“Grey’s Anatomy” Doc on Straight Actors, Gay Roles: “The Best Actor Wins”

Alex Landi plays the Shondaland series' first gay male surgeon.

Code red! Grey’s Anatomy star Alex Landi wants to heal LGBTQ and Asian stereotypes.

The ABC series welcomed the 26-year-old newcomer to the current 15th season as Dr. Nico Kim, the show’s first gay male surgeon. Since starting his residency at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, Kim has had a flirtation with intern Dr. Levi “Glasses” Schmitt, played by out actor Jake Borelli.

“As an actor, I want to do the best job I can in any role, regardless of my own personal sexuality or the character’s,” says Landi in a new Attitude cover story. “I just want to do this role proud for the LGBT+ and the Asian communities. If I put in my two cents, the best actor wins.”

“It comes down to the role breakdown,” Landi continues. “it just falls into whoever can do it the best and what the producer likes. I don’t think it necessarily has to fall into sexual identity. It falls into who can get the job done.”

“There are discussions about transgender actors playing transgender roles, gay actors playing gay roles, and Asian actors speaking up about whitewashing simply because not all actors have equal opportunities. There isn’t a level playing ground. When roles stop being pre-defined by ethnicity and sexual orientation, that is when these discussions will no longer be at the forefront of casting decisions.”

Mitch Haaseth via Getty Images

Landi reveals that Grey’s producers “wanted a very masculine ’bro’ type, and they wanted him to be openly gay. That was disclosed to me before the audition.”

“I’m trying to break stereotypes,” says Landi, who is half Korean and half Italian. “Asian men are not seen as masculine in the media and that is something that I am striving to change.”

“Why can’t there be an Asian James Bond? Why can’t there be an Asian Marvel superhero? There are plenty of Asian men who can pull it off. A dream of mine is to become a Marvel superhero.”

Grey’s Anatomy has featured numerous LGBTQ characters, most notably bisexual orthopedic surgeon Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and lesbian pediatric surgeon Dr. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw).

Last season Candis Cayne played a trans patient seeking vaginoplasty surgery, and trans actor Alex Blue Davis has appeared as trans intern Casey Parker.

Grey’s Anatomy returns January 17 on ABC.

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