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Noah Silver on Playing a Gay Middle-Eastern Kid on TV

Noah Silver on Playing a Gay Middle-Eastern Kid on TV

Noah Silver

On Tyrant, his character's boyfriend gets killed by ISIS. Here, Silver reflects on being the face and voice of a silenced generation.

Photography byEmily Shur. Styling by Alison Brooks.Jacket and tie by Topman. Shirt by Calvin Klein.

YOU KNOW HIM FROM:Tyrant, the FX drama in which he plays the gay American son of a Los Angeles pediatrician who's called back home to a fictional country in the Middle East ruled by his family; Carter Smith's Jamie Marks Is Dead, in which he played a queer ghost; Showtime's The Borgias, as the nightmarishly spoiled son of Caterina Sforza

WHAT'S NEXT: A role opposite Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman in Japanese director Kazuaki Kiriya's Last Knights, out this spring; season 3 of Tyrant, premiering this summer

AN ACCIDENTAL ROLE MODEL: "It's amazing to get comments on social media from kids in the Middle East who watch the show and really connect with my character, Sammy. He's this American kid suddenly plucked from his protected L.A. bubble, then struggling to fight for young people's gay rights. His boyfriend is even killed by ISIS. The show touches people coming to terms with their identity in their own country. I've heard things like, 'You are literally portraying what I go through and can't express.' "

LEARNING CURVES: "I'm still trying to figure out the college thing. I grew up in France, but unlike in the French system, you can explore majors in the U.S., which can be a little daunting and confusing. And it's so much work. Meanwhile, I've truly fallen in love with acting. If I have to wake up at 4 a.m. to go to work, no problem. I've found that once you've had that feeling, you want to reproduce it in everything you do."

THE REAL REALITY TV: "It's really valuable and important that now a gay character can be on a show that isn't a gay show. A gay storyline becomes part of a fuller reality. It doesn't have to be the whole reality, and that's the way the world is too. Tyrant is great in how it conveys this truth. Sammy's homosexuality isn't the focus of the plot, and yet it's highly relevant to this insane situation that he and his family find themselves in."

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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