“Euphoria” actor Jacob Elordi and Zachary Quinto star in “He Went That Way,” a film based on the wacky true story of a celebrity animal trainer (Quinto) and his TV chimp Spanky, who spent three days with a serial killer (Elordi) in 1964. While some press reports have described the film as a queer project, Quinto tells me we won’t be seeing him and Elordi steam up the screen: “I wouldn’t say it’s an overtly queer story, but I will say that there are undertones of both emotional and physical tension between these two characters.”
The actors became close during filming. “We talked a lot about his desire to do theater,” Quinto recalls. “I was like, ‘Go do a play in London. Go do a play in New York. That’s where you really cut your teeth.’ I’m sure we’ll see him onstage at some point.”
Before the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of the movie in June, Quinto is making the rounds promoting “Historical Homos,” an upcoming docuseries about LGBTQ history that he produced. Historian Bash and film producer and actor Donal Brophy host the program. “I do think it’s an incredibly important moment to proudly tell stories about our heritage and our past,” says Quinto, who came out as gay in an interview with New York magazine in 2011. “We are in this moment of real backlash against the progress that we’ve made as a community. But also look at how much we’ve accomplished, look how far we’ve come — even since I came of age, came out of school and started my career.”
“Historical Homos” is inspired by a coffee table book and Instagram account of the same name created by Bash and his sister, Lucy Hendra.
Episodes of the show include a dive into William Shakespeare’s possible bisexuality, homosexuality in Greek Mythology and a look at transgender pioneer Chevalier d’Éon, a celebrated French spy and diplomat in the 18th century who was born Charles but began living her life as Charlotte at the age of 49.
Charlotte definitely has the makings for a scripted feature. “I haven’t really thought about that,” Quinto insists. “I just really want to get ‘Historical Homos’ out to the world. It’s one step at a time and hopefully getting the chance to do more of it.”
As LGBTQ education and books are being banned in states like Florida, “Historical Homos” can become a much-needed resource to fill gaps created by anti-queer legislation.
“It’s incredible to think about how much freedom this younger generation is claiming, but at the same time, we’re up against the kind of last gasp of the dying old white patriarchal narrative that I think we have to push back against,” Quinto says. “There’s absolutely no room for complacency at this time. As somebody who embraces and celebrates my own LGBTQ identity, I have to be a part of moving forward. It’s the only choice I have, especially at this time when people are looking to diminish and silence and marginalize us again.”
“Historical Homos” debuts June 9 on streaming platform Dekkoo.