NYCasting has interviews with Gale Harold, Freddie Smith, and Dan Feuerriegel, in which the three actors talk about the auditioning process for the roles they made famous in Queer As Folk, Days of Our Lives, and Spartacus.
They’re also asked about filming same-sex love scenes, and the reaction of gay fans. Here are some highlights. First up is Gale.
Did you at any point feel uncomfortable when having such intimate scenes with other men?
“Revealing yourself, physically or emotionally, to cast and crew is frequently uncomfortable. But it is essential if you want to to tell the truth. I felt more at ease being bold with some than I did with others. I was incredibly fortunate to have worked with Randy Harrison as Justin Taylor. We share enough taste in music and art to have had a real camaraderie, and luckily that evolved into a deep friendship.”
What’s your advice to actors who will be doing same-sex scenes for the first time?
“Tricky question. I’m no expert. All I can say is that if you are fortunate enough to be playing a character who is developed enough that you can mine his or her identity-which isn’t always the case-decide what or how the character behaves before and after sex. Basic. And then be yourself. Kiss well and passionately (if that makes sense), and move like you mean it!”
Freddie is asked if he had any trepidation about playing a second consecutive gay character (no), and what playing Sonny has meant to him.
Has having same-sex scenes opened up any doors for you?
“This role has opened my mind so much. I have always supported equal rights, but the most valuable thing I have learned is how it feels to actually step into a gay character’s shoes four times a week. My character faces so many challenges just because of his sexual preference. I have characters that call me disgusting, freak, faggot and even though I’m just acting, it truly affects me personally because you have to put yourself in those shoes and really feel the emotion. That’s why I’m such a supporter, because we are living through the equal rights movement today and I couldn’t be happier to be part of it. The most rewarding thing is getting mail about how a young man or woman, have come out to their parents because the Will and Sonny storyline helped them be comfortable and happy in their own skin. I feel very blessed to have been able to take on this role and have such a positive impact on others.”
What type of research did you do to portray gay characters?
“I haven’t done any specific research for a gay character. I have found there is no difference between playing a gay or straight man or kissing a man or woman on set because the universal emotion and motivation is love, which is the same for everyone.”
And Dan talks about body grooming, his nudity contract, and preparing for his love scenes with Nasir.
You knew from the beginning that your character had an interest in men. Did you do any backstory in your head as to Agron’s childhood?
“No, I generally just stick to what’s on the page. I prefer to leave the rest up to the audience.”
You treat the kissing scenes with actor Pana Hema Taylor (character Nasir) as if you would any other love scene.
“Yes, they are shot very much out of order, but its generally one week for the Romans, one week for the rebels. There were one or two scenes where we were fighting, but we always had time to change costume and get cleaned up. I had gum on hand, just in case.”
Please give some advice to actors who have not yet done a same-sex scene.
“It’s only a big deal if you make it a big deal in your head. A gay sex scene is the same as a straight sex scene. Approach them both the same way. Everybody around you is mature and professional, so there is no need to be embarrassed. Of course it’s nerve-racking, as you are in a very vulnerable position… but it’s only acting. Once you are in the scene and you see the camera and the crew, (it’s a limited crew) and realize how choreographed everything is, you realize even more so that it’s no big deal. But if you do find that you are feeling very out of sorts and there is something that you genuinely don’t want to do, (e.g. a position, etc.) then speak up and stick to your guns.”