Having examined Michael Jackson's six month stint in Ireland, our series next aims the spotlight (or should be say 'Spock-light'?) on one of Galway's more prominent recent residents.
Zachary Quinto has lit up the screen in recent years. Recurring roles on '24' and an ill-fated sitcom about the life of Tori Spelling (in which, in contrast to almost everyone else in it, he wasn't terrible) first made casting agents sit up and take notice but it was his spell as the villainous Sylar on the TV show 'Heroes' which, for a season or two, was one of the best things on television that really earned him a reputation as one of Hollywood's most promising young actors.
Quinto was next touted as the obvious choice to play Spock, possessing both the look and the deep timbre to his voice to make him perfect for the role - a sentiment obviously shared by JJ Abrams who cast the Pittsburgh native in the reboot of one of the silver screen's most iconic roles.
It's quite heartening to learn then, that in spite of all his current success in the movie industry Quinto came from humble beginnings - namely, a small coffee shop in Galway City. There's hope for us all, folks.
Java's on Galway's Abbeygate Street | Image: Google Maps
Java's coffee shop on Abbeygate Street is particularly popular with locals. Inside its door, right be the menu, is a small exhibit of press clippings devoted to their most famous past employee: a young American actor who spent a few months working there in the late 90's.
Quinto, who is half-Irish on his mother's side, called Galway home while studying at NUI Galway in 1998 and paid for it all on the back of the city's fondness for caffeine. Though, as he admitted himself on an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, he wasn't the best barista the city has ever seen.
Quinto told Kimmel: "I lived in Ireland for three and a half months when I was between junior and senior year. I waited tables in this raucous coffee house which was quite adventurous. We were right across the street from a nightclub which closed at 2am, so that was our busiest time."
"It was a really archaic coffee shop", the actor continued. "There were no computers so we'd write the orders on little scraps of paper which we'd the place on top of the toaster and hold down with knives. Of course, they'd curl up with the heat and people would be screaming 'where's my coffee?' and we'd say, 'sorry, your order went on fire...'
The actor returned to the city for a recent Galway Film Fleadh and spoke of his continued fondness for the city - and shot an Instagram video of his old walk to work. See below.
"It was at a time when I felt really there was a limitlessness of possibility and that was incredible because it was the first time I travelled abroad by myself and decided to live in one place", he said while being interviewed by Will Fitzgerald of the Film Fleadh.
"It was a magical time. I was in college, and it's just a really welcoming city. I felt really welcomed there."
There's a gag which says that that majority of people who work in coffee shops are struggling actors but in this case it was certainly true. So next time you're waiting an extortionate amount of time for your coffee, go easy on the barista. You might just see him or her on the silver screen someday.