There's a big trend in Hollywood right now with straight actors portraying gay men. Mathieu Chatelois, host of SoGayTV, gave examples of Eric McCormack who plays Will Truman on Will and Grace, Michael Boatman who plays Carter Heywood on Spin City, and Kerr Smith, who plays Jack McPhee on Dawson's Creek. Mathieu's roommate Trevor (Tre) Smith, who is a ‘lofter' at U8TV.com, is a straight actor who played ‘hard-core gay' on Queer As Folk last season, as one of Brian's tricks from Woody's in episode 105 (he's actually credited as ‘Nasty Trick' on the performer index). SoGayTV spoke with Tre and Hal Sparks about this issue.
November 1, 2001
"As an actor, you want to keep on working, so you want people to know that you're acting a part. Not that being gay means you can't play gay, it's just that for me, I wanted everybody to know, first thing out of doing Talk Soup, that I was stepping into a role that was so unlike myself. That was the other thing. The primary reason, though, for me, was I didn't want to lead anybody on. I didn't want the audience to think that because I was going, ‘I'm gay; uh, maybe I'm gay... I'm straight... maybe I'm gay,' back and forth, it's a way of cheating the audience. It's like, ‘Look, I'm Hal. Hal's playing Michael. Like Michael, care about Michael, it has nothing to do with me,' and the further I can separate myself from who Michael is, the more it creates an environment where you can really (I think) care about who Michael is."
~ Hal Sparks
Mathieu and Trevor sat down to talk about Tre's role on QAF, and what it was like for him as a straight man to play the role of a gay man.
Trevor (Tre) Smith
First, they showed clips of Tre with Gale Harold and Randy Harrison in scenes from QAF:
Trick: Oh man, I'm so horny... I want you to fuck me for hours, and I'm a top. Brian: Yeah, that's what all the biggest bottoms say. [Justin arrives, tells Brian that his mother is following him and he needs a place to stay for the night]Mathieu: Wow, that's what I call pretty wild gay action!
Trick: Why don't you get lost, you little asshole; I was here first.
Brian: Better yet, why don't you? Beat it!
Trick: Fuck you.
Brian: You're the bottom, remember?
Tre: [laughing] Pretty convincing?
Mathieu: [grinning] Very convincing!
Tre: You know me as a person... I guess I'm a pretty damn good actor!
Mathieu: We've been living in the loft for almost a year now, and since the beginning of the year, people saw this on TV and people in the chat have been talking a lot about this, and people on the street, and they want to know why would Tre do a part like this on Queer As Folk.
Tre: I did a part on Queer As Folk because I was asked to; I was originally up for the lead role of Brian, and I went through a few stages of the audition process, and I made the short list, but it just came to a point where personally, between me and the casting director Ross Clydesdale, where he sensed hesitation, and he said ‘you've got to be sure about this' and I had some other projects and offers on the table...
Mathieu: What kind of hesitation?
Tre: [shrugging] I don't know; he sensed it, I didn't feel it.
Mathieu: Would you have done a main character on Queer As Folk? That involves a lot of kissing, rubbing, rimming (almost); would you have done something like this?
Tre: I don't know. [laughs] I'm not saying.... see, there's a difference. Would I do a sexy sex scene – an intimate scene – with a man in a major motion picture, feature film? Of course! But this isn't just one scene; this is almost every other scene, every day, ten different guys, a hundred times a day, seven days a week. You know what I mean? It's a little bit different. Especially from a guy, who is straight, heterosexual, and doesn't have any inkling of sexual attraction to a man or anything like that...
Mathieu: [teasing] Except for me, of course...
Tre: [laughing] Yeah..
Mathieu: Speaking of that, you kissed me this summer for something called ‘Wild Summer' for $1000, and you kissed me on the lips and had no problem doing it right?.
Tre: Well I wouldn't say I didn't have a problem with it! I mean I had some hesitation; I've never kissed a man before, for Christ's sake!.
Mathieu: How was it, Tre?.
Tre: [feigning distaste] It was painful..
Mathieu: Aw... so bad..
Tre: No, no, no, it was fine, I was there, I kept my mouth shut and thought of a happy place, and then you started moaning and snapped me right out of that happy place!.
Mathieu: Oh yeah!.
Tre: [joking] As soon as that tongue came out, I was like, ‘That's it for me!' You know, it's all about good fun, and I had to do it for the team, and I had to do it because I'm here to create good TV, and not just create good TV, but do a good job at it, and if that's what it takes, then that's what it takes..
Mathieu: Well, that's what it takes, and I think that you did a really good job on Queer As Folk and I want to see you back on QAF! Thanks Tre..