The second season of the AMC series NOS4A2 has recently made its premiere and after the final moments of season one, we were certainly left with many burning questions. It appeared that the infamous blood-sucker Charlie Manx was possibly dead, however as we now know he is very much alive and well (so long as he can get his Christmasland feedings).
This season is all about revenge for Manx and going up against his nemesis Vic McQueen. This season the series, which is based on the story by author Joe Hill, is certainly taking a darker turn, but we are certainly loving every moment.
We recently had a chance to catch up with series star Zachary Quinto who plays the villainous Charlie Manx to get the inside scoop on his character development, the new season, and more.
Can you talk about your continued development of the Charlie Manx character going into season two? We learned quite a bit in season one and were absolutely hooked and season two is shaping up to be amazing as well.
ZACHARY QUINTO: I think it’s a pretty exciting continuation, as eight years have passed between season one and season two so when we meet Manx and Vic they are in very different places in their lives. It’s been a pretty rough ride for both of them in their own ways. Manx is essentially dead when we meet him at the beginning of season two and through a series of both intentional and coincidental events manage to continue on in that way of immortality and come back to life and obviously revenge is a huge motivator for Manx in season two and going after Vic McQueen is something that he commits to, so I think we didn’t have to spend a lot of time establishing stuff in season two which was great. We had everything and we knew what it was and we knew who the people were, we knew what the make-up was, so we knew everything and that made it so much easier to get right to it and season two felt like it went so much more quickly for me than season one. It was like a blur, partly because there was no runway … we were able to take right off and that was exciting.
As you continue to delve into this character, is there anything you are surprised to learn about yourself as an actor, as you are spending a lot of time with him and learning his motivations?
Well, my deep reserves of patience is something I think I have cultivated in this experience. It is really just letting the process unfold and just being with it every step of the way was a big lesson for me in the course of my relationship with Manx because of the intensity of the make-up process and the challenges of the weather in Rhode Island, which can be a very difficult environment to shoot in, especially in November, December and January. I felt like I was really given the opportunity to embrace that and I feel like I was really able to rise and meet those specific challenges in a new way that taught me about my capacity as both a person and an actor. Psychologically, Manx is a really fun character to play … the book and the way that Jami [O’Brien] brings the book to life are really vivid and clear, so anytime I had any questions about choices or moments I was easily able to turn to the book and the graphic novels for that matter to get my answers and that’s a nice way to feel.
Definitely! We are sure having the source material readily available and not having to create the character for scratch yourself would be helpful, but you have done a tremendous job with making the character of Manx very much your own.
Yeah, it’s been really really fun and I’m so glad that Joe [Hill] is so talented and wrote such a vivid, imaginative and thrilling book for us to work from.
Is there something that you are truly excited for fans to see in season two? Obviously, the revenge plotline is going to be fairly prevalent.
There’s one episode, in particular, episode five, that I think is really spectacular, directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper and it was an episode written by Tom Brady one of our executive producers. At first, for me, I thought it was going to a really challenging experience, but it ended up being one of the most enjoyable episodes that I shot all season and I think the end result is going to be really exceptional for audiences.
We are sure you guys are very much missing this year’s San Diego Comic-Con as much as we are, as it’s such great promotion for the show.
We actually just got done taping our virtual panel for Comic-Con at home so we will have a place in the new iteration of it, but it’s just yet another way to show just how bizarre these times are that we’re living in the middle of … you know … to not have a physical outlet for everyone to go and congregate and celebrate work is one of the sad byproducts of the pandemic … but you know, we have to roll with the punches and take it as it comes so we’ll see what happens next year.
In your words, how do you feel that NOS4A2 stands apart in the genre, as we have a slew of shows that are based around various supernatural elements? NOS4A2 has such wonderful character development, do you think that plays a part?
I do and I think the theme of female empowerment is something that has been unique to our show. It is something I think that Jami [O’Brien] and the writers capture and Ashleigh Cummings as Vic McQueen and Jahkara Smith as Maggie really embody with a lot of integrity and dynamism so I feel like our cast and the characters they represent are unique and interesting, as well as, very compelling. I feel proud to be a part of this group and proud to be a part of this gathering of people who work together with a great attitude and great spirit and great talent to make the show.
We feel as if the setting of Christmasland is a character within itself and I know you mentioned some of the filming challenges in Rhode Island in the wintertime. Would you agree?
Yes! This year we built Christmasland inside! We spend a fair amount of time there and last season it was all outside and it gets brutally cold in Rhode Island in the winter so it was a lovely move on the part of our producers to make the call to build it in this huge armory in Providence, so we didn’t have to brave all the elements as we were shooting in Christmasland.
Season two of NOS4A2 is surely top of your list right now, but is there any other projects in the works for you this year that we can be on the look-out for?
Yeah, there is a bunch of stuff that’s brewing, but I think the next thing that will come out will be the film version of Boys In The Band, which is a play I did on Broadway two years ago and we filmed a movie this past summer and we hope that will be released sometime around the end of this year which I’m really excited about, as it was a great experience and I’m really proud of it and I can’t wait to share that with people as well!
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