By Reese Randall, Pittsburgh Magazine
As one of the stars of the hit NBC series "Heroes," where he plays Skylar, the dark hero, and as the recently named young Spock in the new Star Treck movie (due out late next year), Zachary Quinto is making a name for himself as Hollywood's hottest sci-fi sensation.
The 30-year-old Green Tree native longed to live out his dream to act while a student at Central Catholic High School. When asked what his favorite subject was, he responded without hesitation, "Staring out the window daydreaming of one day going to CMU for acting-seriously, that was my favorite thing to do in class." Since graduating from Central in 1995 and attending Carnegie Mellon University, Quinto has lived in New York and now resides in Los Angeles, where he's had roles on Fox TV's "24" and has co-starred with Tori Spelling on her VH1 series, "So NoTorious."
Does Quinto take his good-Catholic-schoolboy experience with him? "Of course I've taken it with me. It's how you treat people every day-with mutual respect." It's the little things that make a difference, he explains. It's this everyday heroic frame of mind that makes Quinto a Super Nice Guy.
Do you know the world is now filled with "Heroes" fanatics? It's bigger than we are, than what we set out to do. It's been great.
Does Sylar resemble any aspect of your own personality? Sure, I think Skylar's characteristics coincide with a lot of our viewer's personalities, too. We all have a darker side that i think we're at conflict with at times.
If you could have a supernatural ability, what would it be? I'd be invisible so I wouldn't have to stand in another line again.
Any real-life heroes? Mother Teresa. God called her on her path. Once she listened to God and followed her life's purpose, she never heard from him again. It was her faith in him that kept her focused and committed.
What would people be surprised to know about you? I love to take walks and send hand-written letters. My mom, Margo, would like it if I sent her more letters I'm sure. Oh, and that I'm good at remembering to send thank-you notes, too.
Where do you escape on your days off? I take my dog, Noah, and we go hiking and just try to get out and walk all over the place.
Must have... Aviator-style sunglasses. But you'll never see me wearing them at night-that's not cool.
What is one thing that can always be found in your refrigerator? Empty shelves.
What was your first job? I worked at a hardware store in Green Tree. It was kind of boring, but I liked mixing paint and making copies of keys for the customers.
What was your worst job? I don't consider it the worst, but definitely the craziest. I was a waiter at a restaurant in L.A. when I first arrived here, and my shift was 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. I saw and learned a lot about people during those hours in the morning.
Definition of success? Maintaining a sense of self in the midst of changing circumstances.
If there were one thing you could change about yourself, what would it be? I don't really think that way. I know that I'm doing the best I can with what I've been given.
What brings you back home? I'll hopefully be home for Thanksgiving to see my mom and friends. My mom's stuffing is gooooood.
Famous last words... "N'at." I actually have that expression on my bumper sticker, a gift from my good friend Brigid Ryan. The bumper sticker says it all and where I'm from. I take Pittsburgh with me everywhere I go n'at.