Photos: (c) Michael Bulbenko for The Paley Center for Media
The cast and creators of HBO's Looking took the stage at Beverly Hills' Paley Center for Television this week and gave fans a sneak peek of Sunday's episode, which features Doris, Dom, and Patrick on a road trip (yay) to central California's not-so-scenic Modesto (ugh). Here's what we learned during the Q&A following the screening:
Out gets a shout-out! Patrick confesses he spent his teen years camped out a donut shop, eating and reading Out -- tucked inside an issue of Sports Illustrated.
Everybody on the cast is a big cry-baby -- but this week they got to let a little of that show on screen. "We were all on the verge of tears for the entire shooting of it," said Jonathan Groff (Patrick).
Don't let Lauren Weedman (Doris) fool you into thinking her class clown tendencies -- and character actress history -- means she can't pack a wallop of emotion into a performance. And there was no need for a makeup artist's offered glycerin to add a teary glisten to her eyes. "I spend most of the time holding back grief--just life, and everything that happens," Weedman said. "You're always trying to process it. And then I had the opportunity to really walk into that sadness and loss."
The show is committed to their on-location lifestyle, including bunking down at the glorious two-star Clarion Inn where scenes were shot. That's real KFC they were enthusiastically chowing down on, too. (We can confirm that at the cast's Out100 photo shoot, five guys were able to plow through a massive amount of food in a very short amount of time.)
Alvarez and Raul Castillo (Richie) are pretty sick of explaining to reporters that they're capable of being straight and playing gay. (Or, well, Alvarez corrected moderator Jim Halterman to say: "Straight-ish.") But they and their castmates all had stories of how the show had eventually led to more open-minded moments of understanding with friends and family, from Alvarez's bros back in Miami to Murray's dad, who is always texting him about his storyline with Lynn (Scott Bakula).
Though Russell Tovey wasn't on the panel, he wasn't forgotten. Asked whether it was any particular burden to shoot sex scenes together, Groff said, "He's so hot, his body is so flawless, it's hard not to feel self-conscious." (No one feels bad for you, buddy.)
Scott Bakula pulled double duty to continue filming this season as Lynn after being cast in CBS drama NCIS: New Orleans, which shoots on location in Louisiana. Bakula would spend his off-days flying to and from San Francisco for jam-packed stints with "Looking."
Eddie (played by Daniel Franzese) is the only HIV-positive recurring character on American TV right now--a responsibility that Franzese takes incredibly seriously. He's also working as an ambassador of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which will be the beneficiaries of a March 19 finale screening party at the Abbey in West Hollywood.
Though the series' realistic dialogue is among its biggest strengths, executive producer Andrew Haigh says there's only a little ad-libbing and directors usually avoid rehearsals before rolling.
- Everyone was very, very vague about what might happen with Richie and Patrick going forward, though they insisted this season's Kevin-Patrick-Richie storyline was intended less as a love triangle and more a modern exploration of how people can date, sleep together or be friends at different times in their relationships. But even this Sunday's surprise ending--no spoilers here--doesn't mean it's been resolved. By episode 10, Groff promised, "The shit really hits the fan."