Marques Ray isn't gay, but his flamboyant, Rosie Perez-inspired character on Comedy Central's new show Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire certainly is. Set in a medieval world, the fantasy follows Krod Mandoon (Sean Maguire), the ripped yet clumsy hero, and his band of inadequate freedom fighters as they try to liberate the realm. Ray, as Bruce, flits around amidst a cast of seasoned comedy gurus like John Rhys-Davies, Matt Lucas, and Kevin Hart and while this is the first time he's played gay, the velvet and satin are in all the right places.
Ray sat down with Out to talk about going gay for his new role, the guys on set who get him drooling, and how grape farming, of all things, started his career in motion.
Out:How's the hype been building for Krod Mandoon?
Marques Ray: It's been exciting. I have my friends and family phoning and emailing to tell me about all the billboards they're passing by, and they can't believe the Latin boy is on them.
Is this your first gay role?
It is, although there have been plenty of times in my sketch comedy that I've done it. This is the first time it's going be out there for the masses.
I watched the first episode and you are really gay. I'm wondering where you drew your inspiration from?
It's weird because when I first auditioned for it I wasn't believable -- that was a note that the casting director and the producer gave me -- that I wasn't believable enough. So I went back and I have this cousin who's kind of got that Rosie Perez vibe to him. I stole from him. So I went back and I nailed the audition although I still thought I did horribly. I was like, OK, I'll just keep using my cousin's Rosie Perez thing.
Your first big romance in the series, General Arcadius, dies in the first episode. I'm wondering if you have another great love coming up?
I dont. In this series hopefully, if it gets renewed, yes. But there's no love interest for me again that comes up in the first six episodes. We've been talking about the history and the future of Bruce as far as the next season. Actually, I become pregnant in the show this season. I might be spoiling something, but yeah, I do become pregnant in the show.
Is it Arcadius' baby?
Should I be saying this to you? No, it's not.
Although I said there's not another love interest -- I become pregnant. So that might be a telling you a lot about my character right there.
Who is your hottest co-star?
Hottest co-star? Definitely John Rhys-Davies. Yeah, he's got it going on. I came in knowing he was going to be there, so I was star struck. He was in Indiana Jones. Yeah, that's bonus points. Him and definitely India [de Beaufort], India's great. It makes me mad how beautiful she is.
How did you get started in comedy? I was a roamer. I went to San Diego State for a few years and then I graduated from Cal State-Bakersfield, and pretty much all of those years were a daze, I don't remember anything. I'm not just saying that -- there was a lot of drinking there.
Were you born in California?
I was, I was born in Bakersfield, it's a little town where agriculture is the thing, farming and stuff, and I took part in that. My pops made me pick grapes every summer in high school. So much fun, you had to wake up every morning at four and put on long sleeves even though it's hot outside because of the pesticides and then we picked grapes!
Wow. Did you do theater while you were in school?
No. No. I did advertising and public relations.
So how did the advertising and the grapes turn into comedy?
Advertising came out because I was like, I'm not fucking picking grapes anymore. Acting came out because I didn't want to do advertising anymore. I guess that's the right correlation. After college I went to an open stage, which they call a jam, and it was at [famed improv group] Second City. I went up there and my heart was beating so fast and I did a Prince impersonation and it got some laughs. I was hooked from there.
Oh, so definitely a clear line straight to Comedy Central --
Oh, yeah, right. Makes sense.
Finally, if you had to give Bruce relationship advice, what would you tell him?
Just let it go man, let it go, everything. Let Arcadius go, let your feelings flow. Let life happen Bruce. That would be my advice, and he'd probably slap me for it.