‘American Horror Story:’ Here’s Why Zachary Quinto Hasn’t Returned After Asylum Season 2

In American Horror Story: Asylum, Zachary Quinto played the serial killer, Bloody Face. Each season of the anthology series delves into a different narrative. But, some actors return to play an entirely new character. For example, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, and Lily Rabe appeared for multiple seasons. However, fans were shocked to see that Quinto never returned to American Horror Story after season 2. So, why did the actor leave the show for good?

[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers from American Horror Story: Asylum]

Zachary Quinto wearing a black suit to the 'American Horror Story: Asylum' Los Angeles Premiere.
Zachary Quinto | Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Zachary Quinto first appeared in ‘American Horror Story: Murder House’

When the FX series debuted in 2011, Zachary Quinto portrayed Chad Warwick in Murder House. Before the Harmon family moved in, Chad and his boyfriend previously owned the property. But, Tate (dressed as the Rubber Man) murders the couple, and their souls remain trapped in the house for all eternity. 

After season 1 ended, Quinto returned for the second installment of the series, titled Asylum. He played Dr. Oliver Thredson; a court-appointed psychiatrist sent to Briarcliff Manor to evaluate Kit Walker (Evan Peters) before trial. Although Thredson appeared to be a friendly doctor, deep down, he was a sadistic serial killer. 

He kidnapped women that could “replace” his lost mother. For instance, he looked for women that had “maternally potent skin.” Any women who didn’t meet the standard were skinned and beheaded. Then, he turned their skin into furniture and crafted a mask from their old flesh, hence the name “Bloody Face.” Soon, news reporter Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) becomes Bloody Face’s latest victim. In the end, she manages to escape and kills him.

Why did Zachary Quinto not return to ‘American Horror Story’?

After Asylum ended in 2013, Quinto never returned to American Horror Story. During that time, the actor had numerous projects in the works – he starred in The Chair, The Slap, Girls, and Hannibal. While the actor’s busy schedule could have contributed to his absence, Quinto simply didn’t want to return to the horror series. 

In a 2015 interview with Yahoo, Quinto revealed that he and Murphy never talked about a future cameo. When asked about his return, the actor responded, “No, I don’t think so.”

“I haven’t had any conversations with anybody about it, but I feel I had a likewise great experience there, and I’m interested in getting away from the genre stuff,” he explained. 

Quinto went on to say that he wants to move on from villainous roles. “I’ve played a lot of antagonists and notable villains in my journey, but I’m willing and excited to, eager to move on from that and the genre world,” he added. “I’m interested in other worlds.”

There is no bad blood between Quinto and Murphy

Although Quinto never returned to American Horror Story, he hasn’t stopped working with the show’s co-creator, Ryan Murphy. The actor starred in the 2020 feature film The Boys in the Band. Murphy produced the film, and it premiered on Netflix in September 2020. So, there is no bad blood between the two. 

Even though Quinto has no plans to return to the AHS universe, fans will never forget his portrayal of the terrifying Bloody Face. 

All nine seasons of American Horror Story are available to stream on Netflix.

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