Today’s cuppa: Darjeeling tea, chased with office coffee

First up, I didn’t post a Hot Cuppa Pic of the Week on Monday, because I was so psyched to write about "24: Redemption." This won’t make up for it, but here’s a cellphone-camera shot of my new desk buddy
(purchased from an Orange County craftsman at a fair in Manhattan Beach on Sunday), a ceramic pink elephant bank wearing a tiny blue cowboy hat.

Or, as I like to call him, the Jack "Pistol Packin’ Pachyderm" Bauer-phant …

Anyway, on to business. As related before in this space, in mid-August, I did a set visit to "Heroes," and among the cast members I sat down with was Sylar himself, Zachary Quinto. In another earlier post, I talked about his thoughts on what might happen if the brain-sucking serial killer Sylar were to produce offspring with the electrically charged Elle (Kristen Bell).

But that’s not all we talked about.

As a long time "Star Trek" fan — and a dedicated Spock girl since grade school — I had to ask about his role as the younger Spock in the upcoming "Trek" prequel, which also stars Chris Pine as James T. Kirk. Due out in May 2009, "Star Trek" is directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (the same trio behind Fox’s current "Fringe").

Without further ado, Quinto speaks.

On having half an eyebrow and a bad ‘do:

"Oh, yeah, those were the unique challenges during shooting the movie, when I had to shave my eyebrows and get my hair cut in that bowl for six months. But I feel like I couldn’t ask to be in a better spot, and the work I’m doing is with really talented people, and they inspire me. I’m learning a great deal every step of the way."

On living up to the legacy of Leonard Nimoy as the half-human/half-Vulcan Starfleet officer Spock:

"We’re making our own world over there. It’s with respect and consideration for what’s come before, but I don’t feel the onus of having to live up to anybody. I feel like I’m creating my own version of that character in that world. I think all of us are doing that. That was the mandate.

"We weren’t trying to recreate anything or live up to anything. We’re telling the story with a lot of heart and a lot of respect for how it began, and that’s all we can do. Leonard’s been very supportive, so I don’t have any worries about that.

"Leonard had a really interesting experience coming to Los Angeles. He had an interesting journey. He’s an incredible guy. We’ve become friends, spent time together. I consider that one of the most valuable parts of that experience."

On looking at himself as Spock for the first time:

"It was so surreal. It felt so comfortable, and yet it felt so daunting at the same time. It was a strange duality."

On whether he felt like he’d suddenly woken up at a "Star Trek" convention:

"Yeah, right? Totally. I just went to one last weekend in Las Vegas. It’s the biggest one in the country. Leonard and I went to that one. The only ones I’ve done so far, I’ve done with Leonard, so it’s nice to have that companionship."

On whether he plans to do many more sci-fi conventions:

"I feel like there are a lot of other creative experiences for me based on what I’ve been able to garner from the show and from the movie, so I look forward to walking those roads before I walk the convention circuit with any regularity.

"A few times a year, maybe — and mostly I want to enthuse people about the movie, get them excited about it. I actually enjoy going to them now."

On whether he felt restricted playing Spock, whose Vulcan devotion to logic controls his emotions:

"I don’t know if that’s true. I don’t know if his emotional life is any…it’s definitely a restrictive feeling sometimes. One is not able to fully express oneself in that world, but that doesn’t mean there’s any less going on."

On whether playing Spock affected how he went on to play Sylar, who also keeps it very cool:

"I think Sylar’s always originated from a place of stillness, and Spock lives there, too, so there’s echoes
of these two characters in one another. They just happen to exist on very opposite ends of the spectrum."

On the possibility of a "Mirror, Mirror" goatee:

"I’m working on that for the sequel."

Posted by:Kate O'Hare