Zachary Quinto returns as Charlie Manx in the second season of AMC’s “NOS4A2,” premiering Sunday, June 21 — and the vampire villain has got a “lust for revenge,” says the actor.
Quinto, who is known for villainous roles like Sylar on “Heroes” and Dr. Thredson on “American Horror Story: Asylum” as well as for heroic roles like Spock in the newest “Star Trek” movies, visited StudioWrap over video chat for a talk about what we can expect to see from his character in season two.
For those in need of a quick refresher, last we saw Manx in the first season finale, he was a shriveled up old man rotting away in a hospital bed — a look Quinto said took up to four hours in the makeup chair. But as long as Manx’s old Rolls Royce Wraith is still running, his heart is still beating, and that’s where the beginning of season two picks up.
“I think one of the things we learned at the end of season 1 was how inextricably tied Charlie’s well being is to the car, to the Wraith,” Quinto told us. “So at the beginning of season two, an unwitting car enthusiast finds the burnt-out shell of the wraith and decides to restore it, and doesn’t realize that not only is he waking up this old car, but he’s waking up this old vampire. So Charlie comes to and is immediately driven by this lust for revenge, and tracks down Vic McQueen and finds her in a very different spot than where we left her, and that kicks off season 2. Vic is now in a completely different place in her life, she’s got a family of her own and a kid of her own, which is obviously going to factor into her ongoing conflict with Charlie.”
Season two also will explain a lot of Manx’s backstory and how he came to be the vision of evil that he is now, Quinto says.
“You understand a little bit more of the origins of the trauma in Charlie’s life that lead him to the choices he’s made,” Quinto said. “How difficult things were for him at different points along the way is something that gets revealed. So I think you come away as an audience with a fuller understanding of who Charlie is. He becomes a little bit more three-dimensional and not such a monolithic villain.”
Having had a lot of experience playing villains, Quinto also shared some wisdom about how humans become monsters.
“Any evil person ultimately isn’t born that way. An evil person becomes evil through a series of their own traumas or experiences of abandonment or neglect or abuse,” he said. “That’s very true for Charlie, and as much as he’s tried to crawl out from under the weight of those personal injustices. He was never able to do it, and eventually, the darkness they generated in him overtook him, and that’s the genesis of how he becomes this monster.”
Watch our full interview above.
“NOS4A2” season two premieres Sunday, June 21 at 10/9c on AMC.