I spent time on the phone recently with Zachary Quinto talking about “Star Trek Into Darkness” and you can find my story in Friday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (online or old-fashioned way in the paper).
Here are some tidbits I couldn’t squeeze into the piece:
PRESSURE OF SUMMER EXPECTATIONS: “I feel it in as much as I want the movie to do well. And I’m proud of it and I’m so grateful that I have an opportunity to work at this level and I want that to continue.
“I’m certainly aware of the movies coming out and the strategy that studios employ. I imagine I’m probably more aware of it because of my other nature as a producer but, yeah, I want the movie to do well and I want people to go see it, but I want them to go see it and I want it to do well because it’s good.”
He said the “Star Trek” cast had been met with enthusiasm and support as it literally traveled the world “and, hopefully, that will translate into a successful performance at the box office.”
WHAT HE LEARNED FROM DIRECTOR J.J. ABRAMS: “I would say primarily that it’s always possible to maintain a level of respect and equanimity and humor, even in very stressful situations which could — under different situations — be very overwhelming.
“I’ve never known somebody to operate on so many levels with such a sense of ease and good nature. And I’ve also learned that it’s important to surround yourself with people that you trust and although the decisions in every case end up coming back to J.J., what makes him so unique and so legendary in his own time, I believe, is that he understands that he needs to be advised and guided by people who are also at the top of their game.
“So anybody who is on one of his sets really is able to contribute and he’s so collaborative that it’s inspiring on many levels.”
HIS HAIR: Spock’s bangs are more high-maintenance than Michelle Obama’s so maybe it’s no surprise that the Pittsburgh native took the opportunity to change up his look while touring the world for “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
“I’ve had a couple of haircuts, actually, while traveling around. I love to take this opportunity to change up my look and experiment with different versions of style, and when I’m on a trip like this, I have the luxury of doing this.”
ON HOW BEING A PRODUCER HAS CHANGED HOW HE VIEWS HIS JOB: “On some levels, I’ve learned things as a producer that no actor should ever have to know. It’s been interesting to navigate those roads and I’ve really had to cultivate a series of boundaries that allow me to protect myself from some of that stuff.
“Just in terms of the way actors can be talked about and the way that ‘value’ (quote-unquote) of actors plays into the ability to get movies made and the ability to tell stories and it can be very ugly, actually, and so I’ve really worked to make sure that I preserve my own experience as an actor and I don’t corrupt my vision what it means to pursue my career as an actor and because of sides of the business that I’ve seen that I wouldn’t see if I wasn’t a producer.
“But I do have more of an understanding of what it takes to get movies made and certainly a movie of this size and this budget, I realize that more money doesn’t necessarily mean more freedom and so I do think I have a little bit more of an innate understanding and awareness of where I fit in to the overall picture.”