January 4, 2002
1. If you could be fantasy writer for a day, what story line would you write for Ted?
I had suggested a few story-line ideas to our producers at the end of last season for Season 2. One or two they actually liked, but this one may have been a little far-fetched: Given that Ted has a penchant for pretty young boys (like Blake) I thought it would be interesting to have him fall for a hairless hottie who seems reluctant to go any further sexually than making out. But they have a lot in common and this guy seems to really care for ol Ted. As they grow closer on a personal level, Ted becomes more frustrated sexually. Finally the truth is revealed that his new love is actually a female cross-dresser. Poor, Ted his perfect man is a girl. I kind of based it on a transsexual man Im aware of who, after his surgery, ended up falling in love with a lesbian. He had become she but was still attracted to women.
2. I'm sure you've gotten Kevin Spacey before, but anyone ever tell you that you bear a resemblance to Steve, the host of "Blue's Clues?"
In fact, we can make it a trivia contest, in an episode of Season 2 that we shot a few weeks ago I was wearing a shirt that makes me look EXACTLY like Steve. I was going around the set asking, Wheres Blue? See if you can spot the scene.
3. You have the best stammer in television today...perhaps the best since Porky Pig himself! I'm thinking of episode 15 in particular, wherein Dale Wexler vexes poor Ted so severely. Question: do you rehearse all of that pre-verbal stuttering, or is your stammer improvised on the spot?
I usually know where a stammer will go and then just let it flow as we shoot. But there are times such as that dungeon scene, where the action dictates it. I always try to be open to serendipity.
4. How's the iPod working out for you so far?
I still love it and take it with me everywhere. With over 870 songs on it, its like having a radio station that only plays songs I like and doesnt interrupt them with chatter and commercials. Cant wait to take it on vacation with me! Are you from Apple by any chance?
5. How tall are you?
Im 5 10 but I like to carry myself much shorter so as not to intimidate anyone.
6. It would be interesting to read a little about what it's like for Scott to be living in Toronto... does he miss LA or does he get caught up in the insular QAF world such that it doesn't matter?
I do miss LA and all my friends there and my life. Honestly work is so all consuming for me up here that I tend to feel a little disconnected from the world in general. Its a bizarre way to live. Do I live in Toronto or LA now? Wheres my home? It gets confusing and leaves one feeling a little rootless.
7. In the LA Times article (November, 1999) 'No Tea and Sympathy for Them' by, Kristin Hohenadel, Russell T Davies mentioned (paraphrased) "a lot of men love the idea of playing a killer...but [shy] away from playing a gay man." It's an interesting societal commentary. Do you foresee this changing at some point in the future? Do you hope Queer as Folk may play a part in that change?
Its hard to have a real clear perspective on this topic up here in the wonderfully protective bubble of our set. But Ill try. An audience members ability to believe an actor actually IS whatever character theyre portraying is paramount to the success of a play or film or television program. If their perception is clouded by their opinion about the actor as a person outside the role, their ability to believe in the character is jeopardized. I know a lot of people who cant watch the film Manhattan anymore because of their opinion about Woody Allens relationship with Sun Yi. Likewise, there are certain actors I know to be complete cads and dogs in real life, so I just dont buy them as the sweet, romantic, guy-next-doors that they play in films. This is what those who hope to make money off an actors performance worry about: the audiences perception.
Given that this is the rationale (however misguided) behind studios fears to hire actors that the audience might perceive as gay to play straight roles, it is understandable that many actors would be worried that playing a gay character might hint at a sexual orientation that could limit their ability to be cast as a hetero romantic character and their career. I guess its just an assumption that if you play a killer the audience is fully aware that you actually arent one in real life or youd be in prison. A persons sexuality is another matter; especially to American men. Believe me I know first hand the difficulty people have separating reality and fantasy if youve done your job well as an actor.
Its interesting that close to 50% of QAFs audience in the States is straight. But the majority of that 50% is female. Its a wonderful thing to me that so many women have the hots for Gale and Hal even though they are playing VERY sexually active gay characters. But what really gives me hope is how many women lust for Peter and Randy knowing that they are gay in real life. I am sure their many female fans would jump at the chance to see them smooching girls on film. Unfortunately women still do not have the clout as audience members as the men do in the studios eyes. So, we need to eliminate the ignorance that makes so many American men homophobic. Do I hope QAF will do that? Yes. My hope is that wives who already love the show will get their husbands to watch and maybe theyll be brave enough to tell their friends and family to watch. I also hope that the show gives those still in the closet the courage to come out and tell those they love the truth. Soon it would be rare for someone not to know and care about a gay, bisexual or transgender person. Little by little maybe theyll be able to see that all this fear is stupid and unimportant. Only then, when the majority of people in our country dont have an opinion about a persons sexual orientation will actors stop shying away from playing gay characters.
8. What is the one thing you hoped Queer As Folk would achieve, that you have never admitted in any other interview? And similarly, what was your worst fear?
Secretly I hoped QAF would achieve the same success, respect quality and acceptance that The Sopranos has. My worst fear was that no one would watch or care about it enough to love or hate it.
9. My question is what would be your role of a lifetime. Is there any character you'd love to portray or actor/director you'd love to work with?
The role of a lifetime would be the title character in; Everyone Loves Chachi: The Scott Baio Story. Truly, choosing a role of a lifetime scares me because I hope to be working for a very long time and I hope every role will be challenging and enjoyed. I would love to go back and play the role of Lucifer in Arthur Millers play The Creation of the World and Other Business and obviously (as Ive written a play about him), John Wilkes Booth (before I get too old). As for current directors, I would love to work with Wes Anderson, Steven Soderbergh and Woody Allen among many.
10. You mentioned on "Open Mike" that your sister is gay, something you haven't revealed in interviews before. Did you know she was gay before you took the role on "Queer As Folk" and how has playing Ted affected your relationship with her?
My sister came out after her freshman year of college back in the early 80s. She is a brilliant lighting designer living in the Boston area. My doing the show has brought her a lot of joy and its nice for me to see on a very personal level how positive an effect the show is having on the gay community.
11. Do you think Ted will ever get together with Michael or has that storyline been dropped for good?
I dont know if theyll ever get together, but its definitely something I still pepper into how Ted reacts to certain things between Michael and himself.
12. What's the most frivolous thing you've bought for yourself since you landed the role of Ted?
53 Sony HD-ready TV. Ive had very little time to actually watch it!
13. Your blog is my favorite part of your site and I think you are a really good writer. Have you ever considered a career as a writer?
Are you suggesting I should get out of acting and look for other work???? I dont think of writing as another career per se, but definitely another creative outlet for me.