Having worked on the first season of American Horror Story, Ryan Murphy knew he could trust Zachary Quinto with all of his twisted story secrets. So when he approached Quinto about co-starring in the second book of the miniseries, he was willing to tell Quinto a bit more about his character’s arc than most– including the fact that his Dr. Oliver Thredson was the murderous Bloody Face.
“It very much informed the character that I was building from the beginning,” Quinto said on a conference call about having the knowledge prior to filming. “As a result, I felt like my responsibility became to create a character that people could trust, or at least trust initially, and have some hope that perhaps he is actually the one voice of reason and sanity within this chaotic world. So it was actually more exciting for me to know from the beginning. It gave me more to play with and more to hold back and more secrets to keep.”
In the beginning of American Horror Story: Asylum, it appeared that the soft-spoken Dr. Thredson was the most mild mannered of the characters. Though he attempted aversion/conversion therapy with Lana (Sarah Paulson), he even seemed to exhibit remorse while doing so. Perhaps, though, that was because he had a much deeper, darker plan in mind for her and didn’t want to waste time, though.
“I think he definitely believes in [psychiatry],” Quinto said. “I think part of being a psychopath is an ability to dissociate from one reality and create another one completely. I think he does that expertly. I think his level of training, medical training and intuition instinct—I think he’s very skilled. I mean, that’s what allows him to get away with [his serial killing] as long as he does…which is kind of another layer of tragedy of the character is that he could have been something else. He could have made a more significantly positive contribution had he only re-channeled his traumas, his energy.”
Quinto did share that in the coming episodes the audience would learn more about the whys behind Dr. Thredson’s killings– including why he does it at all and why he chooses the victims he does.
“It all traces back to one source of trauma that then sort of branches out to include all of these unfortunate women,” he said of the next new episode “The Origins of Monstrosity.”
“The storytelling structure of Asylum I think is really going to pay off in a really big way. So I think all of the questions that people have, and that the episodes that are airing right now are generating, will definitely be answered. That’s my instinct, at least, having read up through almost the end now.”
For Quinto as an actor, the role of Dr. Thredson inspired and challenged him to sign up for the second season of the miniseries simply because it was so dark and different from what he had done previously. Of course, the caliber of other actors certainly helped, and one thing Quinto noted was that thus far (even at the further ahead point in the story he is currently filming from what is airing), he still holds out hope to work with one very special cast member.
“I wish I had more to do with James Cromwell. I have never really crossed paths like the doctor in the asylum, but maybe there’s something to look forward to there. We’ll have to wait and see,” he said.
Do you think Quinto’s Dr. Thredson is also the Bloody Face of the present day storyline? Sound off in the comments below with your theories!
American Horror Story: Asylum airs on FX on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. “The Origins of Monstrosity” airs on November 21st 2012.
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