Out actor Zachary Quinto will play
author Gore Vidal in the West End production of Best of Enemies.
The play, which opens November 14 at
the Noel Coward Theatre in London, was inspired by ten debates between
conservative author and columnist William F. Buckley and Vidal during
the 1968 Republican and Democratic Party conventions.
Buckley was the founder of the National
Review and the host of Firing Line for 33 years.
Speaking with UK glossy Attitude,
Quinto (Star Trek, American Horror Story) talked about
his admiration for Vidal and the state of LGBTQ rights in the United
“The character of Gore Vidal is
really exciting,” Quinto said. “He was not only an intellectual
titan, but he was also a gay icon in the sense of how open he was
about his authentic self and how unapologetic he was about his gay
identity. I find his position on sexuality, in general, to be
incredibly fascinating, so he as a character was really appealing to
me. Then what the play represents in terms of how resonant it is to
our political landscape today means there’s something incredibly
vital about it.”
Vidal was “absolutely ahead of his
said. “He never backed down from acknowledging and accepting
his identity as a gay man.”
“[He] famously said 'It’s as
natural to be homosexual as it is to be heterosexual.' I find that
belief really empowering. I think he did believe in a spectrum of
sexuality but I wonder how much of that was actually a reflection of
the social time he lived in. His beliefs contracted and expanded and
changed over time, as all our beliefs do over the course of our
lives, but he had this fundamental acceptance of who he was. He knew
very clearly what his place was in the world and it was pretty
amazing in 1968 to have somebody so uncompromising. He said ‘I
don’t care if America is ready, I’m ready.'” Quinto said.
On LGBTQ rights, Quinto said that he
was most concerned about transgender rights.
“We have to be incredibly vigilant
and the anti-trans movement, especially when it has to do with young
people in schools, is something that I’m hyper-aware of and
interested in fighting against,” he said. “We have to make sure
we protect those young kids. That’s always the thing I have my mind
on the most because I think the most vulnerable group in our
community is the one that needs the most attention and the most
advocacy. I’m always interested in keeping an eye on those battles.
I think everywhere we turn right now we have to be on guard, pushing
and fighting for advancement and integration as much as we possibly