Max Greenfield, 28, has charmed the pants off girls and boys alike on Veronica Mars, Ugly Betty and now ABC Family's Greek, where this week he got to lock lips with his old friend, Paul James. [Read Out's interview with James here.] We talked with Greenfield about his -- and the network's -- first gay kiss, the towering babes of Betty and his grand plan to have the gayest resume on TV.
Out: Introduce us to your character on Greek.
Max Greenfield: I play Michael, a French teacher's assistant. People say, Oh, do you have an accent on the show?' And I say, 'No, no, no, I just teach French.' We get introduced -- Calvin, Paul [James]'s character and I -- through Amber Steven's character, Ashley. He's like, Why are you introducing us? Are we the only two gay guys you know on the planet? Calvin's character on the show is not stereotypically gay at all, and I think I really went for it with Michael. So Calvin is being introduced to more of the gay culture through Michael, like going to the LGBT film festival, and they both seem really comfortable with their sexuality in different ways. We have a little bit of chemistry and decide, Hey, this actually works, and despite our differences we're gonna go for this.
This week's episode had ABC Family's first -- and second -- gay kiss, right?
I think it is! Isn't there a reverend on [ABC Family on] Saturday mornings? A crazy reverend? I hope he gets all pissed off.
Have you ever played a gay character before?
No, this is the first one.
Paul told me you two were already friends.
Yeah, we've known each other for a couple years, and we see each other around. At the table read, he was like, Heyyy, what are you doing here? And I was like Heyyy, I'm playing your boyfriend!
So how was kissing Paul?
It was fine, you know. The anticipation of the thing is actually a lot more nerve-wracking than actually doing it.
Well, you start to over-think it. And of course because we know each other and have mutual friends, they kind of like to give us a little rub here and there, like getting text messages all day, How's that going? I think it turned out really great. I heard from the producers that they really loved it. We had a great director for that episode.
Have you ever kissed a guy before this -- not for a role?
No. This was the first time.
Well, everyone has to have a first time.
I gotta say, the funny thing is I got a call from a mutual friend of ours who's also an actor, and he called us within seconds of it ending and was like, How'd that go? And we were all kind of laughing. And it's nice, when people say, Oh, I used to do that in college -- it is nice to be able to tell that story instead.
Let's talk about some of the other awesome shows that you've been on. Deputy Leo on Veronica Mars was that sneak attack character who was way too charming for everyone's good.
When I came in, they really didn't know the future of the show. They introduced this character, and I just flew down and did my thing. Then they got picked up for a full season, and they called me back and started this storyline, and we all got along so well and enjoyed working together so much that it kind of just dragged on. At some point I think they were like, We gotta get back to the other [romantic] storylines with Teddy Dunn and Jason Dohring. We all enjoy each other so much. I would get the scripts at my house and read them and be like, I love these people, and they're giving me a job, but There were episodes where I was like, I am contributing nothing to the storyline of the show except by showing up and smiling and maybe talking to Enrico Colantoni about God only knows what.
But they were fun, charming cameos.
I loved it. That show was so much fun. It was one of my all-time favorites.
You've also been on Ugly Betty, which has got to be the gayest show on TV, possibly ever.
I'm trying to get on Brothers and Sisters and then I will be able to host the GLAAD awards next year.
Totally. But your character -- Alexis' assistant -- he's not the nicest guy in the show.
An asshole, I've heard. I'm not trying to play it that way.
How's Rebecca Romijn to work with?
Rebecca's the best. I showed up for the table read on the first day and I was like, Wow, you're really tall and really pretty. And then Salma Hayek walks in and all these other people and I'm like, Wow, I feel really intimidated. And then they're all so great. Everyone on that cast was so nice and really welcomed me in.
When you're on set, does it in fact feel like the gayest show on television?
Well, no, because there's Queer As Folk and The L Word.
So as long as no one's having sex it's not quite as gay as it could be.
I was sitting at the GLAAD awards this year with everyone from Greek, and then everybody from Ugly Betty came in, and I'm listening to the nominees and thinking, Well, Greek doesn't really have chance. Brothers and Sisters is a really good show -- and they're having a marriage. But then I thought, The L Word -- it's actually gay. When Brothers and Sisters won, I thought, Wow, I don't know if I necessarily agree.
Did you see the big gay commitment ceremony episode?
Yeah, I did. I thought it was great. Matthew Rhys is a really unbelievable actor.
If you could be on that show, what kind of character would you want to be?
I would be that new brother that they're looking for, Ryan.
Wow, that would be perfect.
And in the finale they were like, there was a boy! And let me tell you -- I called my agent first thing on Monday morning and was like, Get me onto it.
Then you'd totally have the triple crown of gay ABC shows.
I'm telling you, I would be the belle of the ball at the GLAAD awards.