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Brandon Scott Jones Talks Playing 'Ghost's Fan-Favorite, Closeted Revolutionary War Captain

Brandon Scott Jones Talks Playing 'Ghost's Fan-Favorite, Closeted Revolutionary War Captain

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As the ghost of Captain Isaac Higgintoot, Jones is getting to explore a new way of telling gay stories.

Ghosts, CBS and Paramount+'s #1 new comedy, is winning fans with its delightfully hilarious ensemble of ghosts from diverse backgrounds and time periods, but one character, in particular, is standing out to us.

The series, based on a British one of the same name, follows a young couple (Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar) who inherit an old house, and when they try to turn it into a bed and breakfast, they learn that it's haunted by a group of eccentric ghosts that only one of them can see.

One early favorite is a Revolutionary War officer named Captain Isaac Higgintoot, played with a mix of proper period puffing of the chest and deeply relatable queer sensibilities by out actor Brandon Scott Jones.

Jones has played his fair share of gay characters we love in shows like The Other Two and The Good Place, but this is the most time he's got to spend developing one character.

"Doing the show has been great. It's one of those weird anomalies in your professional life, where you just really love every single person you work with. And so that makes going to the job every day, just like the best thing in the entire world," he says. "And when you're doing ensemble comedy what's really fun is that you kind of spend all this time thinking about your character, but then you start to realize you're like, oh, well, my character also has to fit into this larger group and this large group of larger than life characters."

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One of the things that makes Isaac so interesting is that even after 250 years of death, and although his sexuality is painfully obvious to most of the rest of the characters, he still hasn't come out, even to himself.

"The thing that has interested me from the get-go is, I remember that feeling. I remember that time in my life when I was somebody that just kind of wished I was somebody else or was struggling with my own identity," Jones says of playing the closeted character. "And I remember thinking like, 'when is this going to be over?'"

"Then to sort of play this character who has held onto that moment for much longer than any human could ever hold onto it for almost two and a half centuries, was so kind of sad, but also really, really exciting to me to play as an actor," he continues.

He's also excited to get to play a character who so plainly represents America and its history, and is also gay. He says one of his favorite parts of playing Higgintoot is knowing that he represents a time when America had an even stricter idea of manhood than it does now. Revolutionary War officers were supposed to be brave leaders who would bring the country into an era of freedom and success.

"It's this thing that Issac wanted, and knows that's what he's supposed to be," Jones says. "And just allowing him to sort of subvert that to constantly be like, yes, he's prancing around the room, but then if anybody watches him, he's obviously very, very still and tries his hardest to be what he is, be the ideal soldier, be the ideal American man."

"I find, especially when you think about something like what's going on in Florida right now, and you think about how the climate for LGBTQ+ people has not been the best in the past few years. To get to do this is... the word cathartic keeps coming to my mind. Where I'm just like, it's so fun to just subvert all of that."

Now that he's portraying a gay character with such a fleshed-out journey, Jones also talked about what gay character from his younger years he remembers seeing himself in.

"It was basically Christian from Clueless, and he never comes out though, right?" Jones says. "There was this idea where he was holding onto this secret and he was not really holding onto it, but he was just very aware. Cher had no idea."

"I think to me, that was the first time I really saw a gay character on screen, and I didn't even know he was gay. And then the more I got to... I kept watching that movie over and over and over and over and over again and wore out the VHS, like truly."

Perhaps some viewers are seeing themselves for the first time in Isaac, something that Jones would be honored by. As his story continues to develop, he's only going to resonate more with viewers.

In recent episodes, Isaac has been opening up to another Revolutionary War ghost, but a British one, and one that he killed during the war. This British soldier, Nigel Chessum (John Hartman), and Isaac have been flirting and going on regular walks around the grounds, but Isaac's secret is still holding him back.

In the next episode, airing Thursday, March 3, Isaac has a breakthrough moment, one I won't spoil here, but that you'll want to see. It's a huge moment for the character and a great moment from Jones.

Ghosts airs on CBS on Thursdays at 9 PM ET/PT. You can stream episodes on Paramount+.

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