Need To Know: Jayson Blair
By Phillip B. Crook
Move over Glee's Dave Karofsky -- there's a new closeted jock in TV high school, and this one gets busy in the locker room showers. On the season finale of MTV's cheeky teen series The Hard Times of RJ Berger, audiences learned that a) Jayson Blair looks amazing without a shirt on and b) his jock bully character, Max Owens, is secretly gay. The big reveal came when the show's title character, RJ, caught Max getting all wet with another guy during school. Gay fantasy come true? Out chatted with Blair about finding out his character is gay, his surprising nickname, and the subconscious gay attitude of jocks.
Out: Um, can we please discuss the fact that you've made out with a basketball on TV?
Jayson Blair: Oh, God, did I ever. I put my tongue all over it. I just thought of the nicest pair of boobies in the world. That was my motivation.
I can't imagine it tasted much like boobies.
I'm the biggest germ freak ever, so the prop department brought it over to me and I was like, "Uh, can I sterilize this myself?" It kind of tasted weird, I'm not gonna lie.
So, the big news, of course, is that in the finale of The Hard Times of RJ Berger we learned your character is gay.
I'm comin' out!
Welcome to the club.
Wussup? How you doin'? Yeah, it was fun. I had no idea that was coming and when I saw it in the script I was like, "Holy shit." Ok, we're gonna do this. Originally, they planted dummy scripts called 'Full-Metal Max' where I come to school and start shooting people. So we thought that was going to happen, but we got the real scripts right before we shot the episode. And then I was like, 'Ok, cool.'
Does that change how you've thought about your character for the past two seasons?
I don't think I'm going to change the character at all. Max is incredibly insecure and that's why he's not comfortable coming out in public. My approach is like, 'Yeah, I get down with dudes. What the fuck are you gonna do about it?' If they have me come out next season, I think maybe the school won't accept me like they did initially. Maybe I'll be hanging out with RJ next season. I don't want to change the character because he's got a lot of demons in his home life and his sexual orientation isn't going to change his way of going about things.
What was your reaction when you first watched the episode?
Most of my friends -- I'd say about 80% -- are gay and some of them work at the network. When they saw it, they were like, 'Oh my God, this is the hottest, most intimate sexual thing I've ever seen on TV, let alone MTV.' I'm making out with a guy, and it's not super sexual but how and where it happens is pretty shocking. You see a glimpse of it in the episode where I lick the basketball. These super-jocks are always like, 'I'm so straight, blah blah blah' but sit there talking about each other's bodies all day. That's how a lot of my friends were in school. There are some gay tendencies going on subconsciously. But when you're talking about a guy's abs and the V leading down to his satchel, that's not the straightest thing in the world. I think Max is like that.