Zachary Quinto Taking A Break From Star Trek

One of the cool features of the new Star Trek Online MMORPG is the voice of Zachary Quinto (Spock in 2009’s Star Trek), who plays the role of an EMH who guides you through the STO tutorial when you first start in the game. However, in a new interview the actor says he is now going to take some time off from Star Trek.


Quinto taking a Trek break until sequel
Of all of the new Star Trek actors, Zachary Quinto has probably done more in the extended world of Trek than any. In addition to his work on the film, Quinto narrated the audiobook for the Alan Dean Foster Star Trek novelization and has appeared at a number of Trek and sci-fi conventions. Most recently he provided the voice work for the tutorial EMH for Star Trek Online.

EMH Mark VI in STO tutorial – voiced by Quinto

But in a new interview with WIRED, the actor says that he is taking a break:

I’m stepping away from Star Trek for at least two years — no movies, no conventions, no anything for a while. I did this game to make an investment in the fan base.

Of course the next Star Trek movie comes out in June 2012, so it will be over two years until we see him doing Spock again, although it is expected he will be on the job when the film goes into production (presumably sometime in 2011). Like with all the other actors, Quinto signed on for options to do two additional Star Trek movies. However, it looks like he wont be showing up at any cons or voicing any more games or audiobooks in the short term.

It is possible that, like other Trek vets before him, Quinto is concerned about typecasting or becoming too associated with sci-fi (with Heroes and Star Trek being his two biggest associations). Quinto also told Wired he wanted to explore "other territory", but hopes his fans will come along, saying:

I want to invite them along with me on my journey, which is going to take them out of their comfort zone and into other areas and other styles of storytelling.

More from Quinto at

Here is video of Quinto voicing the tutorial EMH for STO.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Hardly surprising, he’s a young man with a great many projects to work on. Was nice of him to do a bit extra though! I suspect however the others won’t attend a convention until their careers depend on it, in perhaps 40 years?

How can he say he won’t do any movies for two years and yet start filming one in one year? That’s illogical!

I would feel the same way.

It’s probably good because then he can re-enter it all with a fresh mind…

I however, will probably never step away from Star Trek. :p

2 steps forward, 1 step back, I guess.

Interesting. It’s as if the whole process in the pre-production of Phase II (the original one, not James Cawley’s) is being repeated.

If he’s $howing a di$intere$t, it might be more of a pay-for-play move. Nimoy didn’t want to do Phase II at the rates offered. And although when it switched to making a movie (TMP), then Nimoy was coaxed back in. Although we lost Xon, we later got him back in a way through Data…. and Decker through Riker… but I digress.

So, perhaps the script for Star Trek Something Something might need to contemplate the premature arrival of Xon to serve as Kirk’s science officer, eh? A perfect role for Adrien Brody, I say!

Enjoy the break Zach. I look forward to seeing your future works and your return to Trek. :)

Hard-earned. Well deserved.

From everything I’ve seen, he has been the most involved of the new Trek cast. He has done alot to promote the movie and Star Trek itself, as well as being on Heroes, that has got to take alot out of a person.

Enjoy your break, you deserve it!

#2–He may mean that we will not see him for 2 years. Probably a smart move regardless. Everyone needs a break and he doesn’t want to overexpose himself this early in the game (no pun intended).

Too bad to hear this. He was the only one from the New Star Trek Movie to appear at any of the Star Trek Convention. He made the Las Vegas Convention better when he appeared alone and with Leonard Nemoy On Stage. I was hoping he would again make the ST Convention in Las Vegas this year, now that the Movie has been released, and is such a big hit.

He will be missed.

Good for Zach. It’s important to explore different things and not get trapped or pigeonholed into one mindset.

Are those really his eyebrows or did he need implants after Star Trek?

I heard it’s more than just a break and that he’s actually being replaced by Jay Leno.

That’s what I heard, anyway.

Quinto’s tutorial? 5 minutes of voice time.

how is this an issue?

Well earned break. He has done a lot for Trek and I really appreciate it.

Come back Zach!

Zach seems to be a very smart and savvy guy. Go on, Zach — take your Trek vacation — you’ve earned it!

#2 and #11- Or maybe he has a time ship ;)

Good. I don’t blame the guy, he’s an actor, he wants to play many parts.

I hope he does.

See you next time.

I don’t consider this a big deal. I understand that Zachary Quinto doesn’t want to be typecast. Deciding not to do conventions makes sense as well.
After only one movie, Quinto doesn’t have the amount of experiences to draw from when conversing with fans. Stars such as Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner and Patrick Stewart all have decades of memories from which to share with fans. Even recurring “guest stars” have more to tell.
I mean really, what would Quinto talk about? He could sign autographs but I doubt Quinto would appear only for that. He just doesn’t have enough on his Star Trek resume. He’d be rehashing everything.
And maybe he doesn’t want to take the limelight away form Leonard Nimoy.

“I want to invite them along with me on my journey, which is going to take them out of their comfort zone and into other areas and other styles of storytelling.”

I think it makes sense for him to balance his life and maybe establish some distance for the usual concerns … but that line suggests that his view of his fans may be skewed a bit by his convention experiences or something :) Last I checked, fans of things like Star Trek and Heroes tend already to be fans of every other kind of storytelling as well.

Hey, Quinto.. You can checkout of Hotel Star Trek anytime you want, but you can never leave.

He has done alot for Star Trek in many ways. I have enjoyed watching his work, and he deserves a break. Hope to see more of him soon though!

I don’t understand, why does he need to announce this. It’s just another job to an actor, isn’t it? It’d be like me taking a break from my underwear for the next 2 days.

Whatever you do, don’t write any books wth the title “I am not Spock” or “I am not Sylar”.

Other than that go for the gusto, we know you will be back.

He has done so much for the world of Trek, he totally deserves the break. And typecasting can be an issue and Im okay with him not wanting to be “Star Trek guy” or “Sci-Fi guy”!

You’ll always be welcomed back!

i agree with every positive sentiment that was expressed above.

However i’m a little offended at, “which is going to take them out of their comfort zone”….like Star Trek fans only sit around watching star trek or other sci fi? cmon. we enjoy many genres of film, tv, books, games and lifestyles!

There is not an established “comfort zone” for Trek fans. I think we’ve proved that here on this site. We’re quite a diverse group with a very diverse set of interests and philosophies.

I have a hunch he may be referring to some political or social activism in his future. Like some of the gay and lesbian community support hes been showing lately.

I say…bring it on ZQ! Good luck in whatever’s next!

A break from Trek? Why I’ve never heard of such a thing! :-P

:) Wise and healthy move.
He owes us nothing, whatever he gives fans outside of his role is a gift.

I’m not knocking him, but I guess I just don’t understand the point of his statement. How are his plans supposed to be different than any other actor? Did anyone expect him not to do anything else? Did anyone expect Matt Damon not to do other movies between shooting the Bourne movies?? Did anyone expect Ewan McGregor not to do other movies between shooting all the Star Wars movies?? Other than not doing Star Trek conventions, I really don’t see any point to what he said.

We all need breaks from time to time.


Playing Spock is different than the two examples you site. If he isn’t careful, he’ll be doing voice overs for cheap paranormal documentaries when he should be contending for serious acting gigs.

Nimoy eventually made peace with being a genre actor, but it took time . I don’t blame this kid for trying to get away from Trek between films so he can branch out. He has a short window before the role defines his public image.

Hey, what is this? leonard Nimoy never stepped away from the franchise for a few years! Quinto will probably do some dumb things in the meantime to space himself from it, like play Sherlock Holmes, or Paris in an new Mission: Impossible movie, or the play Equus, or do a TV show about people in search of something, or start painting fat naked ladies, or sing a few bad albums. Traitor! You won’t find Nimoy lowering himself to such things. No sir, he stood behind Trek all the way.

Quinto should be careful or he might end up like this:

I can see a book in his future, “I Am Not Spock Either.”

LOL@36 That is the first thing I thought of too

“31. gingerly – January 27, 2010

:) Wise and healthy move.
He owes us nothing, whatever he gives fans outside of his role is a gift.”

Do you want to build him an altar or perhaps just kiss his posterior?

Whatever he gives us is not a gift, but is compensated work.

If he wants to do other work or just chill out, that’s fine, but he ain’t Mother Theresa.

There are plenty of talented voice actors out there who would like to stop waiting tables, so if he wants to take a break to give them a shot to do video games and audio books, then more power to him.

I totally respect Quinto’s words. I love him in his roles as Spock and Sylar, but I also know so many actors are sick of being typecasted for their few roles. More power to him if he wants to go pursue other things!

I can name lots of ‘Trek actors who have won Tonys, Academies, and other awards but all they’re known for are their roles on Star Trek series/movies/whatever. That’s not a bad thing, of course, but it’s nice to be remembered for something other than a merely iconic role.

To Quinto, I’ll be watching for him on the small and silver screens. Good luck!

Typecasting was the first thing I thought of when reading this. He’s early on in his career, ambitious and is now known for being a major star in a show about mutants and is now Spock 2.

Though… it could also be down to the manic fans. Some fans are downright scary and being exposed to them on a regular basis might be overwhelming.


Whatever he gives us is not a gift, but is compensated work.

He could choose to avoid conventions and interacting with fans altogether, and simply act/produce, like many do, regardless of compensation.

Given rudeness like your own, I could see why he would.

As for Mother Teresa or posterior-kissing?

…Neither extreme was implied.

It’s a real shame simple gratitude is the equal to those things in your mind.


“He could choose to avoid conventions and interacting with fans altogether, and simply act/produce, like many do, regardless of compensation.”

Yes, he could. It is entirely his decision. He does not owe it to us any more than we owe it to him.

“Given rudeness like your own, I could see why he would.”

LOL – Why? Because I simply noted that he is an actor making business decisions and is being paid for his work?

“As for Mother Teresa or posterior-kissing?

…Neither extreme was implied.”

At the point that you are gushing with thanks in appreciation of an actor taking wages for doing work, we are approaching (if not already within) the zone of kissing posteriors and hero-worship.

“It’s a real shame simple gratitude is the equal to those things in your mind.”

Look, if you are getting paid to do it, then it isn’t a gift.

It’s in his long term interests to do work like this. If Star Trek explodes (once again) he could find himself well-loved and well-compensated in a lasting character role. It makes sense for him to invest in the success of Trek. It also makes sense to break away, to avoid being type-cast or missing out on other rewarding roles. So, it makes sense for him to establish himself in our minds as Spock, while maintaining wiggle room for other opportunities.

You see it as some wonderful gift to the fans. Indeed, you misapprehend the nature of what he is doing (i.e., it is compensated work, not an altruistic gift – if he were doing it for free, I’d be on the bandwagon here).

He did some voice work, OK. He stepped into a sound booth and read some lines. He got a check. He went home. If you play a video game or buy an audio book, you’ll get to hear it. OK, that’s cool.

He isn’t spitting on the part in public – that’s a nice switch from some previous Trek alumni – but it is what it is.

I think it is nice, I am just not inclined to gush with praise. I can endorse it with a thumbs up, I am just not going to throw a parade about it.

I apologize if you took the joke to heart.