For years, "Star Trek" actor Zachary Quinto dodged questions about his sexuality, preferring to keeping his private life private and let his work on TV shows such as "Heroes" and movies like the recent "What's Your Number" do the talking.
Then, unexpectedly, he offhandedly outed himself in an interview with New York magazine, while discussing his starring role last year in the restaging of the early AIDS-era drama "Angels in America."
Quinto told the magazine that his eight-month role in the epic Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tony Kushner was "the most challenging thing I've ever done as an actor and the most rewarding"; he took on the grueling role of Louis Ironson, a character who walks out on his AIDS-stricken boyfriend. "And at the same time, as a gay man, it made me feel like there's still so much work to be done, and there's still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed."
Quinto, who has been outspoken on gay rights issues in the past, told The New York Times last year that even though blogs were full of speculation about his orientation, he preferred "not to feed the rumor mill with either substantiation or dismissal."
But the events of the past year appear to have had an impact on him and Quinto seemed comfortable at this point announcing his orientation. Thinking about how the last few months have seen gay marriage legalized in New York while also marking the recent suicide of bullied gay teen Jamey Rodemeyer, Quinto said, "And again, as a gay man I look at that and say there's a hopelessness that surrounds it, but as a human being I look at it and say 'Why? Where's this disparity coming from, and why can't we as a culture and society dig deeper to examine that?' We're terrified of facing ourselves."
He was also glad to be in town promoting the financial crisis thriller "Margin Call" — the first feature from his production company, Before the Door Pictures — while hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters are camped out in New York's Zuccotti Park. "The timing couldn't be more impeccable for us to try to create a dialogue, which is exactly why we made the movie in the first place," he said.
While he's in town to promote the film, Quinto said he planned to go down and see the protesters to get a flavor of the sit-in. "As a left-leaning Democrat, I feel a sense of resonance with their position," he said. "But as a citizen of this country, I feel deeply unsettled that people are rising up in movements against each other. It feels like we're missing the mark. ... The bottom line is we're all f---ed, and we're all in this together."