Zachary Quinto Takes a Crack at The Glass Menagerie

8.15.2013

By Jerry Portwood

Our favorite Vulcan on what it means to star in the Tennessee Williams classic

Photography by Michael Muller

Where do you go after you’ve boldly gone where no man has gone before? If you’re Zachary Quinto, back in time. This fall, he’ll join seasoned thesp Cherry Jones (who plays his mother) to star as Tom in the Broadway revival of the 1945 Tennessee Williams classic The Glass Menagerie (opening September 26 at N.Y.C.’s Booth Theatre, presale tickets already available). In addition, his production company, Before the Door, is releasing both the thriller The Banshee Chapterand the much-anticipated action-drama All is Lost, starring Robert Redford. We caught up.

With everything you're juggling—acting, producing, directing—have you even had a chance to get excited about your Broadway debut?
I was just walking through Times Square, and I passed the Booth Theatre, saw the play marquee in lights, and had this total moment…I am so excited. It reminded me of the first time I came to New York and had that dream—even more than movies, this has been my dream.

So how do you do it all?

I have two producing partners that handle things so that I can do other projects. But it will be a busy fall. Hopefully I can make it to a screening or two of my new films.

You live in New York City. Were you there the day of the Supreme Court decision on DOMA?
Yes. I went to Stonewall and heard Edith Windsor speak. I was with my brother, who’s straight but enormously supportive of me. I felt so grateful to be right in the middle of it all — to be at the place where, in so many ways, this revolution began, at a time when such significant progress has been made. It was a profound experience for sure.

Many people see your character, Tom, as a stand-in for Williams and therefore an important gay figure. What's your take?
I don't think of him exclusively in terms of his sexuality. Everything I've learned about Tom, I've learned through Tennessee, [through] reading about his life and how he struggled in a lot of ways and thrived in others. I think his conflicted sexuality is a huge part of his character and therefore part of Tom, but there are larger obstacles he needs to overcome before he can look at that in depth.

You're a fan of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and said you'd love to play the role, so were you jealous when you heard Neil Patrick Harris would bring it to Broadway in the spring?
Neil and I are friends, and I think he's going to be fantastic. I'm excited to see Neil's version and sure it will be amazing. I think we're all on our own creative journeys and paths. You never know where the road is going to take you and expectations, they have to shift. For me, it's the Glass Menagerie that makes sense right now.

I once talked to Patrick Stewart about Trekkies coming to see him perform Macbeth on Broadway, and he was just happy that people were in the seats. Do you worry that people may come to the theater looking for Spock instead of Tom?
I don't have any control over how people see me, I just have control over the work that I do. The good news is that I think all of the people who are fans of me from Star Trek will be exposed to a whole different kind of storytelling. I am certainly grateful for that, I hope they will be too.

This is your Broadway debut. How will you handle doing eight shows a week?
My first play in New York was the Angels in America cycle: both plays in rep, for about seven months. If I could survive that, I’ll be OK.

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