Gay Kishmet

7.28.2009

By Nelson Branco

[Joking.] Have you guys figured out who the top and bottom is yet?
SE: The focus of this storyline is not [sexual yet]. The writers are trying to be respectful to the serious nature of Fish's [internal homophobia]. It's not like Kish is going to be, 'We're out! I'm gay! We're lovers!' The physical nature of their relationship probably won't be addressed for some time. The love story is going to evolve slowly.
BC: We've been really proud to act out the internal conflict. One Life is focusing on the deeper aspects of the story. And we hope they continue to.

It'd be nice if they did that with their opposite sex romances. Brett, Kyle follows Fish around like a lost puppy, often staring at him from across a bar longingly. As of press time, it appears to the audience that Kyle's love in unrequited. How do you convey his pain and love without making Kyle look like a delusional stalker?
BC: It's easy because I've been in love many times in my life. And my heart has been broken many times in my life. My performance comes from a genuine, real place. To me it's not acting, it's more being.

Scott, do you think you being open about your sexuality inspired the writers to make Fish gay?
SE: I have no idea. Maybe it did. I was hired last year to play [the recurring character of Fish]. At the time, I didn't think the character had [a long shelf life]. I'm surprised I'm still here, to be honest. I think One Life wanted to tell a gay story and looked at their canvas to see which characters they could tell it with. I don't know. Maybe me being gay did influence their position, but to me it doesn't affect me either way.

It's weird that Scott is still recurring, yet Brett is on contract. Would you sign a contract, Scott?
SE: No! I'm taking off for Paris and never coming back! [Laughs.]
BC: He's not going anywhere!
SE: Of course I would sign a contract. I love it here and love the people I work with. I'm not in a hurry to get one. As long as the story is solid, I think I'll be on the show regardless of my contract status.

Brett did you do any research to play a gay character?
BC: No, I didn't. Like I said whether or not I'm playing a gay character or a straight character the emotions are the same. I don't feel playing a gay character is any different.

It's interesting because I guess it comes down to whether you employ the Stanislavski method or not. Meryl Streep told me she researches every role she plays -- including if she had to play herself!
BC: I just find it interesting that we choose to label whether or not a story is straight or gay. When a female and male character hook up, no one comments that it's a straight storyline. We believe our storyline is about love and anguish -- and not necessarily about a relationship between two men.
SE: It's everyday life.

One could argue it is a gay storyline because of the fact that Fish is in the closet and can't deal with being gay.
BC: I think it's a great that this storyline is so important to so many people. And yes, the fact that it's a gay storyline is important at this particular time. But it's not more important because it's not so widely accepted.

Brett, have any of your One Tree Hill fans followed you over to One Life?
BC: Yeah. I think there has been a lot of crossover. When I'm out on the streets, I hear from my One Tree Hill audience that they started watching One Life because I joined the show. It's important because a younger audience could benefit from watching this story as much as our older fan base.

Allegedly, earlier this summer Chris Engen, an actor on The Young and the Restless, walked out on his contract because his straight character slept with another man. Since Brett was originally hired to play a straight role, I wanted to find out what you thought about an actor's right to edit a script or storyline so it mirrors their own personal beliefs.
BC: We don't want to comment about anything that happened on any other show. However, I believe, so far in this storyline, Ron and Frank have been receptive to working in a team atmosphere. Any concerns we've had, they have respected. They understand how we want to play the story, and likewise, we understand how they want to write and produce it. As an actor, it's important to tell a story that connects to the audience -- and that's all that matters. Hopefully, you believe in the story and character as well. But as far as our team here on One Life, right down from the producer to the lighting technicians, luckily, we're all on the same page.

And luckily, so are the fans. Now the most important question in this interview: Do you guys wear briefs or boxers?
BC: [Laughs.] I'm sure you'll find out soon enough.
SE: Use your imagination!

I don't think that will be problem.

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