(written from a Production point of view)
Zachary John Quinto (born 2 June 1977; age 38) is the actor who portrays Spock, the role originated by Leonard Nimoy, in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. First acquiring recognition as Counter Terrorist Unit analyst Adam Kaufman during the third season of the FOX series 24, he is also best known for his role as the superpowered serial killer Gabriel "Sylar" Gray on the NBC series Heroes. In 2010, Quinto voiced the Emergency Medical Hologram Mark VI for the video game Star Trek Online.
Life and career
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, the half-Italian, half-Irish Quinto began acting as a member of the Pittsburgh CLO-Mini Stars at the age of eleven. While attending Central Catholic High School, Quinto was honored with Pittsburgh CLO's Gene Kelly Award for his performance as Major-General in a production of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Pirates of Penzance. After graduating from Central Catholic in 1995, he attended Carnegie Mellon University's Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, from which he graduated in 1999.
He moved to Los Angeles after graduation and the following year, he made his television debut on the short-lived NBC series The Others, which starred Star Trek: Enterprise performers John Billingsley and Bill Cobbs. This was followed by guest appearances on such shows as Touched by an Angel (in an episode with John Savage), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Agency (with Daniel Benzali, David Clennon, and John Rubinstein), Charmed (also with John Rubinstein), and Crossing Jordan (directed by and co-starring Miguel Ferrer). He also starred in an unsold TV pilot for FOX Television called An American Town, working with Jennifer Hetrick.
Quinto made his film debut with a small, uncredited role in the direct-to-video independent thriller Psychic Murders, starring Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' Terry Farrell. He then appeared as an angry beatnik in the 2003 romantic comedy Down with Love, which also featured Star Trek: Voyager actress Jeri Ryan.  
On 24, Quinto appeared in all but one episode of the show's third season. During his time on this series, he worked with fellow Star Trek alumni Michael Cavanaugh, J.D. Cullum, Alan Dale, Colby French, Jenette Goldstein, Albert Hall, Penny Johnson, Jack Kehler, Daniel Dae Kim, Alexandra Lydon, Glenn Morshower, Mark Rolston, and Tony Todd. Following the third season, however, his character was written out of the series without explanation, though he did return to provide the voice of Adam in the 24 video game, which was set between the show's second and third seasons.
In 2006, he starred as Tori Spelling's Persian-American best friend, Sasan, on the comic VH1 series, So NoTORIous. Guest performers on this series included Jeanetta Arnette, Whoopi Goldberg, and Natalia Nogulich. The series ended after ten episodes.
Quinto joined the cast of Heroes in 2006, making his debut as Sylar in the eighth episode, "Seven Minutes to Midnight". Including this episode, Quinto has appeared in forty two episodes of Heroes as of 27 April 2009. Star Trek alumni he has worked with on this series are Erick Avari, Joanna Cassidy, Josh Clark, Thomas Dekker, Colby French, Brad Greenquist, Greg Grunberg, Bart McCarthy, Malcolm McDowell, Brian Morri, Christine Rose, Dan Warner, Clay Wilcox, D. Elliot Woods, Dominic Keating, Michael Dorn, and Star Trek: The Original Series stars George Takei and Nichelle Nichols.
In October 2011, Quinto came out publicly as gay, stating that following the suicide of gay teenager Jamey Rodemeyer, he realized "living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it -- is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality." He continued "I believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society -- and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action." . Before coming out, Quinto had long been an advocate for gay rights and of organizations advocating gay rights. Quinto now stands side by side with TOS star George Takei who himself has long been a self-outed gay man.
Quinto admitted that he had only seen "a smattering" of Star Trek episodes and only some of the films, since he was not as interested in science fiction when growing up as he is now.  He describes himself as a "fan" of Star Trek, though not "fanatical." 
Quinto first expressed public interest in portraying Spock in December 2006.  Describing this interest, Quinto explained:
- "It comes from the complexity of the character and the experiences that I have had personally and professionally[...]I feel like I identify with a lot of aspects of what this character is going through in terms of the structure of the movie and the story structure [as created by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci]."
He first auditioned for the role on the morning of 15 April 2007 – less than a day after the original Spock actor, Leonard Nimoy, presented Quinto and his Heroes castmates with the Future Classic Award at the TV Land Awards. Incidentally, Abrams was not initially convinced that Quinto was right for the role of Spock after seeing the tape of Quinto's work session with the film's casting directors, April Webster and Alyssa Weisberg. After meeting with Quinto on 5 June, however, Abrams was convinced otherwise and the actor was offered the role two days later. Quinto was the first actor cast in the new film.  
Rumors that he was in talks for the role persisted throughout July 2007, and on 23 July, E! Online reported that he was indeed cast in the role, pending finalization of a deal with Paramount Pictures.   An official announcement was made at the Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, on 26 July. 
Regarding his approach to playing Spock, Quinto has stated he may not spend much time analyzing episodes of the series or the movies for perspective on the character. Instead, he believes "the key to the success of this character is probably going to be reestablishing a perspective on this character with gratitude and respect for what's come before." He has, however, been spending time with original Spock performer Leonard Nimoy in preparation for the role, although Quinto is most interested in getting to know Nimoy "as a man" and "as an artist" and not just to acquire perspective on playing Spock.  According to Quinto, his Spock will be more emotional as the character is "more charged" with his struggle between his Human and Vulcan natures. 
Spock is Quinto's first major feature film role and his first credited film work. He has also signed up to play Spock in at least two sequels to that film. 
Quinto, who currently resides in Los Angeles, California, has – aside from acting – also delved into the production side of film making. In 2008, along with his longtime friends and collaborators, Corey Moosa and Neal Dodson, he started a production company, Before The Door Pictures, developing a variety of projects in TV, film, web and the graphic novels arena. He has starred in several shorts produced by his company, such as "Hostage: A Love Story", and together with publisher Archaia, Before The Door Productions has created an original comic book series - LUCID: A Matthew Dee Adventure. Quinto also appeared in the thriller Margin Call (2011) produced by his company and worked as executive producer on the comedy Dog Eat Dog (2012), the horror film The Banshee Chapter (2012), and the action film All Is Lost (2013
Beyond Star Trek
Following his work on the first Star Trek film, Quinto had supporting roles in the romance What's Your Number? (2011, with Ed Begley, Jr.) and in the fantasy comedy Girl Walks Into a Bar (2011). Also in 2011 he portrayed Chad Warwick in four episodes of the first season of the horror/drama television series American Horror Story. On 2 March 2012 it was announced that Quinto will also join the second season of this series as male lead along with Jessica Lange. 
- Other media
|Alternate reality films regular cast|
|John Cho • Simon Pegg • Chris Pine • Zachary Quinto • Zoë Saldana • Karl Urban • Anton Yelchin|