UD: First of all, which neighborhood do you call home?
ZQ: I live in Silver Lake. I feel like it's the closest neighborhood to having a New York energy—something about the marriage of the businesses, the restaurants and the people who live here.
UD: What are your favorite neighborhood spots?
ZQ: I eat at Millie's and The Kitchen all the time, and Flore, the vegan place. I like to have a glass of wine at Dusty's or drop by Jones Café, though I haven't really been imbibing in preparation for the movie. I prefer having people over to my house for little dinner parties.
UD: You're a cook?
ZQ: There is a second house on my lot which my very good friend lives in, and we'll barbecue or have a potluck out on the porch, where you can see the Hollywood sign—it's really secluded and nice. Sometimes I'll pitch in, but I'm not really much of a cook, no.
UD: We've run into you several times seeing the same movie at the ArcLight—so we know you've got good taste in cinema. Any other favorite sources of entertainment?
ZQ: I'm a subscriber to UCLA Live, and they're doing a lot that's especially cool this year. I'm going to see the Pina Bausch dance company and Yo-Yo Ma. I'm also really looking forward to seeing Regina Spektor at the Wiltern.
UD: Your life has changed fairly drastically since last year. What has been the biggest "where am I and how did I get here?" moment?
ZQ: I recently went to this year's "The Night Before" party, the one Jeffrey Katzenberg throws every year, except this year it was before the Emmys instead of before the Oscars. It was held at CAA. Every time I turned around I would bump into someone else and be like, "Oh my god!"—but I would try to keep my cool.
UD: You must be getting recognized fairly often now.
ZQ: I definitely get recognized by fans, but paparazzi not so much.
UD: Any crazy fan stories?
ZQ: Last night I was walking my dog on Sunset in my neighborhood, and this car pulled up full of people screaming, "Sylar, Sylar!" It was so surreal. I'm not Sylar—I play a character named Sylar when I am at work. It catches me off-guard every time.
UD: You are leaving "Heroes" before the season ends. Will you be returning?
ZQ: Leaving is a risk for me, but hopefully they will find a way to bring me back. It's tough, and it's definitely a bittersweet departure.
UD: How are you staying in shape?
ZQ: I hike a lot with my dog in Griffith Park and Bronson Canyon. I also usually do a lot of yoga. But I have a trainer now for the movie. I basically do two hours of stunt training, then work out with my own trainer. I don't want to be a muscle-bound meathead, but I want to be in my best shape physically and emotionally, and I am cultivating a sense of discipline.
UD: Very Zen. We heard you've been having some trouble mastering the Vulcan salute. How's that training going?
ZQ: It's coming along just fine. It's certainly improved, especially on my left hand. I rubber-band my pinkie and my ring finger together and keep working on it that way.
UD: The things you have to do for your career now.
ZQ: I know...