May 3, 2002
1. Are you worried about being typecast into only gay roles?
While its a concern in regards to projects that are presented to you, I really feel that you can only be typecast if you let yourself be typecast. Look at the wonderful job Johnny Depp did of breaking away from his 21 Jump Street role.
2. Did you ever think that you would do this type of show?
Truthfully, no. Every indication was that I would end up doing a sit-com. Thats where everyone seemed to feel I would find the most success. So to be involved in a show that is so groundbreaking as well as an opportunity for me to show a better indication of my range as an actor than being purely comic is beyond my dreams. I am very lucky, indeed.
3. I was wondering (and this is going back) what you thought of the whole Blake storyline on QAF? Do you think that Ted has recovered from that heartbreak, and if not, is it affecting his behavior in season two?
I loved the Ted/Blake storyline. His feeling that if he could just fix Blake (no drug pun intended) he would be the perfect partner was a side of Ted that I could relate to quite strongly. Its a pattern Ive repeated often in my own life. Those types of relationships are always doomed. The relationship also showed how much opera has warped Teds sense of reality a bit - - also a very real experience for so many people. Its no wonder to me that so many viewers responded so strongly to that storyline.
As to how it affects Ted in season 2, of course its affecting his behavior. We are all our own history. Everything that has come before affects our current behavior. So while it may not be specifically addressed this season, it has been very much a part of how Ive decided Ted will respond to certain events.
4. So...since "The Advocate" saddled you with a wife...want one? Just kidding! In all seriousness, as a former Journalism student, I was horrified by the misrepresentation in that article and the fact that, yes, you were basically put on the same block as the Eric McCormacks and Kerr Smiths of the world. Do you find it frustrating to deal with this subversive forced homophobia in both the media and the industry itself? In other words, do you think we'll ever get to a place where no one gives a damn who sleeps with who?
It has certainly been a learning experience for me. It does seem inherently homophobic, doesnt it? But it also shows how our society views sex as something kind of dangerous and all defining. I mean, no one asks James Gandolfini if hes ever actually garroted another man. My hope (and perhaps it is a nave one) is that QAF will help show people that these questions dont really matter - - people are queer in general, thats what makes us such a fascinating species to watch.
5. As a student of improv myself, I would love to know if improvisational theatre has had an impact on you and how you approach your characters...especially, of course, Ted, given the situations he finds himself in on QAF.
I love using improv with characters, but improv theatre scares the hell out of me. Many of my dear friends are alumni of Second City or Improv Olympic and I sit and marvel at what they do. I even did some last summer as a dare to myself and it STILL scares the hell out of me. Its an odd thing. Once I know a character well enough I can go on and on with ad libs, etc. if need be (and have been known to much to the dismay of directors and stage managers everywhere). I am a chronic mutterer after my lines are done. But the process of instantly creating a full 3-dimensional character who, generally, has to say really funny things terrifies me.
6. What is your favorite dessert?
7. What is your favorite season of the year?
Close tie between Spring and Fall. I love the transitional nature of both. Fall was so wonderful growing up in New England and brings with it a wonderful melancholy, while Spring is all about rebirth, new possibilities and girls in little summer dresses.
8. Scott, you are both a good actor and a classy guy, and those are just two of the reasons why many people would and have traveled large distances and waited in even longer lines to meet you. (How's that for a run-on?) My question is, for whom would you travel anywhere and wait anytime?
Wow. Thank you for those compliments. The way you say it I guess I would travel anywhere and wait on line for me too! Im HOT! Most of the people I would wait on line for are no longer with us (Jimmy Stewart, Jack Lemmon and Peter Sellers). Ive waited (and gotten) Elvis Costellos autograph. So whos left? Hmmmm Uma? No . Sarah Polley? Maybe. Actually I like getting instantly inspired by seeing an actor give a magnificent performance in a show and waiting to tell them so right after the show. Kinda skirting the question I know, but Im tired and dont have a definitive answer so cut me some slack, okay? Sheesh.
9. There was some flack over your comments about the Showtime forum in your blog. Do you feel that you might have made a PR mistake by insulting such a large community of the show's fans?
No. I expressed my opinion that is all. I will admit that I was surprised at the limited negative response. As ALWAYS seems to be the case in these types of he hurt our feelings kind of situations my comments were either taken out of context or only heard of second-hand. Lets look at what I ACTUALLY said, shall we: (I had been writing about watching the CBS special on 9/11 and how deeply it affected me) My emotions were rising. Then I made a mistake. I was curious to see what the response was to "Ted's" story-line in Episode 9 of QAF. I decided to check out the Showtime message boards. Now I should say that I had stopped reading them last year when I found them to be more of a distraction than an aid in my work (just like reading reviews) so it's been a while. What the hell has happened over there? So much bile and dissent spewing forth. It really upset me. So much hate. Even if it's only from a simple-minded few, the decision by so many to return hate with still more hate saddened me. Coming so close on the heels of reliving the 9/11 experience I began to have a "what will become of humanity" moment. Have we learned nothing?
I stand by my words. I never said EVERYONE at the Showtime site was guilty. If I was not specific enough as to the culprit(s) it was only done to avoid inciting any further fires or empower any arguments that were unworthy of discussion, in my opinion. That night may have been an unusually ugly one, but it is what I experienced nonetheless. If anyone can prove that was NOT my experience and that I am making things up then I will gladly retract what I wrote. Its sad to me that people missed the point of what I was trying to say. I was writing about something much larger than a message board. I was writing about human civility and a sense of community. There were those who understood that and those who helped to prove my point for me.
10. What are your plans for the summer hiatus? Do you want to stay in L.A. or would you be willing to travel to do a play or a movie?
I would happily travel for the right project, be it film or theatre. Just got back to LA a week ago and I am still settling in. Ill probably start looking in earnest for the right project to spend part of my hiatus on in the next week or so. Until then ahhhhh, warmth and sunshine **drooling**
11. Many people feel the second season doesn't have the depth and emotional impact that the first season had and the comparison of Ted's storylines (Blake in the first season versus the porn website in the second season) brings home that point rather succinctly. Do you have a preference for the more dramatic storylines that season one gave Ted or the more comedic storylines in season two?
Ted and Emmett were both originally conceived as the comic relief characters on the show. When our producers and writers discovered that Peter and I could do so much more they did what they could to give us more dramatic scenes to play. The problem they faced was that by placing Ted in a multi-episode relationship with Blake, for example, it kept the character out of comic situations for too long. Its very important to Dan and Ron that the show have a strong balance between the comic and the dramatic. It was a mixed blessing to get so much wonderful, meaty dramatic stuff to do last season, because it left me hungering for more but the dynamics are such that those opportunities need to be limited this season. Theyre still there, just spread out more sparingly.
12. Ted, if you will pardon my language, has become a grade A asshole this season. Is his recent attitude towards Emmett and Michael going to be addressed? Will we see the sweetness of old Ted again?
Well, Im sorry you feel that Ted is being an asshole. I dont really see it that way. Hes finally learning to become his Own Man and of course hes going to stumble along the way. Hes never really been empowered before and it can be a difficult thing to learn to deal with. Thats only natural. I think he is VERY protective of his friends and slow to allow new people to enter into the circle, again a very human and natural thing I think. Might make him seem a bit of a prick, but hes the same old loveable curmudgeon hes always been at heart.
13. Many fans were appalled at Ted's reaction to Ben being HIV+, especially the gossipy way he told Brian, Justin, and Emmett, and wondered if you had problems with saying some of those lines. Do you ever feel uncomfortable or have moral disagreements with some of the things the writers make Ted say or do? How do you deal with those issues?
Ted expressed an opinion that is very true to his character, I think. You have to remember how deep his feelings for Michael go. As I said in the previous answer, he is very protective of his friends, Michael perhaps more than anyone. He doesnt want to see him hurt physically or emotionally. Now while that risk is inherent in almost every relationship people enter into, getting involved with anyone who has a sexually transmittable disease (especially one that has killed so many) only increases that risk. So whether or not I may agree with Teds point of view, I believe it was an honest and true one for the character. He is a bit of a pessimist after all and tends to be a catastrophist as well. Was it dangerous to have Ted and Debbie express concerns about this relationship? Perhaps, but its a very honest reaction that a lot of people have. If this show is going to be an honest portrayal of a part of the gay community, it needs to show the ugly side as well. And lets not forget this is a drama. The key to drama is tension. If all these characters did was support each other ALL the time and be all happy and fuzzy ALL the time it would be pretty f#$king boring.
There have certainly been times when Ive felt uncomfortable with situations Ted has been placed in. When that happens I go to Ron and Dan and express my concerns. They listen patiently, smack me on the side of the head and say: Quit youre cryin and get out there and DANCE! Actually there was an episode last season where Brian asks Ted to start hanging out with him (after Michaels 30th B-day disaster) and Ted starts getting lucky with all of Brians cast-offs and sluts around a bit. It felt to me like this scenario flew in the face of the operatic One True Love sense of romance that I had endowed Ted with. Plus, my own romantic sensibilities are very similar so I, as an actor was not comfortable. I had a long conversation with Ron about this and he really opened my eyes to how things were in the world that QAF was portraying, that fulfilling ones sexual desires and needs didnt necessarily preclude one from wanting to be monogamous and, as he put it so eloquently, He cant be a schlub ALL the time! It was a turning point for me in the development of the character. Its the wonderful thing about a collaborative effort like we have on QAF.
14. I read on your forum about your trip to North Carolina, hosting a fundraiser and doing a talk at a university. How do you get signed up for these things? Do you get paid for your appearances? Do you like doing things like that or is it just part of the job?
Generally people either approach my personal publicist or the Showtime publicist who covers QAF and pitch an idea. In the case of the NC event, I was approached by Mitchell Gold while attending a fund raiser in NYC. My cousins work for his wonderful furniture company so he had a personal connection. Most events I dont get paid for, because generally they are fundraisers or charity events and so my contribution is my appearance rather than a donation (cause I aint THAT rich, people!). The events that I choose to go to are work but still fun and fulfilling because its a thrill to be in a position to help organizations you believe in. Plus, its just so damned flattering. So while it is part of the job, as you say, its one I feel very fortunate to be able to do.