an actor revisits territory that they’ve been in before, it can be a source of trepidation, as it was for me. But, part of the reason that I loved what the opportunity stood for was that I got to know, going in, and I got to really build something. [...] There were eight episodes of anticipation that were built before you met Gabriel Gray, but I had no participation in that. It was just a character spoken about. So, for me, it was really exciting to go in having all the information and be a part of the process of creating the character." [2]


  • Quinto has worked with Charlie Carver and Joe Mantello in The Boys in the Band, a TV movie produced by Ryan Murphy.
  • Quinto's appearance in Delicate as himself presenting at a fictional version of the Gotham Awards marked the first time an actor has appeared as both characters and themselves across the series.


Episode appearances for Zachary Quinto
Story or Series Character Episodes
Murder House Chad Warwick
Asylum Dr. Oliver Thredson
Delicate Himself[3] Rockabye




  1. Zachary Quinto talking about moments of levity to snap out of the dark storylines while shooting the show. Huffington Post (Nov 15, 2012).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Christina Radish (Nov 18, 2012). Zachary Quinto Talks AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM, His Character's Storyline, Concerns in Taking on the Role and Possibly Returning for Season 3.
  3. Quinto appeared as himself presenting at a ficitional version of the Gotham Awards. This marked the first time an actor has appeared as both characters and themselves across the series.