Quinto was first announced for the adaptation of Joe Hill's novel last year, but has since told Digital Spy that he was originally wary of "playing the villain" – and boy, is Charlie Manx a real villain.
"Originally I said no, actually," he said. "I got the offer and I was a little resistant to the nature of the show, the supernatural horror story, playing the villain which I've done before. So my first answer was, 'I don't think it's for me'."
As darkly original as it gets, NOS4A2 (pronounced 'Nosferatu', like the vampire classic) takes place in Christmasland, an alternate realm that is the complete opposite to what its name suggests.
A seemingly immortal demon, Quinto's Charlie Manx feeds off the souls of children before depositing them into Christmasland, a place where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law. Sounds a delight.
So, what changed Zachary's mind? The "unexpected and refreshing" scripts, of course.
After reading six scripts, the actor admitted that he had pre-judged the series. "I was really surprised by them actually," he explained. "I thought they were really unexpected and refreshing, and the characters were all really well defined and complicated."
Praising NOS4A2's showrunner Jami O'Brien and director Kari Skogland, Quinto added: "I loved their energy, I loved their collaborative spirit. I loved what they had to say about the show that they wanted to make. I love that they were women.
"I love that, at this moment, that the show was being run and the tone was being set by these really talented women."
Ultimately, the opportunity to "transform" himself into Christmasland's twisted, Grinch-like villain proved too exciting for Quinto to turn down.
"The more I thought about it and the more I talked about it, the more I felt like this is actually kind of a cool opportunity that I might regret if I passed it up," he told us.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
NOS4A2, which also stars Ashleigh Cummings, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, and Karen Pittman, airs on AMC in the US.
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