Interviews

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Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:07 pm

The Actor’s Life - Catching Up with Gale Harold

June 7th 2010

By: Bill Biss
Source: RAGEMONTHLY.COM
Edited by: Marcy


Millions of television viewers were enthralled with Gale Harold, the handsome and magnetic star of the groundbreaking Showtime series called Queer As Folk.

The show ran six seasons and was a landmark in television history for it’s realistic, humorous and quite sexual look at the lifestyles and friendships of a group of gay men.

It’s been five years since Queer As Folk went off the air. Yet the show still retains its popularity to new audiences around the world.

For gay men everywhere, Harold still ranks as part of television’s favorite gay couple for his role as Brian opposite Randy Harrison as Justin in Queer As Folk.

Since 2006, Gale Harold has been managing a successful career as an actor who has done both television and film work while balancing important theatre roles in between.

The Rage Monthly wanted to shed new light on this intelligent, articulate and thoughtful actor and learn more about just what he’s been up to, his memories of the experience of being part of such a successful show and his thoughts on the acting profession as it relates to his craft.

Gale Harold along with Jennifer Beals are being honored for their contribution to the LGBT experience for their roles in Queer As Folk and The L Word on June 5 at The Center Orange County 2010 Gala Celebration.

Whether it is on the stage in recent productions of two plays by Tennessee Williams or guest starring on television in Desperate Housewives and CSI: New York, how does Harold feel that he has grown as an actor over the past few years?

“Well…it’s a constant process of growing. It depends on the type of roles that you are playing and whether you are live or in front of the camera. But also just with studying, you know. It’s hard to look back over a couple of years and say this or that ‘has or hasn’t changed’ but I did my first role singing and playing guitar in front of a live audience [in Orpheus Descending] which was terrifying so…that was certainly a new thing.”

Gale Harold is quite familiar with playwright Tennessee Williams. He has recently starred as Valentine in Orpheus Descending and also as Dr. Cukrowicz in Suddenly Last Summer. Harold explains what captivates him about Williams’ work as a playwright.

“It’s very simple. The work is so extraordinary. It’s beyond any normal observation or conviction of passion. He’s got so many different veins of lifeblood, if that’s a way to describe it. I would love to do anything he’s written.

It would be an honor to do anything he wrote because he went deeper and was more revealing than most at a time when it wasn’t very safe to do so. And he did it so lyrically and beautiful that it comes through to a reader or an audience and his message keeps coming across long afterward.”

The impact of his role as Brian in Queer As Folk made a lasting impression on LGBT audiences. Asking Gale to reflect back on the show, he shares one of his most vivid memories of that time in his career.

“There are so many. There are hundreds of specific memories but I think in terms of an overall memory that comes back to me…is how invigorating it was to be working on the role. It was frightening to me taking on that part because I had seen Aiden Gillen in the original by Russell T. Davies.

I’m glad that I did but it was such a strong performance, I wanted to bring something that could stand up to it. It was such a bold character and a bold performance…I needed to let everything happen as it should and try to be honest at all times. That’s one of the things I really remember. Stepping off the bridge into the void…you know?

It was also incredibly fun and stimulating. It was a little touch and go at first because I just had to make choices and not let myself be swayed by my own self-editing or nervousness. It was very clear to me that I was taking on a very important responsibility, but I didn’t want myself to get bogged down by trying to do ‘the right thing.’

I didn’t want to live up to a bunch of expectations that would be unrealistic to the life the character was leading. He [Brian] represented a dynamic of social reality and issues that you had to honor. Most of the artists that I love, have or had a secret and it’s a difficult thing to tell the secret in a new way. You know what I mean?”

Harold didn’t always dream of being an actor when he was younger. He explains, “My story is that I didn’t start out dreaming to be an actor. I always understood playwriting as more of a literary thing.

I read plays but I didn’t see any theatre as a kid. I wasn’t raisedin the theatre. That wasn’t the way I was raised. When I made that sort of change and started studying what it was actually like…the method of putting a character across, I studied three years straight before I went on an audition.

It wasn’t like I was selling ice cream and the next moment I was on television…you know? (laughter) I moved to Los Angeles and was fortunate to meet some really great people and started studying. It just grew very naturally. I was very lucky.

Not only to get a break but to be able to work around some people who I really loved and trusted who were good teachers for me.”

Asking Harold about the recent Newsweek article by openly gay Ramin Setoodeh in which the writer questioned the ability of gay actors to play straight roles (Sean Hayes for one), Harold weighs in by saying, “I think that was ill-conceived, and a little strange for someone who should be supporting his comrades to take a shot like that.

But, hopefully he’ll learn a lesson when he goes to “Glee” school and understand things better. To take a shot at Sean Hayes who has a really established career on stage and on screen. Someone who now is a successful, out, working actor and to take a shot at him in Newsweek just seems so petty, you know?”

Gale offers up an additional memory of Queer As Folk that still resonates with him today regarding actress Sharon Gless. “There’s a scene that Sharon and I did in my loft smoking a joint. It’s probably one of my most favorite scenes. I feel it’s some of the best work that I did in the show.

It’s a moment where Brian is so alone! He actually gets to jack into someone in a way that’s just about love you know? It’s about what he couldn’t get from his own family; he got it from his best friend’s mother. I think that’s a beautiful thing. It’s kind of how life is more often than not.

Sometimes we have to take love where we can find it. He was fortunate to have Michael [actor Hal Sparks] as a friend and then to have Michael’s mother, Debbie [Sharon Gless] give him some heart. He didn’t have a lot of it in his own home.”

The whole cast of Queer As Folk contributed so much to the exposure and visibility of gays and lesbians on television. Gale Harold describes the impact of being on the show and says, “I think as an ensemble, or as a production, that whatever your sexual orientation is…if you happened to see it, hopefully you enjoyed it (laughter).”

“First of all, it was some sort of a calling card or announcement. This is where it gets difficult for me because I never want to play the part of tooting our own horn.

The stories were told by these characters who lived their lives and we as actors were just given the opportunity to portray them. People who had seen the show and were able to relate to the story and to the characters were contacting a lot of us.

A lot of young kids that I met when we were out there, were very happy and excited to have the opportunity to watch a story that was like theirs. To have those tables turned and be able to find yourself or some part of yourself, your own dreams or struggles that you have gone through…we were very grateful to be a part of that.”

Copyright © 2010 gale-harold.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

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"Love is something that straight people tell themselves they’re in so they can get laid. And then they end up hurting each other because it was all based on lies to begin with" - Brian Kinney

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Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:34 am

Hot for teacher

November 18th 2010
By: Metro Source
Source: metrosource.com
Edited by: Marcy


Gale Harold will forever be one of the “People We Love” for his portrayal of charismatic Brian Kinney in Showtime’s Queer as Folk. With his new role as serious law professor Julian Parish on the CW’s Hellcats putting him back on our screens, we checked in on him to find that the ghost of Brian is still haunting him, even after all these years.


Tell us a little bit about Julian.


Julian’s a law professor. He’s teaching a pre-law class, and that’s where he runs into Marti, [but] he doesn’t take her seriously because — where he’s coming from — pre-law students aren’t cheerleaders.


Would you say this is a slightly more cerebral character for you?

Well, all my characters are cerebral; it’s just nobody knows about it.

Okay, how about slightly more cynical?

I think that might be the challenge a little bit, because I’m a slightly cynical person. That comes pretty easily for me and I do think he has quite a bit of cynicism, but I don’t want it to stop the story. You know what I mean? I don’t want it to prevent me from allowing other things to come through. I think his cynicism and idealism are an interesting mix.

He’s a cynical idealist, then.

That’s a great way to put it. And I think for him, someone on a cheerleader scholarship is not gonna be with him on that.

Is there a potential romantic relationship between Julian and Marti?

People who come up against each other and butt heads for whatever reason: they’re going to be in the same circumstances, the same room, over and over again. And if they have similar interests, there’s always going to be that potential for a spark. Romance is a part of drama and a part of life, for that matter, but I don’t know how that’s going to play out.

How does it feel to be back on a series again?

It feels good. It feels good to be working and to have the kind of material that keeps you interested — in the sense that this character is very different for me.

You had a serious motorcycle accident in 2008 that prevented you from working for a while. How are you doing now?


I’m perfectly perfect. Actually, I’m 99.9 percent perfect. I was very fortunate. It’s good to know that you can survive a little blip to your well-being and come back.

How long was your recovery?

I recovered pretty quickly. I was sort of back to functioning in a general sense in three months, but ... I had to play a lot of mind games with myself just to test my cognitive functions and my memory and make sure that I wasn’t going to have any gaps. If you’re an actor, you have to be able to memorize lots of material, and then just be able to let it go; so that was my main concern. To go on stage and to be hit with a light, how would that affect me? What would my balance be like?

Did the accident affect your acting in any way?

I definitely think it changed it. Whether it improved it or not, I wouldn’t be so presumptuous, but I think an event like that is so emotional and affects your emotions for a long time. ... I get angry at certain things now much more quickly than I did, but on the other hand, I’m a bit more understanding and accommodating. It was a gift and a blessing at the same time. Perhaps it had to do with learning that new part of life that comes with survival, and all the fear that comes in with that. Maybe that sank down into my bones and my heart and hopefully it comes out in the performance.

We can’t get away without asking about Queer as Folk. What the show’s legacy for you?

I was terrified of taking on this sort of sexual/political stance. There’s always, in my mind, this hesitancy to speak as Gale Harold about the life of this man, Brian Kinney, that I’m playing and how that relates to society and the gay community at large.

It seemed at the time that a lot of people couldn’t differentiate between Brian and Gale. Well this is the thing: When you’re an actor and you get a big break and you’re young — I mean, I had just turned 30 when I started the show ... Nobody knew me, which was amazing, in a way, for the show, because you see that person for the first time when they’re playing that character so you believe it more. ... The legacy of the show was having all these people come up to us over the years and thank us for giving them characters to watch and to relate to. They saw themselves. That’s kind of overwhelming to hear that. It’s very meaningful, and it’s heartbreaking, and it’s inspiring, but ... it was a heavy and awesome responsibility and I wanted to get it right.


And now a metrosource.com exclusive, more from Gale Harold:


On his Hellcats character dealing with liars…

He can’t help but notice that he deals with liars; he deals with different kinds of charlatans all the time. But he still believes that justice and social issues are the most important thing and he has a responsibility to take them on because he has access to the court system and power there.

On getting turned on by learning…

I remember being a student and I remember being around people that were so much on your mind and they were so brilliant, you know? And I thought “That’s what I want to be.” It’s very, very seductive. I think when you’re watching two people in that situation, your minds going to go there.

On the pitfalls of his character romancing a student…

I think the last thing he would do is squander his position by doing something inappropriate. He doesn’t want to put himself in that position, but more importantly he does believe that his students are his charges and he’s responsible for their well-being, as well as their education. He wouldn’t do anything that would undermine that. On the other hand, who knows? For drama, those could be some great circumstances for everything to go wrong.

On playing poker faced characters…

I don’t want to come across sort of one-note cynical; I don’t want to come across totally disengaged, so finding those moments of connection between myself and other characters … a lot of the characters I’ve played have been so kind of poker-faced and sort of one step ahead. They always seem to know more than anybody else so you can’t get a grip on them. I really feel with Julian, because he’s an academic and an instructor, you really have to feel and understand what he’s saying without it being obvious. It’s the key to that part.

On the responsibility of playing Brian Kinney…

I wanted to get it right. And that feeling only increased as the show went on. That I was not part of this world, and yet I was responsible for portraying it. And the thing about Brian was, he was great to play because he did not give a shit about what anybody else thought of him. He had to find a way to survive. This is how I’m going to live my life and you can take it or leave it. I don’t care. And he loved it! He loved that feeling. He scared the shit out of me the first couple of years. I really didn’t think I was pulling it off.

Tom and Lorenzo: Even now?

I’m starting to feel a little bit more like I can believe that. That I can trust that what I did was honest and good. My attempts were honest, but I’m never quite comfortable saying “I pulled it off.”

Copyright © 2010 gale-harold.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

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"Love is something that straight people tell themselves they’re in so they can get laid. And then they end up hurting each other because it was all based on lies to begin with" - Brian Kinney

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Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:01 pm

'Secret Circle's' Gale Harold on murder, magic, and good vs. evil


Monday, August 8th 2011

By: Carina Adly Mackenzie
Source: blog.zap2it.com
Edited by: Marcy


As longtime fans of his work, we weren't surprised that Gale Harold's performance as the villainous Charles Meade in the opening scene of "The Secret Circle" pilot blew us away. When, later on in the episode, he once again had our jaws on the floor, we knew that Harold had finally found the perfect TV role to showcase his considerable talent after a few years of lackluster gigs on shows like "Desperate Housewives" and "Hellcats."

We sat down with Harold on Thursday afternoon in Beverly Hills, shortly before he caught a flight back to Vancouver, where he was needed on set at the obscene hour of 2 a.m. that night.

Zap2it: Did you read the books after you got the role?

Harold: No. I'm staying with what Kevin Williamson is thinking. I'll let him interpret and adapt as he pleases. I didn't want to build any assumptions or make any choices based on some already established trajectory, you know? I want to be surprised like everybody else, or at least, like the people who haven't read the books. I hope that the people that do know a lot about it will be surprised as well.

What was it about Charles that appealed to you when you read the script?

That he gets to do seemingly dangerous and bad things while covering all of that by being a charming member of society and father. He's probably wracked with guilt and some sort of underlying revenge agenda, so it's basically having the double-sided story that appeals to me. It was interesting to me because it would force that character to have different relationships by virtue of trying to hide or take advantage. There are always opportunities for something more.

In the first scene of the first episode, your character kills the mother of Britt Robertson's character, Cassie. How do you come back from that? Do you think your character will ever be liked by fans?

Well, there always has to be a bad person and a bad character. There has to be the counterpoint, but what's interesting is that there is no justification. You can never justify, in human society, murdering someone, unless it's self defense or you're at war, and even then you can't justify it truly. It's back to what's interesting about the character -- how can he do that, and is it because he's beyond those limits and he's already justified that to himself some way, or because what he's doing is actually bigger, and he disregards morality and he disregards the legal system? There's certainly no concern about good and evil. There's no concern about Christianity, or whatever. This is pre-Christian, I think. He's justified in that he's up to something that's more important to him than the Good Samaritan parable you might think of.

Obviously, Charles has a history with Cassie's mom, Amelia. Was there a romance in their past? Is he angry at her for something?

That's what's interesting about the adaptation of an established story with regards to the books, because I really have no sense that there was or wasn't a romantic connection between Charles and Amelia. I think that's part of what he's up to, is hiding it. When you're doing something like that, I can't even get a parking ticket. That would lead to very bad places. That's why he's inserted himself into city council and he's got the ability that a lawyer can use to manipulate the system. I have no idea, and I think it could be everything. It could be a number of very bad things driving his motivation. At the same time, he is a father, and he does have a daughter that he loves and wants to protect from even the simplest things. He'll say to her, "Don't look at that; it's going to make you upset." Meanwhile, he's burning someone's house down.

There's obviously a really dark streak to him, but his daughter Diana seems like she's been raised really well. Is being a good father his priority? She seems to have turned out fine.

I think that he's good at appearing good, but I think that's just survival. Potentially what's interesting is that his daughter, Diana (Shelley Henning), seems to have traits of other people that aren't necessarily him. I don't know if it's his wife, who's gone now. And then Natasha [Henstridge's] character, Dawn, her daughter Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) seems to share some kind of natural behavior problems with Charles. Charles is the one who seems to be more willing and ready for possibly dangerous things, and Faye seems that way. Faye's ready to go, too. She's ready to cause some problems, but Diana is very sweet. She just wants everyone to be part of the team.

Is there going to be a romantic connection between Dawn and Charles now?

I'm not sure. I think there's probably going to be a power struggle, and regret for certain things, and anger. But on the other hand, they have to work together because our arrangements, by virtue of the fact that our circle's gone, we don't have as much power, so we have to use the younger circle now. In order to do that, we have to keep them under control or at least try to, so we need each other, even if we can't stand each other.

You've played such a wide variety of characters throughout your career. Where does Charles fall in terms of how challenging the role is for you?


The challenging part is when you're working very quickly, and you're doing complicated things and there are a lot of characters to relate to. There's not an immense amount of time for preparation, and things change from day to day, so the difficult aspect is as it always is, trying to be prepared, but not over-prepared. That's what I have a tendency to do -- over-think, over-prepare, and then I'm kind of hampered. I've kind of put a limit on it. You want it to just flow, and not be so calculated.

In terms of the role itself, it's got its own built in challenges, one of them being playing the double sides, and even playing more than two sides on occasion. I mean, it's difficult enough to be believed as a lawyer when you're not a lawyer. A lot of that is textbook stuff, just saying the lines, but you still have to come across with some sort of veracity. But then, can you be believed as a witch or a warlock? I'm always thinking of myself as a warlock; I like the word. Warlock. But can you be believable? In one scene, I almost make a man drown, just by looking at him, just by making him think about it. Do you buy that?

It's one of my favorite scenes in the pilot. Adam Harrington's character, Ethan, has such a deep weakness to him, and your character has so much power over him.

That brings a lot of fun into the story, because when you have that much regret and that much revenge and anger, it drives you in a really visceral way. It's not all about your head, it's about your heart. It's in your blood. He's very angry, and he's very heartbroken, and that's a human emotion. What'll be interesting is to exploit all of that and to let him know that I'm exploiting it, while I'm exploiting it. Whether witches are good or evil is not really interesting to me. But is it possible to just be evil as a human being, and where does that come from? That's what's interesting to me.


Copyright © 2011 gale-harold.it | All rights reserved
Written by Carina Mackenzie - Edited by Marcy

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Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:02 pm

We shine the spotlight on THE SECRET CIRCLE star Gale Harold

Wednesday, August 31st 2011

By: theTVaddict
Source: thetvaddict.com
Edited by: Marcy


Thanks to his star-making role on QUEER AS FOLK, actor Gale Harold knows a thing or two about playing the bad boy. Just don’t tell him that.

“Brian Kinney wasn’t an a**hole, I just think he didn’t care about towing the line. He wanted to be himself, he simply wasn’t willing to take a back seat or entertain anyone else’s idea of right and wrong and he didn’t hesitate to let that be known,” explained Harold when asked during the recent Television Critics Association Press Tour about his penchant for playing the character fans love to hate. “So I don’t think he was a bad guy at all. In fact, he was a very very heroic character that took care of himself and lived to be what he thought what he wanted to be.”

Luckily for Harold, it’s that kind of conviction to one’s character that will certainly come in handy as the actor prepares to step into the shoes of Charles Meade, a respected ChanceHarbor citizen and father with a witchy agenda of his very own in THE SECRET CIRCLE, the CW’s much-anticipated companion piece to THE VAMPIRE DIARIES. But just what brought the artist formerly known as Brian Kinney back to the small screen in his first regular series gig since Fox’s appropriately titled mystery whodunit VANISHED?

“The bad guy villain gets really boring very quickly, but if you’re that bad while being perceived to be that good, everywhere you look there’s a potential disaster,” said Harold, who equates his character’s mission to that of juggling tables in a five star restaurant with a roomful of critics. “If you drop one thing, the entire night can go out the window, so it’s interesting because I have to maintain a certain persona in public and in society but that’s not really what I want. It’s a means to an end. There is a very serious power grab going on — where my character is, at least in the beginning — trying to reignite something through our children that we tried to do ourselves that went horribly wrong. But I’m really still figuring things out.”

Indeed, ‘figuring things out’ is something Harold will be doing a lot of this Fall. Particularly since the actor has made a conscious decision to not read the L.J. Smith book series on which THE SECRET CIRCLE is based on in an effort to maintain an element of surprise for both himself as an actor and the audience watching along at home.

“I want the audience to be as surprised as I am so I don’t want to be indicating by knowing or assuming. And that’s the fun part, trying to figure out mythology, the history and what the stakes are because I think it’s a lot more dangerous than my character even knows,.” said Harold. “What I’m looking forward to most is learning how far down he’s going to go, how much trouble he’s going to cause and how he’s going to get himself out of it. I hope that he really gets under someone’s boot so he has to fight himself out of that while all the while trying to be a good father, handle some legal issues and walk down the street smiling. The duality of the role is going to be very fun.”

Considerably less fun, at least for the intensely private actor, is returning to the glowing spotlight of series television. A spotlight that thanks to Twitter, Facebook and the likes has magnified ten-fold since his time on QUEER AS FOLK.

“If someone wants to call you out they can 3 million times a second and they never have to answer for it, so that can be a little weird.” admitted Harold. “But there’s nothing wrong with a passionate fan base, ever, because the that’s why we’re doing this. At the same time, the media lends itself to extreme passion because it’s so accessible all the time. I’m very flattered, I’m very pleased, I just hope the fans understand that it’s like a partnership. As much as you want, I can only give so much.”


Copyright © 2011 gale-harold.it | All rights reserved
Written by TheTVaddict - Edited by Marcy

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