Colin Ferguson On Playing Gay Again

1.14.2013

By Andrew Villagomez

Guest-starring on 'Happily Divorced,' Colin discusses his post-'Eureka' crew and gay-themed roles in the '90s versus today

Photo via Twitter

Best known for starring in the hit SyFy drama Eureka for half a decade—where he mostly wore a khaki sheriff uniform—Colin Ferguson will be guest-starring in TV Land's Happily Divorced, which is based on Fran Drescher's post-martial life after husband Peter Marc Jacobson came out.

On the show, Ferguson plays Peter's first boyfriend, Chris, whom Peter is secretly dating. Not a secret because they're closeted, but rather to keep it hidden from nosy and critical Fran, with whom Peter still lives and remains best friends with—mimicking the friendship of Drescher and Jacobson.

Partaking in gay roles or starring in gay-related material is nothing new for Ferguson. In 1998 he had a role on the film The Opposite of Sex, alongside Lisa Kudrow, Christina Ricci, and Martin Donovan. He portrayed Donovan's character's deceased husband—including a steamy flashback scene. At the time, Ferguson also had a main role on the gay themed mini-series, More Tales of the City.

Ferguson's upcoming episode of Happily Divorced airs this Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 10:30 pm (EST). Out caught up with him on playing gay once again:

Out: You've had quite a diverse background, how were you approached for your new role on Happily Divorced?

Colin Ferguson: They approached my agent and said, 'I think Colin would be great for this character that is coming up.' So I got on the phone with Peter [Marc Jacobson] who said you're Peter's—John Michael Higgins'—lover, and I said, 'Great.' Initially it was supposed to be just that episode, but I guess we got along so well that I'm coming back... They didn't need to, and what they had planned for the end of the season was so fantastic, but it was flattering they considered me—or liked what I did enough—that they were excited to have me back.

That's great to hear! I had read an article that Fran said they'd love to have you back. What's it like working with the Happily Divorced gang?

Such a nice group of people, especially Fran and Peter. Particularly Fran, she's done sitcoms forever and she doesn't really have to be nice if she doesn't want to… She constantly checks in with you on set constantly — "Are you OK? Are you having a good time? We really appreciate having you on the show" — really, really classy.

So you've seen her shows before, are you a Fran fan?

Yeah, absolutely. [The Nanny] ran forever. I never met her before... and her character on The Nanny and a lot of the stuff that she's done is so broad, that I wasn't quite sure what to expect. But even though she has a very, obviously specific way of speaking, she's so down to earth, so nice, and accessible, that I was impressed.

You've had gay roles before, such as in The Opposite of Sex, and a role on the gay-themed More Tales of the City. Did getting signed unto both correlate at all, any connection?

No they didn't. It's funny, you sort of have to hit the political spectrum of it, back then I also was gay on an NBC mini series called Night Sins around that point. And back then, the number of people who would play gay on television were very few. It was a potentially dangerous thing to do. I could be seen as a career ender, people were nervous about it. So I don't think those projects were related in any shape or form, but I didn't see the problem or situation with playing a character who was gay … and I guess I got a lot of roles. [Laughs]

The wonderful thing about now is that it is not even considered a risk. It's like—So what's the character? Ok well he's gay and works here. Ok, ok—It's not something that needs thinking anymore, and that's great since also less work for me, but good for the country.

Continue on to read more and watch a teaser clip of Colin Ferguson on Happily Divorced

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