Kevin Daniels and Michael Mosley in Sirens.
When it was first announced that the USA Network was adapting the UK sitcom Sirens, the first concern was that they’d change up the characters, especially the main gay character but, as the US version is set to premiere tonight, that isn’t the case.
The US version comes from Denis Leary (Rescue Me) and Bob Fisher (We Are The Millers) and takes us into the world of three friends who work together as EMT’s in Chicago and, yes, one of the guys happens to be gay.
In fact, as is more the trend these days, there is no coming out story for Hank (played by Kevin Daniels), who is openly gay and not only comfortable with who he is but also best friends with Johnny (Michael Mosley), who is straight, an element of the show that isn’t treated as a major plot point but is simply incorporated into the show’s fabric.
TheBacklot recently sat down with Daniels, who is also known for his recurring role as Cam & Mitch’s friend Longinus on Modern Family, and Moseley to talk over the friendship of their characters as well as the differences in gay and straight men, especially when it comes to a vital male organ.
TheBacklot: When you guys first read the script, was the fact that this straight/gay friendship is just a part of the world something you noticed right away?
Kevin Daniels: It was evident. Like, his sexually is not even mentioned for the first…
Michael Mosley: …for the first five or six pages.
KD: And then it’s done. That’s it.
MM: That’s the way it should be. I like it that way.
In this first season, will we see Hank date and more of his personal life?
KD: We do and it’s wonderful. It’s everything you see in any relationship, any relationship you have. Like, I have an ex that I purport not to have any feelings for and, like, whatever. I’m over him, he cheated on me, I’m done with him. Later in the season, I get an invitation to his wedding and it’s like, well, does he go? How does he feel about it? What’s going on? Oh, and he’s marrying a guy that looks just like you! What did you do wrong? You know, all of that, and so then you see this guy who has been a rock for the whole season suddenly get unhinged a little bit but then he (nods to Mosley) has to take on that role.
MM: But then I am also very sympathetic inasmuch a way that I can understand it. You know what I mean? Like, I am there for him and everything like that and there is a gag…
KD: One of my favorite lines. Can we give it? This line in the pilot. We’ve been on this call, someone’s been injured, and Hank’s crying, you know, and you don’t know why. And [Johnny] comes up to him and goes, ‘What’s up man?’ And he looks and he says, “That d**k, that guy’s d**k looks just like Jeff’s d**k. I could pick that d**k out of a room full of d**ks.” And he’s trying to understand…
MM: …I know he’s hurting and so I want to be there for my friend but there is an aspect of, like, understanding different d**ks that is a little lost on Johnny, but it’s so funny.
And it looks like as much as this is a comedy, there will be dramatic elements that come in, too.
KD: There are some beautiful shots that happen throughout, like some of our calls where we’re in the middle of some asinine argument about donuts and suddenly you see someone who has lost their life partner for 30 or 40 years and you see them left and you’re like ‘how does that affect each of us?’ And then you go right back into the donuts…the heart of the show to me is about friendship and it’s also about taking advantage of your life while you live it, because you just never know what’s going to be the thing that takes you out.
Guys, don’t browse someone’s computer history – you never know what you’ll find!
Talk about the camaraderie of you guys, because you all seem like you’ve kind of really bonded from the show.
MM: Well we shot the pilot in 2012. We did re-shoots in ’13. We did the series in ’13. We’re not going to air until ’14.
So this has been a long journey for you guys.
KD: It has been.
MM: It has been a long journey and so we’ve grown pretty close over that year and a half or whatever it’s been.
KD: So you kind of watch the show gel and you watch the show figure out what it’s going to be.
Talk to me about playing other gay roles in your career.
KD: I play Longinus on Modern Family. If you watch the show, I’ve done like four or five [episodes]. I’m doing a couple more with the wedding and the bachelor party. But I’m friends with Cam and Mitch. I had actually originally auditioned to play Cam on Modern Family and I wasn’t what was written and then Eric [Stonestreet] is fantastic in the role.
But Chris [Lloyd, Co-Creator] and Steven [Levitan, Co-Creator] were really big fans of mine and they were like, ‘oh he’s really funny’ and they brought me in to test for it. It didn’t work out and they brought me in for a different role, for Pepper and then they got Nathan Lane to do it.
Then they were like, ‘You know what, Kevin? We’re going to write something for you.’ And I’m like, ‘oh, yeah, sure you are.’ Everyone always says that and then they wrote Longinus. It was really kind of fantastic. So I love to kind of float in there when I can and play with those guys in there. Really awesome, and it’s been fun.
MM: I played Prior in Angels in America… at my school, at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
KD: How was that?
MM: Amazing. It was amazing.
KD: That was the first play I saw in school in New York, and it was Stephen Spinella, who I got to work with later.
MM: You saw Spinella do it?
KD: I saw Spinella doing it.
MM: It was a great role, tragic role but like smiling in the face of tragedy. In the middle of all this pain, you’re still kind of witty…it was one of my favorites I’ve ever gotten to do.
Sirens airs Thursdays at 10pm on USA.