A scene in Netflix's Hollywood made even Jim Parsons blush.
In a Zoom session with The Ellen Show, the gay actor discussed his role of Henry Wilson — a talent agent who discovered Rock Hudson — in the upcoming Ryan Murphy reimagining of Old Hollywood.
The series, in very Murphy fashion, brings queer themes (and actors, in the case of Hudson, played by Jake Picking) out of the closet. And Parsons revealed to DeGeneres another aspect it shines a light on: nudity.
Filming one scene by a swimming pool, in particular, was "really awkward and shocking" to Parsons for the sheer amount of nakedness on display by the extras," he told the host on a recent episode.
“I’ve gone to a lot of gay clubs in my time, and I’ve never seen that many naked people at once, ever. I don’t think that’s legal in most places,” The Big Bang Theory star said. “We were surrounded by so many naked people. I just kept trying not to look, but there really came a point – I mean, it was hours we were doing this – I stopped not trying to look at some points.
“I was just like, you know what? What I really feel is admiration. To have that kind of relationship with your body that you’re able to just walk around naked in front of this huge crew, and all these other actors and everything, in and out of the swimming pool, I was like, 'I am in awe.' That is the healthiest, I think, type of [view]."
Parsons also confirmed that there "wasn’t a bad looking one in the bunch. They worked for that confidence – or they were born with it, I don’t know."
In the spirit of Hollywood, Parsons also gave impromptu Hollywood personas like Clint Eastwood, Marilyn Monroe, Cher, and Oprah on The Ellen Show to raise $10,000 for GLSEN, an organization supporting LGBTQ+ students.
According to Netflix, Hollywood aims to spotlight "the unfair systems and biases across race, gender and sexuality that continue to this day." To DeGeneres, Parsons said the series is a fantasy that asks the question, "What would life be like now had Hollywood done things like this 80 years ago?"
In addition to Parsons and Picking, the cast features Laura Harrier, Jeremy Pope, Dylan McDermott, Holland Taylor, Samara Weaving, Michelle Krusiec, Queen Latifah, and Patti LuPone.
Hollywood premieres May 1 on Netflix. Watch the recently released opening credits below.