His villainous turn as Dr. Thresdson in FX’s “American Horror Story: Asylum” may have earned Zachary Quinto his first Emmy nomination, but for a certain subset of his fan base, he’ll always be remembered for a character with a strange-sounding name. (Hint: It begins with an “S.”)
No, not Sylar. We’re talking about Sasan, Tori Spelling‘s Iranian-American gay best friend on VH1’s 2006 comedy “So NoTORIous.”
Welcome to Before They Were Emmy Nominees. Each Tuesday and Wednesday between now and the Emmy Awards on Sept. 22, we’re going to look back at some early and obscure roles of a few of this year’s acting nominees. (See Zap2it’s Before They Were Nominees photo gallery.)
“So NoTORIous,” created by Spelling alongside Chris Alberghini and Mike Chessler (“Reba,” the new showrunners on MTV’s “Awkward”), was loosely based on the “Beverly Hills, 90210” star’s life. Quinto’s Sasan accompanied the fictional Tori on her many adventures, while hiding his openly-gay lifestyle from his parents.
Premiering on VH1 in 2006 after being passed on by NBC, the comedy only ran for a brief 10 episodes. Despite highly favorable reviews, the erstwhile music network wasn’t the prime location for a stylized comedy, leading to the brief life of “So NoTORIous.” While Spelling was the show’s main focus, Quinto had a much-talked about scene involving a sauna and a whole lot of sweat. You’ll have to check out the scene here as there’s no embeddable version.
Following “So NoTORIous,” Quinto rose to fame in the NBC smash hit “Heroes,” which premiered later that year. As the villainous Sylar, Quinto appeared on the series for all four seasons, even though we can all agree Season 1 is the only one worth watching. Here are some Sylar highlights from the first, fantastic season.
Quinto’s other early roles include a recurring role on Season 3 of “24” and a handful of one-off appearances in TV series as varied as “Lizzie McGuire,” “Touched by an Angel” and “Six Feet Under.”