‘NOS4A2’: Zachary Quinto Talks About His Physical Transformation Playing Charlie Manx

Zachary Quinto will be starring in NOS4A2 as Charlie Manx. The character has been living over 100 years feeding off the life force of children and therefore has a creepy look.

Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx in NOS4A2
Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx in NOS4A2 | IGN/AMC

Quinto, executive producer Jami O’Brien, book author Joe Hill, and Ashleigh Cummings had a press conference to talk about the TV adaption on March 11 at SXSW. This is what was revealed about Quinto’s transformation and more.

Zachary Quinto said he wanted makeup artist, Joel Harlow to create Charlie Manx

The actor has several different looks to play the aging Charlie Manx. He said that he knew exactly who would be up for the hard task of creating the character’s makeup.

Quinto said he told director Kari Skogland and executive producer Jami O’Brien, “‘if I’m going to do this [and] we’re going to pull it off I really think we need to get Joel Harlow to do the special effects makeup.’ Joel and I worked together a number of times on Star Trek and obviously, he’s kind of the top of the top and I didn’t realize he’d be available or interested but he was both.”

He continued to talk about the Oscar-winning makeup artist. “Joel’s like just a mad genius and was able to really create some looks and some ideas.” He said, “the first thing I think we identified was that we needed to create stages for the character. So that stage 1 is the most like me and then stage 5 is the most extreme.”

The executive producer still wanted Charlie to physically be a man

Executive producer, Jami O’Brien also revealed what they kept in mind when creating the makeup for the character. “One of the things we talked about a lot in terms of Manx and then the entire world was grounding it,” she said. “So Manx in his more extreme looks we all kind of felt he’s still a man.”

O’Brien then continued with “He looks different because men don’t usually live to be 135, but he’s not turning into another creature he’s always a man whether he’s a young man or an old man or an extremely old man. He’s a man from another time.”

One of the things that were changed throughout the process was Manx’s teeth. Although some may describe him as a vampire he doesn’t have fangs.

O’Brien said she got on the phone with author, Joe Hill to talk about the character’s teeth. “We got on the phone and he was like ‘listen the teeth aren’t fangs, the teeth are bad because he’s from the 19th century. They didn’t have dental care.'”

The younger teeth actually started off looking healthier in Manx’s early days, but that was also changed.

Quinto worked on the physical and vocal changes for the character

The actor couldn’t just rely on makeup to portray the supernatural character. He had to work on other changes on his own.

“Separately I was working in my own way on the physical transformation,” said Quinto. “The physicality of it and the vocal kind of transformation and that was part of what really drew me into playing this role more than just about anything else. I’ve been looking for a way to really transform and this gave me that.”

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Quinto also gave some insight into the character’s emotional journey, which starts off everything. He explained “it’s when unresolved trauma and unexamined psychological neglect it festers and has nowhere to go and so he becomes this very, very demented warped version of a wounded child himself, and that’s who Charlie Manx is in the world and to these children who he does think he’s trying to protect.”

The actor continued “but in reality, he’s serving something much darker in himself that was perpetuated by people who should have been caring for him when he was younger.”

Zachary Quinto is unrecognizable as the very old Charlie Manx. Fans will have to wait and see how it all comes together when NOS4A2 premieres this summer.

Read more: Will AMC’s ‘The Terror’ Return for Season 2?

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