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Eyewitness Actor James Paxton on His First Gay Make Out

Eyewitness Actor James Paxton on His First Gay Make Out

James Paxton
Photography: Miranda Penn Turin

The 23-year-old Californian talks journalism, skateboarding and kissing co-star Tyler Young.


The son of actor Bill Paxton plays Lukas Waldenbeck on the USA drama Eyewitness, directed by Twilight's Catherine Hardwicke and adapted from the Norwegian crime thriller Oyevitne. His character, a popular but sexually confused teenager, falls for his classmate Philip, but after they witness a murder, their lives spiral out of control, and Lukas fears he'll be outed.

Related | New Crime Series, Eyewitness, Spotlights a Gay Teen Love Story That Could Kill--Literally


Paxton stars in the independent film Boogeyman Pop, a coming-of-age punk-rock horror epic hitting the festival circuit this year. He'll also appear in the indie movie An American in Texas, in which he plays the lead singer of a punk-rock band in 1990.


"I wanted to be a journalist," says the 23-year-old Californian, who switched his major to film in college. "I thought it'd be interesting to learn about stuff I'd have never been able to learn about in any other profession, and having that job would allow me to travel. There was a romanticism about the profession I was in love with--Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalism. It was about infiltrating different scenarios and being a fly on the wall, observing everything. But it isn't dissimilar from being an actor. Doing research for a role is my absolute favorite part of it."


"When I was younger, I was into skateboarding, and I was a basketball player and ran track. One day I picked up a tech deck--which are these miniature, finger-sized skateboards--and realized there was this whole subculture of handmade, artisanal fingerboards. Soon, I could do any trick on that fingerboard that I could do with my legs. It's a secret little thing I'll pick up every now and again when I'm bored. Once a friend even made a video of me, and I got sponsored by one of these companies that makes the boards."

Related | When We Rise Falls Again in Rating, Eyewitness Canceled


"Eyewitness was the first time I made out with another boy. [Co-star Tyler Young, who plays Philip, and I] did a private rehearsal with Catherine, and she was like, 'We're going to go fully into this, guys.' So we'd been doing it. In the first few minutes of the first episode, that wasn't the first kiss Tyler and I ever shared. I hope that doesn't ruin it for the fans."

Photography: Miranda Penn Turin

Styling by Phillip Morrison

Suit: Marc Jacobs, Tank Top & Boots: John Varvatos, Neckalces: Areia Jewelry, Jacket: Topman, T-shirt: G Star, Necklaces: Areia Jewelry

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