Scott Thompsons been on a bit of a bumpy road. After rising to prominence as a member of The Kids in the Hall, the actor, comedian, and writer found his career stalling. Then, in 2009, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of stomach cancer. Now cancer-free, Thompson is mounting a comeback, with a new Kids in the Hall series and a graphic novel, Husk: The Hollow Planet, starring one of his Kids in the Hall characters, which he previewed in San Diego at Comic-Con. Out caught up with Thompson to chat about Comic-Con, why he decided to pen a graphic novel, and why sometimes gays can be each others' -- and their own -- worst enemies.
Out: Hows your first Comic-Con been?
Scott Thompson: Oh, its been fantastic. Im having a great time. But honestly, I think its gotten a little too big. Theres certain things that I go, What the hell are they doing here? Really?
Well... Burn Notice? Lego? MythBusters?
What made you decide to write a graphic novel?
Originally I thought I was going to make it a novel, and then I went, Well, lets see, this may not be a novel. Lets do it as a screenplay. It took me a couple of years to write that. And then I started to peddle it around with my naivete, thinking, Oh yeah, people are going to make a $200-million picture starring an obscure gay comedian from Canada. Yeah, thats how Hollywood works!
I dont know if Id say obscure...
Im not obscure. Cult. How about cult? Im not Will Ferrell, do you know what I mean? Im not Jack Black. Plus at the time my career was really on the up-and-up, and I just kind of assumed in the arrogance of the first blush of fame that maybe this would continue that way. But life slapped me around a little bit. I was also a little nave thinking Id be able to escape the stereotype box. And I found that that wasnt possible. Maybe at the time it wasnt possible. So I decided -- and this was 10 years ago -- I went, You know, no one seems to want to let me play anything. They just want to make me these boring gay characters. How do I get out of this? So I looked at my canon of characters and I went, Who do I play that couldnt be straighter? And I went, Danny Husk.
What do you think you took away, lesson-wise, from "life slapping you around"?
Oh man, thats a good one. That also comes in with cancer. The making of things is the joy, not the end product. And no one deserves anything. When people say to me now after my rough time, You deserve this. I go, Well I dont really. Thats what screwed me up before, thinking that I deserve to have a major movie career and I deserve to be carried around on a litter by thousands of gay men because I was first. I deserve all this. But the truth is, thats not how life works.
You mentioned about problems with casting. There was Ramin Setoodehs Newsweek editorial about out actors recently. Any reaction to that?
Im not remotely surprised that he was a gay writer. Not remotely. In fact, I knew he had to be a gay writer because -- at the risk of skirting bitterness -- my experience has been that the people that have hurt me the most, that have tried to stop me the most, have been gay men. And thats a terrible thing to realize. And the worst gay man in my way was me.
And why is that?
Enemies in the mirror. And I think that goes for every minority. Stop blaming whitey, stop blaming the straight man, stop blaming the United States, whatever. The enemys you.
Do you think the entertainment industry has changed much since then?
Well, yeah, to a point. I mean, there is not a single openly gay actor that has a major career, except for Neil Patrick Harris. But he came out well into his career.
There are a few younger actors who are starting out out.
Maybe they have a chance. Yeah, they do. I wish them well. I hope they can do it. I think theres definitely a double standard with male and female homosexuality. I mean, it is much easier for women than men. The male homosexual is much more feared and loathed than the female homosexual.
Why do you think that is?
I really believe the difference is, its almost a chemistry thing. When a woman becomes gay or is gay or whatever, she moves up in power because she becomes more like a male heterosexual. Shes pursuing women the way men pursue women, so they admire her. She becomes more like a man. When a man is a male homosexual, he is more like a woman. He falls from grace, and he is entered like a woman. So I think that homophobia against the male homosexual is very much a subset of misogyny in a way. I have this other theory that sodomy is the original sin, which got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden, if you want to look at that as a metaphor. Its like Adam said, Eve! Wow, I like the look of your apple. Because Im sure apples back then looked like anuses, little tiny wrinkled red things, before they were cultivated. And he went, I want to stick my snake in your apple. And then God said, What the hell! Wait a second, if you stick your snake in her apple, you wont have children, and Ive got to populate this damn planet!
Youll just have fun.
Youll just have fun! Exactly! And, You cant be having fun. And if you have fun, then where do I fit in? And so he went, Get the hell out. And then Adam said to God, Well, can we still play Snake and Apple? And he went, Yeah, but under one proviso: The male homosexual is going to be loathed and feared and pursued forever. [pause] I can live with that.
Why are Canadians so much funnier than Americans?
Well, if I agree with you, then people will go, You asshole, how do you think that? But because you said it, Im going to say its because we are not taken seriously. Were the little man. And comedy generally comes from the underdog. America is so big and powerful and handsome and hung that it doesnt have to listen to people. The big man on campus is rarely the funny man on campus. The funny man on campus is his nerdy best friend. And thats why I think we are. Were the little guy. And when youre the little guy you have to find other ways to stand out. Its like, comedy is violence for physical cowards. And thats what we are, were the nerd.
So Canada is Americas nerdy best friend?
Yeah. And the interesting thing is were such a nerdy best friend that our best friend doesnt even know that were their best friend. Whenever they talk about Americas special relationship with England, Im like, What the f---! Really? England? Thats your special relationship? Really? Hello! Were right here! Were not your special relationship? Which is only going to make us funnier.
Husk: Hollow Planet (IDW Publishing) is due out in October.Send a letter to the editor about this article.