Zachary Quinto’s acclaimed role as the self-involved Louis Ironson, a man who abandoned his AIDS-stricken boyfriend, in the New York stage show Angels in America, was an eye-opening experience for the actor.

He says that it’s the most challenging role that he ever portrayed as an actor.

“Doing that play made me realize how lucky I was to be born when I was born and to not have to witness the decimation of an entire generation of amazingly talented and otherwise vital men.

[It was] the most challenging thing I’ve ever done as an actor and the most rewarding. And at the same time, as a gay man, it made me feel like there’s still so much work to be done, and there’s still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed.”

He also spoke about society’s role in bullying, such as in the case of gay teen Jamey Rodemeyer, the boy who committed suicide after a series of attacks from his bullies. Zach added:

“And again, as a gay man I look at that and say there’s a hopelessness that surrounds it, but as a human being I look at it and say ‘Why? Where’s this disparity coming from, and why can’t we as a culture and society dig deeper to examine that?’ We’re terrified of facing ourselves.”

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