Interviews

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Interviews

Post by Ally on Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:01 pm

A special Thank You to Marcy for giving us permission to post the interviews here


Joey magazine

February 2000

By: David Beebe
Source: JOEY MAGAZINE
Edited by: Marcy
Gallery: Joey magazine




"You’re always reading about everyone saying that the American version is not going to be as extreme. That’s bullshit, absolute bullshit. It’s going to be just as [extreme], if not more," says Randy Harrison when asked about the amount of sexual content in Showtime’s provocative new series, Queer as Folk. This December, you can see exactly what Randy is talking about as he plays the role of 17-year-old Justin in the edgy series that is filled with boys, sex, parties, clubs, hard bodies, loud music and late nights. Based on the widely popular British series, the story line centers on the everyday lives of seven gay men and women, and is a mature, truthful and often explicit exploration of the gay experience. Randy’s character is often the target of controversy because of his age, and because of the explicit acts that happen in the course of his character discovering his own sexuality.

Most likely this is the first time you’ve heard of Randy Harrison, but the blonde cutie has been acting since seven. "Acting is the first thing I remember doing, and I just never stopped," recalls Randy. Born in New Hampshire, Randy and his family moved to Atlanta, Georgia when he was ten. It was there, at 16, that he made the tough decision to tell his parents and close friends that he was gay. "It went pretty well, and it was pretty ideal, but difficult as well, just like it is for everyone else I imagine." After high school, Randy left for the University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music College, where he studied theater and performing arts.

After graduation, he moved to New York to work in theater, where he had already landed an acting job at The St. Louis Municipal Theater and performed in many plays, including 1776, Grease and Anything Goes. "I just started pursuing theater, I assumed that’s what I would do, since that was where I had all my experience," he says.

But life as Randy knew it was about to change, and quickly. After being in New York for only a month, his agent sent him to the Queer as Folk audition in L.A. About two weeks later, and in the middle of his theater work, Randy got the call that he had been picked to play Justin. "I was so excited," says Randy. "It took a while to sink in." He realizes that it all happened pretty quickly for him and how fortunate he is. "I really didn’t have the typical ‘New York-starving-actor’ experience."

In the series there are three main characters, which are nothing alike, all different ages, and all at various points in their gay life. Gale Harold, plays Brian, an arrogant 29-year-old advertising executive who is self-absorbed and filled with attitude. Hal Sparks, who is one of the most recognizable names in the cast, plays Michael, an assistant supermarket manager in his late 20s, who is also Brian’s best friend. And then enters Justin, the naive 17-year-old who's just coming out and loses his virginity to Brian, only to fall in love with him, but doesn’t find the same feelings coming from Brian. Through the twenty-two episode series, we follow the twists and turns of the trio's lives as they spend their nights in the blue collar Pittsburgh gay scene and their days trying to figure out what being gay is all about. "Of course, the characters are in no way role models," says Randy, "but I think that Justin’s balls-e-ness, un-bashfulness, and complete lack of shame are something that young people will cling onto and learn from."

As lucky as Randy is, he’s not quite sure of the impact that this role will have on his acting career or life. "Before this, I really had no acting career, and it’s exciting to be part of something different. It’s a great job, I just graduated, and this is the hand I was dealt. I’ll have to deal with the repercussions of it afterwards." The down-to-earth actor seems to have control of everything so far though, and is only really looking to pursue a successful career without having his sexuality become a major part of it. "I’m totally willing to talk about it, but I’m not marketing my sexuality," asserts Randy. "I just want to play really good parts and work with people I can learn from."

Randy isn’t much like the character he plays, though. "Even though my character is gay and I’m gay, he’s still really different from me. I’m not a club boy and really never have been. I’m a homebody," admits Randy. "I like to sit around and read (his favorite author is William Faulkner), go to movies (his favorite being Fight Club) and go out to eat (whatever there is). But I like to have fun too. I throw good parties. People dance. I just feel more comfortable where I know most of the people, and we can just get down." For all you Top 40-music-haters out there, you and Randy may have something else in common as well. He admits that he listens to a little bit of everything and that he will occasionally indulge in some Britney Spears, ‘N SYNC and those other types, but that he "doesn’t own any of those CDs" and he always "hates [himself] for doing it afterwards!"

When Randy completes the filming of Queer as Folk in Toronto, he will return home to New York, where he and his boyfriend live. Randy met his boyfriend, who is also an actor, when he was 19. "We’ve been together now for three and a half years. It’s been really good. Sometimes it’s frustrating to be apart, but he comes up and visits all the time" admits Randy.

When asked if people recognize him yet or not, and if he is ready to handle the fame that is associated with a successful acting career, Randy said, "Once in a while, I get noticed here because a lot of the extras are locals. They just stare at you and follow you around, and you get paranoid. But fame is not a goal of mine, I just want to act in good parts, and if fame is associated with that, so be it."

After this job, Randy hopes to take some time off and travel to Europe and Switzerland. Most importantly, Randy and the rest of the cast are hoping that the gay community will embrace and appreciate their work this December. "I just think this is the thing that the gay community has been waiting to see for a long time. And for once, this will give everyone what they want."


Copyright © 2008 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy


Last edited by Ally on Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:39 pm; edited 2 times in total

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:41 pm

Randy's chat on Showtime's Talk city


February, 4 2001

Thanks to: James Tee
Source: SHOWTIME
Courtesy: xof
Edited by: Marcy


Read our chat with Randy Harrison! Twenty-three year old Randy plays "Justin," a young man who is in the middle of discovering himself, and who is also hopelessly smitten with "Brian." Randy is making his television debut in Showtime's "Queer As Folk."

Showtime: Thanks for signing on for our chat with Randy Harrison. Twenty-three year old Randy Harrison plays "Justin," a young man who is in the middle of discovering himself, and who is also hopelessly smitten with "Brian.” He is making his television debut in Showtime's "Queer As Folk.” Ask Randy about his life before and during QAF. Welcome Randy! Let's get started!

Randy Harrison
: Hey everyone! I'm glad to be here.

Lajk: I enjoy the show a lot. My question is --when you first heard of the audition for the show, what was your first thought?

Randy Harrison
: My first thought was that I was glad to have an audition!

Rockoff: Randy, how do you like working with Gale Harold?

Randy Harrison
: Gale is wonderful to work with.

Johann67: What was the funniest moment for you while making QAF?

Randy Harrison: The funniest moment of making "Queer As Folk" was probably one of our first read-throughs. When we all met one another and first read through the script together.

Jase: Are you worried that you'll be in any way 'typecast' after this? What are your future aspirations as an actor?

Randy Harrison
: I think doing any series where you are seen as the same character twenty-two hours in a season can make it difficult for an actor to be seen as any other character. However, I also think that it's an amazing opportunity to be able to spend so much time working with good scripts and good directors, and other talented actors. I have no idea what I will do in the future. But, I look forward to seeing what kind of opportunities will present themselves, and am prepared to face whatever challenges playing this role will bring up for me as an actor.

Vanessa666: Hey Randy, How's Life? How has “Queer As Folk” changed your life?

Randy Harrison: My life has changed, in that I've gone from being a broke college student to suddenly being able to support myself. My life has also changed in that I live in Canada, instead of the United States.

TJ: Hi Randy, I was wondering how hard it is for you to do love scenes, especially the real erotic scene in the first episode with Brian.

Randy Harrison: For me, the difficulty of the sex scenes lies primarily in the emotional state of the character at the time. That first sex scene was definitely the most difficult, because Justin is in a place of utter vulnerability, and it was also shot on the third day of shooting before I really knew Gale, and before I was very familiar with the crew.

Tweety: Do you have a fan mail address yet?

Randy Harrison
: If you send fan mail to Showtime, it gets to me.

Hardwood: have you received any kind of feedback from anyone who credits your character with helping them to come out?

Randy Harrison
: I've gotten quite a bit of mail from teenagers, who, I don't know if the character is actually helping them "come out,” but who definitely expressed a lot of gratitude for being able to see themselves reflected on television, and who are comforted by Justin.

MaryMiracle: What's your favorite episode?

Randy Harrison: My favorite episode so far is Episode 11, which you guys haven't seen yet…and it's not just because I'm not in it that often!

Smooshpeas: Do you think playing a gay character will help other young gay people find it easier to come out if they watch you in “Queer as Folk”?

Randy Harrison
: I hope so.

Randy: Hey Randy -- just wanted to tell you that I think you play a great character on this show, and I wanted to know how you felt about how graphic the show comes off as being, and what kind of a message you hope to convey with your character?

Randy Harrison: I'm actually kind of proud of the graphic nature of the show, only because it depicts sexuality that has not been shown on television before, and that is generally avoided. I don't try to convey any message by playing Justin. I'm only trying to accurately present the character that is given to me in every script.

Stormyday: Randy, do you have any movies in the future planned?

Randy Harrison
: Not yet! Are you writing one?

Bi Kat: Randy, when you got to play Justin -- were you nervous since "Brian" is so fine?

Randy Harrison
: (laughing) No.

HOPOLO: Are the producers thinking of spinoffs -- IE the lesbian couple with their own show if this goes through a successful season as it seems to be?

Randy Harrison
: As far as I know, there is no definite plan for spin offs. I think the producers have their hands full just dealing with the show.

Romeyn: Wow, I didn't think you were that old. I'm actually twenty-three myself. How long have you been in show business?

Randy Harrison
: I have been acting since I was seven years old, and I've never stopped. And twenty-three isn't that old, is it?

DJ: Randy, how does this role compare in difficulty to others that you have had?

Randy Harrison
: This is the first time I have ever been on television, and the largest challenge to me was switching mediums, and learning to act for a camera, and performing at the speed in which television is shot.

Stlouismuny: Would you ever return to live theatre, or stay with TV?

Randy Harrison
: Oh, I never want to stop doing live theater.

JayDotCom: I hope you read this, cause I think you relate to me the best – you’re young and dealing with the whole issue of coming out and recognizing how you feel. How will your character deal with rejection from his father?

Randy Harrison
: Watch and see!

Naturally: I am from Pittsburgh and find it hard to believe this series takes place there -- how much actual footage actually takes place in Pittsburgh on Liberty Avenue?

Randy Harrison
: Absolutely none! The producers chose Pittsburgh because they wanted a sort of general, middle American town. I don't think their aim was ever to accurately recreate the Pittsburgh gay community.

Gary: Hi Randy! I want to thank you for portraying your character so well. I think many young guys like myself can relate to "Justin" and it helps to see how someone in our situation deals. You're awesome (and gorgeous!) and I hope you continue to do great things!

Randy Harrison
: Thank you so much!

Star: I have never missed an episode, and I have to say I think that you are doing an excellent job. Who is your favorite cast member and why?

Randy Harrison
: I don't think I have a favorite cast member. We are all close in very different ways, we are like a big family here, and I love everyone.

Bill1: How much of Justin's character development comes from the director and writers, and how much is your input?

Randy Harrison: Well, the scripts come from the writers. Generally, it depends on the director. There are some directors that we have had, that I pretty much do everything on my own, and they work mostly with the cameras, and other directors work intimately with the actors. All in all, I don't think any of Justin could be created without all the writers and the producers and the directors. The show -- and every aspect of the show -- is very much a collaborative effort.

JBKroon: Hi, Randy! Great show, and great work on your part portraying Justin. Whereas HBO's "OZ" has been quite forthcoming in showing male nudity, do you foresee Showtime doing same for any "QAF" characters? Either way, what are your thoughts?

Randy Harrison
: The thing about male nudity and "Queer As Folk" is that practically the entire time the characters are naked, they are in sexual situations. Therefore, it would be impossible to use full frontal nudity, because it would be erections, which would be pornography. You will see penis if you watch the show enough. I'm not promising mine.

Danny: Excellent. My comment for Randy is that first of all I really appreciate his bringing of Justin to life. I'm going through a lot of what he is with my family and "coming out.” So seeing Justin has been a very emotional experience, and touching! Randy Harrison: Thank You Randy! I'm so glad that watching Justin has affected you emotionally. It affects me emotionally to play Justin, and it makes me happy to know I am sharing something with other people in that way.

ScreamX1: Hey Randy -- how does it make you feel to have the knowledge that your excellent portrayal of Justin is an inspiration for other teens (like myself) to stay true to themselves? You truly are someone to look up to.

Randy Harrison
: Thank you so much! It is overwhelming to hear things like that. In some ways, though, Justin is an inspiration for me as well. I think he is much stronger in a lot of ways than I could ever have been when I was his age, and I admire him for that.

Boogie7: Randy -- Do you foresee Justin living with Brian until he graduates or are they even looking that far ahead in the storyline?

Randy Harrison: You know, we've already played that out as far as shooting, and I don't want to give anything away.

Jim V: Does Hal Sparks keep the set laughing all the time?

Randy Harrison: Yeah, he does. Hal is hilarious.

Aurastar7: Are you going to be on any talk shows or are there any interviews available for the public to see?

Randy Harrison: Yeah, there are a lot of magazine interviews. I can't even keep track of all of them. And there is this. I'm not planning to be on any talk shows anytime soon.


RalphAdam: Your outfits are really neat do you get to pick out your wardrobe? Do you get to keep it?

Randy Harrison
: I don't pick out my wardrobe. I don't keep it. But, occasionally, I will steal something for the weekend!

Ferret: What do you think is the biggest lesson that your character has to learn about being an adult or being a gay man?

Randy Harrison
: Justin is learning so much. I can't particularly choose which lesson is the most significant, but he is learning about standing up for himself, he is learning about the reality of injustice, he is learning about love, and relationships, and he's constantly shattering his myths about society and sexuality and family and romance. It's amazing playing Justin, because I started playing a very naive and innocent 17 year old, and it seems that every episode, Justin experiences something, or observes something, that makes him grow so significantly.

Major Catch
: Is there a traditional or classic role that you would like to play in the future?

Randy Harrison
: There are tons of great roles I'd love to play. Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet,” Prince Arthur in "King John,” Alan Strang in "Equus.” There are so many phenomenal roles out there, and so much great writing.

Jennifer: "Justin" has some very emotionally charged scenes. How do you prepare and get motivated for them?

Randy Harrison: It's difficult. I prepare a lot beforehand, and I really examine the scripts. I try to make sure I know where Justin is coming from, where he is going to, and also with what he is aiming to achieve in the scene. Then, generally, I just play off my partner, and through the rehearsals, and talking to the director about the scene. Generally I am in the state of the scene by the time it comes around to shooting it. Also, generally, you'll shoot one scene for four or five hours, and you have plenty of time to find and get to the emotions of the character.

Trina: Hi Randy. My name is Trina. You are amazing on the show. I know you have done theatre for years and I was wondering if you have a most embarrassing moment in the theatre story

Randy Harrison
: Well, first of all, hi Trina! Honestly, I'd say anything that I did between the ages of one and sixteen would be pretty humiliating to look at -- the awkward years, as they say.

Brandon: Who plays Daphne and how old is she?

Randy Harrison
: Nakyla Smith plays Daphne, and she's 18. I love her, and she's great. I'm glad you like her!

Jeffy: Do you think the Justin character is an accurate portrayal of gay youth today, and do you consider the character a role model?

Randy Harrison
: First of all, I don't really know how one character could be an accurate portrayal of an entire group. At least, not if you wanted the character to be an idiosyncratic individual. I don't think we ever aimed at trying to represent a culture; we just wanted to create realistic individuals. I think Justin has a lot of qualities that should be emulated and respected, but at the same time, I think Justin does a lot of trashy and obnoxious things too. I don't think any of the characters on "QAF" are flawless.

Scot Harrison
: did you ever imagine financial and career success this quickly?

Randy Harrison: Well, I'm not financially secure because I'm donating every cent I make to my impoverished older brother, so he can support his wife and family!

CTDave: Are you still filming episodes?

Randy Harrison
: Yeah, we are on Episode Nineteen.

Taronda: I think you are so cute. Do you get a lot of fan mail?

Randy Harrison: Not copious amounts, but some -- and it's very great to know that my character is reaching people.

Phil: Hello Randy, I love the show. How is it working with such a diverse group of actors and you being the youngest cast member?

Randy Harrison
: Hi Phil! It's great working with so many amazing people; it's an amazing learning environment for me.

Lee: You do your job so well, is it the writers, or do you bring something to the table?

Randy Harrison
: Thank you, I'm glad you liked my performance. As I said before, I think it's very much a collaborative effort. I bring as much to the table as I can, and I think everyone involved with the show brings something personal to the table, and the creation of every character.

RupertAnthony: Do you think that your fellow cast members will remain friends well after the show has ended?

Randy Harrison
: I'm sure we will.

James: What made you decide to audition for the show?

Randy Harrison: My agent submitted me. It was a very typical audition process.

Jennifer: Are y'all making them throw out all the bloopers or are you able to save them for the final wrap-up party?

Randy Harrison
: I don't know if they are printing all of our outtakes. I hope so, because we have had quite a few funny ones.

Jase: How long did it take to establish the “chemistry” that we see developing week to week now on the show?

Randy Harrison
: Well, the great thing in playing Justin is that the first time the show begins is the first time he's meeting everybody. So at the pilot, I was a stranger, and we were all just meeting each other. Our characters’ relationships have all grown, as our personal relationships have grown and we've gotten to know each other.

Chris-NY: Randy -- did the USA cast ever meet the UK cast?

Randy Harrison
: No, we haven't, but we've met Russell Davies, the creator of the British series, and he's amazing. Certain members of the British series also mailed us things that their characters wore for their American counterparts to wear on the show.

Envoi: Randy, the experience that Justin has with his classmates -- being teased and harassed -- was that hard material for you to work with?

Randy Harrison: Yeah, it's difficult to go into an environment of shooting where you haven't met the other actors, and their job is to scream at you and call you "faggot.” However, it makes it pretty easy to go there emotionally.

GregNVA: The QAF show has an awesome soundtrack -- what kind of music do you like?

Randy Harrison
: I listen to an eclectic collection of music. I just bought the new Radiohead CD, and the Velvet Underground boxed set. I've listened to everything from folk, country, classical, to punk, and trance, and electronica.

Ger: Randy, were you really listening to Moby in the scene from tonight's episode when you're singing to yourself?

Randy Harrison: Yes, I was!

Serenity: Which actors have inspired you?

Randy Harrison: Pretty much every time I go to see a film, or go to a play, there are actors who I feel I can learn from watching perform. I don't have any one particular role model.

Steven In Dallas
: How many hours a week do you work in making one show?

Randy Harrison: We work seven working days to make one episode. Generally, the crew is working between fourteen and seventeen hour days, every day, but I don't have to be there all the time, only when I am working on one of my scenes -- so it depends on the episode how much I work, and whether I am heavily featured or not.

Wiubear: Have you or any of your co-stars signed on to do more episodes after this year’s are done?

Randy Harrison: Yeah, we are required to stay on for five more years, IF they keep bringing it back, that doesn't mean necessarily we will get five seasons.

ThereAreTwo: It's obvious that the cast is becoming more comfortable with one another as the episodes progress. Can you imagine this being a five season run? If so, who do you think Justin will be at the end of that time?

Randy Harrison
: I can't imagine being here for five more years, although it will be great if the show is that successful. I see Justin in five years as being a successful graphic designer, graduating from art school, and having his own place. Really, I have no idea what they are planning on doing with us in the upcoming seasons, but I'm sure it will be exciting.

Buffboi Minneapolis
: Randy, You are so lucky to be working with Sharon Gless. Has she taken you under her wing (so to speak) and given you any helpful advice?

Randy Harrison
: Sharon is brilliant, and it's a great honor to be working with her. Every time you're in a scene with Sharon, it definitely feels that it's taken to a new level, because she is so committed. She has taken all of us under her wing. She calls us "her boys.” And is so giving, and kind.

Vanya: Seems to me that your having been assigned the love scenes early on in the production was an advantage, from an actor's point of view, and such as you describe it wouldn't Justin's vulnerability have been, in fact, a legitimate reflection of your own, real vulnerability under, how shall we say, the more than simply "given" circumstances?

Randy Harrison
: Yes, you are exactly right.

ScreamX1: Let's say Brian drops off the face of the earth; who else would you like to see Justin with and why?

Randy Harrison: If Brian were to fall off the face of the earth, I think Justin should learn to be single.

Scoshi: Randy, Showtime has opened many doors for viewers; as an actor, are there any doors you wouldn't enter?

Randy Harrison
: No, I would never want to limit myself beforehand.

Smtnsweet: Will you be doing an Internet video interview like the one seen of Hal and Gale?

Randy Harrison: I actually did one. I don't know if they put it on the Internet, but I did do one.

Chris--NC: Are you hoping Showtime is just the starting point for conquering the ground that ELLEN broke on ABC?

Randy Harrison
: Well, I hope what this show does is just sort of normalize the presence of gay characters on television -- and shock American audiences into finally getting to a place where it's not a big deal to see two people of the same sex making out in a scene.

Nvzno1: Do you enjoy working with the director and producer, and are they open to new ideas if the actors have a different feel for the scene?

Randy Harrison: Yeah, the directors and producers on the show have all been extraordinary. It is a pleasure for me to collaborate with them. They are very open to your suggestions.

Maclen: What is your opinion about straight persons playing in the role of gay characters and vice versa? I heard Hal Sparks and the actor who portrays David are really straight and it does make me feel differently about the show.

Randy Harrison
: Frankly, I don't think the actor's sexuality matters at all. I think if they are good actors, then they are good actors, period. I feel that any committed actor should have the flexibility to play a character of a different sexuality than his own. And I think all of our actors, straight and gay, are committed to playing their gay roles and doing very convincing jobs.

Harri: Hey Randy, is there ever any improv during the shooting?

Randy Harrison
: There's a limited amount. Generally, you can't change the scripts without clearing it with the producers first. So most of the changing of the script and the improvisation goes on during the read through process.

Skip: Randy, your bio says you have done musical theater. You can sing as well as act?

Randy Harrison
: I have been known to sing!

Allen195: Randy -- how would you feel about doing a major motion picture based on your “Queer As Folk” character?

Randy Harrison
: I feel the character of Justin is very specifically a series television character. I feel that series television is something that is shot to be seen one hour a week for twenty two episodes a year and it ends up creating a very different kind of character than one that could carry a one and a half hour long feature. But I'm sure that Justin would love to be the star of a movie.

RupertAnthony: If you knew the show was about to end, what would you have wanted your character Justin to have accomplished?

Randy Harrison
: I feel like Justin is all the time accomplishing things that I'm proud of him for accomplishing. I don't think that there is one specific goal that he is aiming to achieve.

Outkast1: Randy, where do you see yourself in the future after the show?

Randy Harrison: My only goal is to have a career as a working actor. Thanks everybody for coming, I had a great time answering your Questions, and keep watching "Queer As Folk.”

Showtime: Thank you for chatting with Randy Harrison. Showtime plans to regularly introduce you to the creative forces behind QAF. Tune in to SHOWTIME for a new episode next Sunday, February 11th at 1pm ET/PT. And log on to www.queer.SHO.com at 11pm ET/8pm PT for a live chat with Hal Sparks, "Michael." A production of Showtime and Talk City Marketing Group. Copyright 2001, All rights reserved.


Copyright © 2007 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:26 pm

Larry King Live -CNN

Aired: April, 24 2002 21,00
With:Larry King
Source: CNN
Edited by: Marcy


Larry King: Tonight, too hot for TV? Showtime's hit series "Queer as Folk" steams up the screen.
It's not another "Ellen." It's graphic, raw and controversial. And while it's produced by gays about gays, most of its stars are straight. We've got all the key players and they'll answer your calls and criticisms. The full scope on the show that's stirring up a major fuss, next on Larry King Live. They were supposed to be with us last week. It's good to have them back tonight. We're going to have the complete cast of "Queer as Folk" as our guests and a major discussion about that.

Larry King: Now, this is what we've been talking about and is our bulk of the show tonight. And if you've seen any magazines, New York Magazine with Randy Harrison -he'll be with us in a little while -on the cover. All these magazines -"OUT," et cetera, et cetera, regular magazines, gay magazines, straight magazines have been talking about a television show. That show is "Queer As Folk," the most successful show on Showtime.

Larry King: We begin with, here in Los Angeles, Peter Paige. He plays Emmett Honeycutt. And he's out as a gay man in real life. In Miami is Sharon Gless. You know her very well. She plays Debbie Novotny, the mother of Michael. Debby is overwhelmingly supportive of her gay son. In New York is Gale Harold, who plays Brian Kinney, a successful ad executive unapologetic about his feelings. Also in New York is Randy Harrison, who plays Justin Taylor. Justin is a teenager who lost his virginity to the much older Brian. And here in Los Angeles is Hal Sparks who plays Michael Novotny, the son of Sharon Gless. Michael is smart but somewhat naive.


Larry King: The only two actual gay characters on the show are Peter Paige here in Los Angeles and Randy Harrison here in New York. Why did you take this part, Peter?

PETER: I've always been drawn to controversial projects. I thought there was something really exciting, really dynamic here. What I think has caused so much of the controversy around this show is this combination of being about a group of gay men and women and its unapologetic use of sexuality as part of the dramatic storytelling. And I just think those are really human, human components.

Larry King: It's true.

PETER: It's true. That's exactly why. It's true.

Larry King: When did you come out?
PETER: I started coming out as a teenager. It's a life-long
process. I, you know, still am, I guess.

Larry King: And Randy is the only other actual gay person in the show. Why did you take the part?

RANDY: I took the part because I got it. (LOL) You know, I was excited to do it. I wanted to work. I just graduated
from school. And it was a great way to begin my professional career.

Larry King: Did you have any doubts about displaying the character this way?

RANDY: Not really. I mean, I felt the sexuality especially in Justin's case was a really important part of his development as a character. So, you know, I was actually excited to do it and ready to do it.

Larry King: Sharon Gless, how did they get you involved?

SHARON: Well, a friend of mind sneaked me the script. And I called Showtime and asked if the part had been cast. And they said no, nothing had been cast. And I said, well, I'd really like to have that part. So, they sent me to the producers and it was one of the most fun interviews I've ever been on.

Larry King: Why did you want it?

SHARON: Because I smelled trouble and I wanted to be part of that.

Larry King: You like trouble.

SHARON: Yes. And, actually, there's been very little trouble around this show. I was surprised. But it was very shocking, very graphic. I'd never read anything like that on television and I wanted to be there.

Larry King: Peter Paige -let me go to Peter. We want to get everyone established. Peter, who is a straight actor, right, Peter?

HAL: No, he's Peter.

Larry King: I'm sorry. You're Peter. Hal, as a straight actor, why did you take the role of a gay person?

HAL: Well, the script was excellent. And the character was something that I really felt like I could resonate to and find a heart for. And, frankly, a lot of other actors I heard were afraid to do it, gay and straight. They just wouldn't take a lot of the roles that were offered in the show. And any time I can be 200th choice for something and actually get the part, I'm there. But truthfully it was part of that. It was like other people wouldn't do this. And it felt important. It felt historic. And I felt like I could really bring something it.

Larry King: You liked the script you got?

HAL: Yes. Yes. It was impressive. And it had a lot of intelligence to it.

Larry King: In New York, Gale Harold, who is also straight. We have to point that out because it is unusual to have this kind of a complete program dealing with the gay lifestyle, male and female, and everyone but two on it is straight. So, Gale, why did you take it?

GALE: Because it was a very interesting, challenging part and compelling for those reasons initially. And the more I thought about it and considered what the impact was going to be, I think socially, it just was a challenge I couldn't really pass up, to at least pursue, you know. And when I got the job, I got the job.

Larry King: Was it tough, Gale, and also we'll ask Hal the same thing, was it tough to play scenes out of natural concept for you, that is, having to make love to a man?

GALE: It was new and different, but it wasn't -I wouldn't say tough. I mean, the implication there being that -I wouldn't want to say that it was anything other than a challenge. I mean, that is the character that I signed on to play. And very much a part of his persona, his personality is his sexual life. And so, I had to be committed to that. I knew that from the time I decided to go and test for the part. And that's just part of the job, you know.

Larry King: In other words, it's acting.

GALE: Of course, it's acting.

Larry King: Hal?

HAL: I took the part knowing full well what would be asked of us. But I also wasn't necessarily prepared in any way for what it would take. And for me, it is difficult. And I have no qualms about saying that. But it's still worth doing. So a lot of things I've done in my life are very hard to do, but they're important to do.

Larry King: I want to get everybody's thoughts and I wanted to establish everybody. We'll have everybody correctly identified, too. I'm Larry King. The show is a hit on Showtime, a major hit, in fact.

Larry King: You are seeing scenes from "Queer As Folk," the highest rated original series on Showtime, the premium cable network that brands itself with the phrase "No Limits." It is based on a highly successful British series of the same title, "Queer As Folk." Focuses on a group of gay men and women living in Pittsburgh. "Queer as Folk" is shot in Toronto. Returned for its second season on Showtime in January, is a major hit on that network.

Now, you know, Peter, that there are many gays complaining that they don't like the way this lifestyle is portrayed.
How do you respond?

PETER: Well, I think they're, A, not watching the show. I think they're only responding to the press about the show which is, oh, it's provocative. There's a lot of sex in it. There's drug use in it, which is true. My mainstay of all is that it's real. This is real. This happened. This is going on.

Larry King: This is the gay life?

PETER: The people who are complaining about it are either ashamed of their own lives and mad that we're telling secrets or they're looking for some sort of politically correct best foot forward, you know, "Cosby Show" type programming, which is not what this show set out to do. This show set out to tell the story of these people's lives, warts and all. And it is pissing people off. I don't apologize for that.

Larry King: Sharon Gless, you're a two-time Emmy winner for "Cagney and Lacey." This is not "Cagney and Lacey."

SHARON [laughing]: No.

Larry King: Is realism just more coming to the fore?

SHARON: I'm sorry, what?

Larry King: Is that what this is about, that television just gets more real all the time?

SHARON: More real? Well, I hope so. I hope so. I mean, that was the success of "Cagney and Lacey" was that it was so real, first time out for a show like that. And I say the same thing for this show. I mean, you can't get too real. I mean, it's...

Larry King: Can you understand where it's disturbing to people?

SHARON: Well, it depends on who the audience is. I imagine there's -yes, there are some audiences that it disturbs. But everyone I talked to loves it because it's -I hate that expression, ‘pushing the envelope.' But it is taking that next step towards showing the reality of the life of these kids. It is not everybody. It's just this group of youngsters.

Larry King: Randy, do we know who the audience is? Do we know who's watching?

RANDY: You know, it's a huge audience, a lot of straight people, a lot of teenagers, a lot of gay people, too. I think the fact that the show appeals to so many people on so many different levels sort of is a testament to the legitimacy of it.

Larry King: Hal, do you know -do you have friends who watch who are straight?

HAL: Oh, yes.

Larry King: And what do they say?

HAL: Yes, they're sort of, you know, as friends of mine they are proud of me for taking on the challenge, you know, and doing something that a lot of people wouldn't do.

Larry King: No one has complained to you? No one has said to you what are you doing?

HAL: No. Some guy friends of mine say, you know, I can't watch that part. I've got to turn that part off. Or, you know, I'll tape it and I'll fast forward through those things because it is hard for me. But they all agree that the storylines are compelling. The flashpoint of the show is the sex and that's what people attach themselves and go this is what it's about. But if you watch the show, it's really about relationships. And in a lot of ways, it portrays relationships honestly, in a way that even straight portrayal of relationships doesn't do anymore. It becomes part of a cliche. So the first time you're seeing people having real arguments, and a lot of times -I've said this before -but I have dialogue on the show where I'm saying -my character is saying to his boyfriend stuff that my ex-girlfriend has said to me. You know? And that's an interesting place to be in as a man, you know, and really come to terms with having those honest feelings.

Larry King: You play, Peter, the character you play, I understand, is really out there.

PETER: He's really out there.

Larry King: He's sort of ‘swishy' as you might say.

PETER [laughing]: You could say swishy. I wouldn't, but you could.

Larry King: Danger in stereotyping there or do you know people like that?

PETER: I know people like Emmett. I wanted very much -- what I think is so great about Emmett is he's very effeminate. He's out there, He's unapologetically gay and he really likes himself. He's sort of figured out that he was OK. Whether or not you think so doesn't really matter to him. And I thought that was really revolutionary to see on TV.

Larry King: Randy, as a gay man, does Peter's part offend you in any way?

RANDY: Oh, not at all. Not at all. It's really affirming actually.

Larry King: Because?

RANDY: Because you can see someone who is so out there and in a lot of ways, is so much of what people assume is negative about being gay or what people make fun of in homosexuality or the way they view potentially homosexual behavior. And you see someone who loves himself and is loved by everyone around them. And, you know, the audience loves him. You know, it is great.

Larry King
: Hal, did you know this show would be as controversial as it is?

HAL: Yes, absolutely.

Larry King: No doubt about it?

HAL: No doubt whatsoever. You could tell from the initial script, and from being a person out in the world and aware of how things presently are. This show is important because it pushed that envelope, and therefore it couldn't have -- even if the controversy isn't hyperverbal. You know, there isn't a lot of fighting between us and the moral majority going on. What controversy truly is there is between people and their own biases, their own homophobia that they didn't address.

Larry King: Gale, do you have any regrets over taking the part?

GALE: No.

Larry King
: Not at all.

GALE: Not at all. I mean, I've had an amazing experience growing as an actor, growing with my fellow actors. I've learned and...

[Off-camera, we hear Randy whisper what sounds like "I love you" or "I love him"]

Larry King: What did he just whisper to you?

GALE: (grinning) I can't repeat it.

(Laughter in the studio)

Larry King: OK. We'll use that as a grabber. We'll take a break and come right back. We'll include some phone calls as well. At the bottom of the hour, other members of the cast and later, we'll meet the producers and a critic of "Queer As Folk." You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.

[Video clip from QAF is played]

DALE: There are many pleasures to be found here, places that you are afraid to even think of going. I can take you there. But first you must surrender to me completely. Do you surrender? TED: Yes, I surrender. DALE: Sir. You will call me sir.

Larry King: Randy, your character is 17 years old, as I understand it.

RANDY: He's 19 now, but he began at 17, yes.

Larry King: When he was 17, was there criticism over that since he's a minor?

RANDY: Some, yes, there was.

Larry King: Didn't bother you?

RANDY: Not really because it happens all the time. And, you know, I was happy to put it out there.

Larry King
: As we saw from that scene, Hal, your lover has HIV.

HAL: Yes. Michael's dating a character named Ben this year and he's HIV positive.

Larry King: Do you think this enlightens people about this?

HAL: Absolutely. I mean, when the episode where I meet him and all that, it first aired, Michael can't sleep with him. And he breaks up with him because he can't handle the HIV element in the relationship. And we got a lot of criticism from that. People picketed us. And then when they finally watched how the story progressed and how this relationship grows, I think it really opens a lot of people's eyes. And I'm really happy that that storyline came into the fore. KING: Peter, there are those who say Pittsburgh was a bad choice to be the city -- no, that the gay communities are more prevalent in San Francisco, Houston than in Pittsburgh.

PETER: Right. You know, I mean, I think you should talk about that with the producers. Obviously, that was their choice. But I think it's about being a real city. It's just about being a city with real people with people who might be neighbors.

Larry King: Just happened to be Pittsburgh.

PETER: Yes. Exactly.

Larry King: Tacoma, Washington, hello. Tacoma, are you there?

CALLER: This is Houston, Texas.

Larry King: OK. I was told Tacoma. I'm on five, but OK, Houston, go ahead.

CALLER: I just wanted to comment about the show. First of all, I love the show. Everybody is great on that show. I'm an African- American female who has dealt with discrimination in her own life and it's great to see how you all have overcome all of that.

Larry King: Do you have a question? Do you have a question, dear?

CALLER: Well, I just wanted to give a comment. I mean, I love the show. You're all doing great work. Keep it up. I mean, you've helped me and my family bridge...

HAL [speaking to the caller]: Thanks a lot.

Larry King: Thank you. Do you hear a lot of that?

PETER: We do quite a about it, actually. I think the universality of the relationships, I think, it touches people. And, you know, straight people, gay people, people of color, often come up and just say, I get it. That's my relationship. I understand that.

HAL: A big portion of our audience is straight women. And a lot of times it is because they're seeing emotions portrayed that they don't get to see anywhere else.

Larry King: Gale, do you have any fear that this could typecast you in a way that, oh, he's the guy that's on "Queer As Folk"?

GALE: The only real answer I have to that, you know -it is asked a lot is that I really wouldn't want to work with someone who would typecast me based on what I'm doing in this job. I mean, we're actors and we want to grow and we want to perform different parts. So if I'm going to take a part that's challenging to me and that's feeding me as an actor, if someone were going to typecast me because of that -I know that it has happened. But I really feel like it's 2002. Hopefully we're beyond that.

PETER: Amen.

GALE: My goal is to work with people like I'm working with now that have an interest in pushing forward ideas and issues that, you know, are important and speak to people.

Larry King: Randy, as a gay man, are you consulted by -- by the way, are the writers gay?

RANDY: Some of them.

Larry King: Are you ever consulted with questions like, does this happen?

RANDY: No. Sometimes, yes, sometimes.

Larry King: No?

RANDY: Not all the time. I mean, I think people are pretty aware that this sort of does happen. You know, in the show, it very much represents a small subgroup of the gay community. But you know, most people I know who watch the show are aware of the reality of these kinds of situations and relationships.

Larry King: Do you ever see a script, Peter, where you have to say, no, that's not the way it happens?

PETER: No. I've seen scripts where I said, I wonder about this. And we engage the producers in a great conversation about it. They're really collaborative and really open that way. And the only question I've ever been asked by other actors on the show was do you really do it like that?

Larry King
: And what do you say?

PETER: Harder.

Larry King
: Sharon, I know you've never shirked controversy. Did you expect what you've gotten out of this?

GLESS: I'm sorry, Larry. I couldn't hear you.

Larry King: Did you expect the controversy this has gotten?

GLESS: Yes. That's sort of reason I signed on because I thought -- I mean, I was up for the fight. But that's what's exciting about this show to me. There's never been anything like it. I've been getting trouble from that scene you just saw, from people writing me and talking to me on the street, how could you?

Larry King: There are conservatives, Hal, who are saying it glorifies a lifestyle.

HAL: I think TV has an opportunity to be a window. And that's what it is in this case. There are a lot worse lifestyles to glorify than a young man falling in love with a man who has HIV and persevering through that relationship, or a character such as Emmett who falls in love with a much older man and really has an enduring relationship with him. If that's what we're promoting, then, tough.

PETER: You know, it ain't glorifying what. These characters are flawed. They struggle. They have problems. It is drama. That's what it is.

GLESS: They're real people.

Larry King: It's a show.

PETER: It's a show. To say we're glorifying something I think is really inaccurate.

Larry King: Any script coming going deal with the Catholic church?

HAL: Boy, we've been really prophetic throughout. And, yes, that actually is addressed.

Larry King: Thank you all very much. We'll break and meet other members of the cast, four more coming. We thank Peter Paige, Sharon Gless, Gale Harold, Randy Harrison and Hal Sparks, all of the hit show "Queer As Folk." More to come and more phone calls. Don't go away.

Larry King: The subject is "Queer As Folk." And naturally lesbians play a part as well. Let's meet our next panel, here in Los Angeles... Scott Lowell plays Ted Schmidt. Ted is a gay, low-key, down-to-earth accountant. And by the way, he's also a straight man.

SCOTT: Not a lesbian.

Larry King: Not a lesbian. In New York is Robert Gant, he plays Ben Bruckner. Ben was not part of the first season. He is a professor of gay studies, also is HIV positive, also is straight.

Two straight ladies here in Los Angeles; Thea Gill, who plays Lindsay Peterson, a university professor in a committed lesbian relationship and Michelle Clunie who plays Melanie Marcus. Melanie is a tough lawyer in that committed lesbian relationship.

Why did you take this part, Scott?

SCOTT: Mostly because the character reminded me so much of myself in a certain stage of my life. Especially moving out to Los Angeles from Chicago. The gay club scene that's portrayed in "Queer As Folk" is exactly what Los Angeles is like. A world where youth and beauty and wealth is prized, and if you don't have those things, then you don't quite fit in, much as my character does. You end up on the rejected end of the post.

Larry King: Robert, you know there are some people who are complaining that heterosexuals shouldn't have been cast at all. It should have been an all-gay cast. How do you react to that?

ROBERT: Well, at the end of the day, it is about who best portrays a part. The reality is we know that Rock Hudson had been playing straight roles for how many years. This has been happening back and forth since the beginning of time. It's just -- I guess now that the tables are turned, people are -- I don't know.

Larry King: A good point. Thea, why did you take it?

THEA: I thought it was a lovely role. I felt very fortunate to be offered such a role. I love the emotional aspects of Lindsey and her relationship with her family. And the traditional qualities.

Larry King: Was it hard to play that scene we just saw, making love to a woman when I presume that you prefer men?

THEA: It was a breeze. Every time I'm working with Michelle it's a joy.

Larry King: Are you in love with Michelle, now?

MICHELLE [looking at Thea and taking her hand]: We are going to elope after this.

Larry King: No, was it hard to play that?

THEA: No, not at all. Not at all. It was very simple and it was very rooted for me. And every time I work on any scene that I am in with Michelle and anyone else in the show...

Larry King
: No conflicts for you.

THEA: None.

Larry King
: Michelle, what about you?

MICHELLE: Conflicts?

Larry King: You are heterosexual?

MICHELLE: Yes, yes, yes.

Larry King: Any difficulty?

MICHELLE: No. It's just a part of the job. And to me, I see love as love. I don't think that -I relate very much to the love that Melanie and Lindsey share. And it's very beautiful. And I think at the end of the day, you just -it is wonderful to get to play a character that has such a strong point of view and is feisty and you don't get to see on TV very often.

Larry King: How do you react to all the attention it's getting?

MICHELLE: I think it's wonderful.

Larry King: Even the bad, even those who are critical?

MICHELLE: Well, you know I don't really listen to those voices very much. When people are critical, I think that if you listen to that -- how do you get out of bed and create in the morning? I hear so much positive reinforcement that the critical voices... I don't know what you're talking about.

Larry King
: Is it hard, Scott, to play a love scene with a man?

SCOTT: No. I mean, although I do apologize to any woman I've kissed and given razor burn to over the years. That's the hardest part of it, I suppose. Is needing a good moisturizer afterwards.

Larry King: What's the hardest part, Robert, for you, about playing a gay person?

ROBERT: You know, I think at the end of the day, acting is acting. And you know, our lives -the whole point is that there's no real difference, that we tend to focus on how we're not the same. And what people are noticing about the show is they're starting to see our similarities. They're starting to see how we're the same. About how people at the end of the day, love the same. They argue the same. They have sex very similarly. And so really as an actor my job is to take my life experiences and to put them into, you know, into the scene that I'm playing. You know, there was -when I was having a love scene with -a romantic scene with Lea Thompson or Lisa Kudrow, kissing them, it's no different than kissing Hal in that I'm not in love with any of these people. I am looking inside of myself and finding those places where I remember being in love and bring that into the scene.

Larry King: Thea, the first time you had to kiss a woman, was that hard? Assuming it is something you've never done.

THEA: No, same thing that Bobby was talking about. It's another human being. It's another...

Larry King: Feel different?

THEA [smiling sweetly]: Softer and more gentle.

Larry King
: Oklahoma City. Hello.

CALLER: Yes. My mom and I are fans of the show. We were wondering for the straight actors, do they have appreciation for gay people now that they've portrayed them.

Larry King: Good question. Has it changed your thinking at all, Scott?

SCOTT: No, I've always appreciated gay people. I've known many. I have some in my family. They're people just like any of us. As has been mentioned earlier, the only thing that "Queer as Folk" has taught me is how much we're all alike and that all the fuss and the nonsense people make over the differences is absurd. We're all human beings.

Larry King: Bob, has it changed you at all, feelings towards gay people?

ROBERT: I'm just really proud to be a part of this. It's revolutionary. There was a time when there was a show that for the first time was about people of color. And it was controversial and caused people to talk and argue. And this show is doing exactly that. It's historic. And I'm just so glad to be a part of it and to watch the world changing. People don't realize this is opening minds and hearts and souls and you know, in the wake of September 11, I think we're all taking a look at love and life.

Larry King: Affected you in any way, Thea?

MICHELLE: Michelle?

Larry King: Michelle, I'm sorry.

MICHELLE: To be part of it? Yes, absolutely. I think the emotions that Melanie goes through as a character and being shut out of the hospital room and not being able to be with my baby and the woman that I love and having to go through that as an actress, it's made me even more compassionate where there already was compassion, it is so much deeper.

Larry King: Given us all a better understanding of the parts you play and I thank you very much. We'll meet the executive producers and a critic of this extraordinary program. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.

Larry King: Joining us now here in Los Angeles are Ron Cowan and Daniel Lipman. They are the executive producers of "Queer as Folk". they were creators, executive producers and writers of the emmy winning network series. They earned an Emmy for writing the TV movie, "An Early Frost." They've won a Peabody Award as well. Both gentlemen are gay and have been personal as well as professional partners for more than 30 years. In New York, is Robert Peters. Robert is president of Morality in Media, a nonprofit national interfaith organization working through, it says, constitutional means to curb traffic and obscenity and to uphold standards of decency in the mainstream media. Before we get Robert's thoughts, how was this show conceived, Ron?

RON: It is based on an English series of the same name "Queer as Folk" which we saw. Showtime called, asked if we'd be interested in doing it. We said oh, absolutely. It would be a tremendous challenge, something exciting.

Larry King: Daniel, in England do they do it the same way, a cast of people, some straight, some gay?

DAN: You mean in terms of the actors?

Larry King: Yes.

DAN: I think that all the factors on that show, the leading roles were straight.

Larry King: Straight. Are scripts kind of similar stories involvement, lesbians, etc.?

DAN: Actually, our show is more of an ensemble show. It has turned into that. That's what the network wanted it to be. We actually used the British template the first episode or so because it was very very seminal in terms of this Brian and Justin relationship. After that we veered in our own direction.

Larry King: Where did the title come from?

RON: I understand it is from a Welsh expression.

DAN: Yorkshire...

RON: Yorkshire expression. It actually means there's nothing as strange as people. There's nothing as "Queer as Folk".

DAN: There's not as "Queer as Folk". There's nothing stranger than people.

Larry King: You knew you of course you were breaking new ground here?

RON: Yes.

Larry King: Any trepidation?

DAN: No, I don't think so. We wrote, as you mentioned, "Early Frost" which in its time was fairly groundbreaking. For us, I think there has been this, not by design, but this arc in our career of writing about gay characters. And where the world has gone, to go from something like "Early Frost" where we could barely have the characters touch each other to something like "Queer As Folk" is simply amazing.

Larry King: All right. Robert Peterson (sic) in New York, what's the rub? They're presenting a side of life. They're presenting it realistically. That's what life is about.

ROBERT PETERS
: Well, I really don't claim to be the whole expert on this program. I was asked to watch the first three episodes of "Queer as Folk" actually before they aired in order to comment on them for a television interview. And I watched them. And I could summarize my concerns with -- to make things simple, three Ps. And the first P is an old-fashioned word. It is pedorasty. And I think some of your viewers would know that's a high-falutin' word for man/boy love. It's often used, I think, in reference to a practice that was widely existed in Rome and ancient Greece, which is initiating young attractive boys into manhood through having sex with older men. And kind of what really shocked me about watching those first three episodes was not just that this man/boy love relationship was depicted in a very explicit fashion, but it really was the centerpiece. I mean, my second P is promiscuity. And I don't know how many people understand it, but there is still an AIDS epidemic in the United States of America that is affecting a lot of gay men. And so are -- there's an epidemic of other sexually transmitted diseases that is affecting gay men. Now, I won't go so far as to say that the program is promoting promiscuity, which I think arguably it is, but clearly it's non-judgmental. It is depicting this as the way things are. It's depicting it very erotically, very excitedly. I mean, whether it's promotion or just wallowing in something, it's there. And there was a study...

Larry King: All right. Robert, hold it one second. Before you get to the third P, I want to take a break and come back, and then you establish what the third reason was, and then Ron and Daniel will respond.

Larry King: "Queer as Folk" airs, by the way, at 10:00 p.m. Sunday nights on Showtime. And they repeat it Tuesday nights at 11:00 p.m. All right, Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, what's the third P?

PETERS: Well, the third P is pornography. And pornography fits into the program in two ways. In one case, a lead character, a primary character, that's what he's into as a lifestyle. Now again, I'm not saying that the program, per se, promotes pornography. But like everything else, it is portrayed in a non-judgmental way. And certainly the sex scenes are, I think, by some definitions of pornography, pornographic. And I have two articles that were written by openly gay men, one published in the "New York Times," the other in "The Village Voice" where those authors use the term porn in describing how the sex is depicted. I can recall some mainstream television critics saying that in a mainstream TV program, this is the most explicit and prolonged sex that's ever been depicted on television, straight or gay. And I'm an opponent of pornography, I hasten to add, whether it is gay or straight. I really don't see any difference on that.

Larry King: OK, Robert. His points, Ron, on the three Ps are that you're appealing to base elements here, and that I gather -- I don't gather, he does think that you're taking this across the line. Your response?

RON: Well, first of all, we're on Showtime. And Showtime has lived up to its promise of "No Limits." I think they've been...

Larry King: That doesn't mean he can't criticize.

RON: Oh, no, not at all. I think -look, everybody's entitled to their opinion. It makes for conversation. The show is absolutely controversial. But I do think that we are portraying gay people as sexual people for the first time on television. Very few people have ever seen this in their lives. And I think it's very important to show gay people as having sex lives. Up until now, they've been pretty much portrayed as clowns and eunuchs.

Larry King: How about the non-judgmental that he brings up?

DAN: Well, I do want to say that I was hoping that a couple of these would be 'provocative' and 'pioneering.' But as far as non- judgmental, he's correct. We do not judge our characters. You know, this is a creative venture. And being creative, it does not take a politically correct view. That does not mean that there's an intent to harm or offend. It's just our job is to tell the truth about the world of this...

Larry King: What, Robert, do you want? Do you want the show not to be on or do you want someone to come in and say on the show at various times what you're doing is wrong? I mean, what is your goal?

PETERS: Well, I've been asked to criticize the program or comment on it, I suppose, several times over the past couple of years, and I've done so. I haven't wasted any sleep over the program. I'm thankful at one level that it's on Showtime because for the most part that means it's a consenting adult audience. Certainly on broadcast television, there are people talking today that whatever goes on on Showtime and HBO should be on broadcast television after 10:00 p.m. And I'd also hasten to add that from my own personal moral perspective, apart from the man/boy love thing, which is a highlight of "Queer as Folk," I don't see much difference morally from "Queer as Folk" which is on Showtime, and "Sex and the City" which is on HBO. If they're going to be on television, that's the place for them. Would America be a better place without both? In my opinion, yes. I'm not about to start a movement trying to get them off the air. And I haven't done that.

Larry King: I see. You're just offering your critique.

PETERS: Thank you.

Larry King
: Ron, what about the man/boy critique?

RON: Well, in all honesty, I don't see just reason...

Larry King: They are young boys in the scenes we've seen.

RON: When we started the show, Justin was about 17 and a half going on 18. He's a high school senior. I think we all know that a lot of high school seniors are sexually active. Realistically, a lot of gay men have sex for the first time with older men. It happens. Our job to portray -is to portray this world realistically. We're not making judgments here, but it does happen. It also happened by mutual consent. Now, when a young man is 18 years old, he is allowed to marry. He can vote. He can go in the Army. He can die for his country. I certainly think he should also be able to have sex with whomever he wants, provided that person wants to have sex with him, that it is by mutual consent and that it's done safely and that's exactly what we've shown on "Queer as Folk."

Larry King: Robert?

PETERS: When I watched these first three episodes, I was writing down what I observed. This is very quick, but this is one of the sex scenes involving the man and boy. A man gets in the shower with boy, man sodomizes boy in shower. Man says to another male friend, we have to take the child to school. They take boy to high school. Boy wants to see the man again. He says, I just saw the face of God. Boy at school looking at football players in the shower. Boy tells female friend that he's proud and happy that he had sex with a man and that he loves the man. Now, later in this program, that man/boy lover was in the bathroom and another man came in who happened to have -be married with two children, and part of the reality that was depicted in that episode, the two men, the man/boy lover and the married person with two children, they had sex in the stall. Now, undoubtedly this takes place, but is this really the kind of entertainment that uplifts the American people and the teenagers that, according to one of your former guests, watch this program?

Larry King: We only have 20 seconds. Does he have a point? Does it affect people?

DAN: Yes. This is not an Army training film. This is not devised to send out politically correct messages.

Larry King: We'll do more on this. I promised we've just touched the surface. Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, the co-executive producers; and Robert Peters, the president of Morality in Media.

You can download the video here: LARRY KING LIVE

Copyright © 2006 gale-harold.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:29 pm

]The post Gay gay icon - New York Magazine

April, 29 2002
By: Simon Dumenco
Source: NEW YORK MAGAZINE
Edited by: Marcy
Gallery: New York Magazine



He's hot, he's talented, and he's out. No surprise that Queer As Folk star Randy Harrison has legions of fans. But who'd have guessed how many of them would be women?

Since this is the gay issue, and Randy Harrison is one of the stars of the gayest show on TV, Showtime's Queer As Folk, we might as well get the gay question out of the way. Which, actually, is exactly what Randy Harrison has done. "I told my close friends and my parents when I was 16," he says. And then he did something else: Unlike most gay actors, he never bothered to go back into the closet.

"I had a conversation recently with these gay movie producers about how in Hollywood pretty much everybody behind the scenes is out. But the actors still aren't. In a way, it just seems like it's too late for established actors to come out, because they've been part of the illusion, this mass manipulation, for too long." The machinery is still grinding away, says Harrison. "In L.A., people's publicists package them with other people to create the appearance of a relationship — they call the press and say, 'Be outside this restaurant at this time and you'll see this actor and that actress, and they're together.' Once you're caught up in that, you're fucked."

"How many people have done what Randy's done?" asks Ron Cowen, the co-executive producer, with Daniel Lipman, of QAF. "In terms of gay history, how many actors at 24 years old are out and are as successful and in as visible a position as Randy is? I can't think of any. In a way, he's a first."

Now let's get the "is he acting or just playing himself?" question out of the way. Short answer: He's acting.

Queer As Folk, for the uninitiated, shows a particular slice of gay culture: the sex-crazed, club-hopping milieu. For this reason, it's both loved (for its frankness) and hated (by those who think it reflects badly on the gay community). But when Harrison — who lives in the East Village when he's not shooting in Toronto — first got the part, he actually had to do research on gay nightlife: He went to Splash in Chelsea, "because I really hadn't been to a lot of gay clubs. I've always felt like a dork in gay clubs. Like I don't have the body thing, and I'm not into the body thing. And the first gay bar I ever went to when I was living in Atlanta, I felt more isolated than I ever have in my life. I thought, My God, is this internalized homophobia? Is this self-hatred? Eventually, I realized I'm just a gay man who hates dance music." (Harrison's partial to the White Stripes, Clinic, early Bowie, Lou Reed.)

In person, Harrison is quietly intense, and his look — wire-frame glasses, an exceedingly bland tan sweater, unremarkable jeans — is so understated that it doesn't even qualify as geek chic. On QAF, Justin's nickname is Sunshine because of his generally cheery disposition — though that's been changing a bit lately. In this, Queer As Folk's second season, Justin has gotten more nuanced: He's been recovering from a brutal gay-bashing in last year's finale.

"His character is taking some turns now," says Sharon Gless, the Emmy Award–winning actress (Cagney & Lacey) who plays the proud-mom-of-a-gay-son on QAF. "And sometimes I like just standing back and watching him work. Randy is a phenomenon." Gless says Harrison recently filmed a scene in which his character displays a dark edge. "The transformation he did from being this sweet child to being cold — cold! — was astounding. And I thought, Oh, my God, this kid is good."

Now let's get the personal- and professional-history stuff out of the way. Randy Harrison was born in New Hampshire, but his family moved to Atlanta when he was 11. (His dad is the CEO of a paper company; his mom's "a thwarted artist and a genius"; his older brother is a bank manager.) The acting thing happened in preschool: "My parents couldn't find a baby-sitter, so they brought me to a production of Peter Pan when I was 5. I was transfixed. I knew I wanted to be onstage after that."

His gay-style résumé has always been paltry. "I was so grunge in high school. I wore huge flannels and Doc Martens and cords." Post-high school, he survived the brutal (and renowned) theater program at CCM, the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, even though he wasn't exactly popular with the faculty. (The program director boycotted his rebel production, with a group of fellow students, of Shopping and Fucking.)

He moved to New York, and then, having never before appeared on-camera, got cast in Queer As Folk after one audition and two call-backs.

"Thank God they were desperate," he says of the QAF producers.

Now let's get the instant-fame thing out of the way. Here is the typical fan reaction — not just to Harrison but to the entire QAF cast — according to Harrison's co-star Peter Paige: "Obsessed! Screaming, crying, 'Ohmigod, ohmigod!' "

If you're picturing hysterical homosexuals, think again, because that reaction actually comes from teenage girls, says Paige. And lots of older women, too (though they're not nearly as rabid).

It's a weird quirk of mainstreamed gay culture that QAF is a hit with straight women. At a recent first-season-DVD-signing session at the Lincoln Center Tower Records featuring Harrison, Paige, and co-star Gale Harold, "it was like 'N Sync or something," says Harrison. "I think we signed 700 or 800 boxed sets." At $90 a pop.

Okay the graphic-sex thing. It's time to get that out of the way — because QAF really can be steamy, at least as steamy as, say, Sex and the City.

Harold, the straight actor who plays Justin's boyfriend, Brian, says, "A lot of it happens in editing, although Randy and I are certainly making out and simulating sex. We're comfortable enough with each other to be able to give them enough raw material, you know what I mean?" For his part, Harrison says, "The sexuality required for the role never scared me at all."

And then, finally, to bring things full circle, let's get the future out of the way. As in, does an out-at-24 actor have one?

Apparently, yes. Next week, previews begin for the MCC Theater's A Letter From Ethel Kennedy, directed by Tony winner Joanna Gleason. It's Harrison's New York stage debut. And later this year, he plays the "head of a group of total outcasts" in Bang Bang You're Dead, a scathing Showtime movie about high-school violence.

It's a breakthrough role for the breakthrough actor because Harrison's character is straight.

"I'm still associated with the gayest show on TV," he says, "but the fact that I got the coming-out over with means the gay-actor thing will be on the back burner. At some point it'll be, 'He came out so long ago nobody even cares anymore.'"


Copyright © 2008randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:34 pm

The Advocate

September, 17 2002

By: Erik Meers
Source: THE ADVOCATE
Edited by: Marcy
Gallery: The Advocate



Out actor Randy Harrison talks about freeing himself from Justin, playing a gun-toting straight teen in an upcoming Showtime movie, and preparing for life after Queer as Folk.

You might never notice him on the street, and Randy Harrison likes it that way. Walking into a restaurant for an interview, Harrison is camouflaged with glasses and a baseball cap. Once seated safely at a discreet table, the specs and hat come off, and there it is: his signature mop of fair hair. It seems the 24-year-old actor is having a bit of an identity crisis these days and wants to talk about it.

The crux of his concern is Justin Taylor, his Queer as Folk alter ego. While he remains devoted to his costars and to the show, Harrison is also striving to build a professional profile separate from the series. At heart a stage actor, he spent May in an off-Broadway production of A Letter to Ethel Kennedy (as a straight waiter) and appeared onstage this summer in New York's Fringe Festival. This fall he'll make another important step away from QAF with a Showtime movie about high-school bullying and Columbine-like violence. In Bang Bang You're Dead, Harrison plays Sean, the outcast students' ringleader, whose response to harassment couldn't be more different from Justin's.

Not that Harrison fails to acknowledge what a boon Justin has been to his career. Just after earning his theater degree at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, the young actor catapulted to fame in late 2000 with Queer as Folk's much-heralded debut on Showtime. Playing the nubile Justin, the 17-year-old trick who wouldn't leave 29-year-old Brian Kinney (Gale Harold) alone, Harrison seemed to represent the idealistic youth in search of true love that so many gays, lesbians, and, yes, straights could identify with. But such innocence was bound to be spoiled by the bed-hopping, drug-snorting boys who surround QAF's core group of gay pals, and in the space of two seasons Justin has dabbled in casual sex, substance abuse, go-go dancing, and even sex for pay.

Like Justin, Randy has grown up considerably after spending two years as the youngest out actor on TV. While his cherubic face is as boyish as ever, it is an older and warier Harrison who spoke with The Advocate about life before and after Queer as Folk.


Q: It seems the role in Bang Bang You're Dead is a departure for you because you're playing a straight character.

R: I think it's great, [but] it's upsetting that it is such a big deal. I wish it weren't an issue all the time. It's funny that people say it's a departure, because I've been acting since I was a child. I've played three gay roles out of hundreds.


Q: Did you have any trepidation about playing such a heavy?

R: No, it's the type of thing I'm drawn to. I didn't even audition. The director [Guy Ferland] wanted me for the part, and I read the script and called them back [and said yes]. I was happy that they offered it to me. I thought it was different.


Q: Do you worry that since people identify you so much with Justin, it will be difficult to get other work?

R: I know that I'm capable as an actor. I'm tired of being solely being "Queer as Folk's Randy Harrison." Unfortunately, you can't be anything else until you get other work out there. [But] it has also opened up so many opportunities for me that, I can't really complain too much.


Q: What was your reaction when you first picked up the QAF script?

R: I had actually read about the British show and the character of [Nathan]. And I said, "They should do an American version. I'd be perfect for that." This was one of the scripts that I felt, I should do this part. It's so obvious.


Q: Did you ever hesitate to take the part and be openly gay as well? Did you ever think to yourself, Most actors are in the closet?

R
: No, I never hesitated once. I still aspire to a theater career. The amount of celebrity that I have now seems like a fluke to me. So I never felt a need to manipulate my career from the outside--try to be someone I wasn't to get ahead.


Q: There's a big difference between stage actors and Hollywood actors. There are many famous out Broadway people, whereas most Hollywood actors feel the need to be closeted.

R: Absolutely. I don't know what it is. I just don't think that I could be the kind of actor I want to be and not be honest with myself. Honesty is very important to me as an actor and as a person. I didn't even think about it. I don't want to be Tom Cruise. I'm not after some movie blockbuster career. That's not the kind of work I'm interested in. And frankly, it's not the kind of work I'm ever going to get.


Q: Band Bang You're Dead was an interesting choice for you in part because bullying is such a huge issue for gay youth. Did you experience that when you were in high school?

R: Absolutely, yeah. Mostly when I was younger. The typical kind of thing.


Q: Anything specific you remember?

R: I can, but I don't like talking about it. By the time I came out, that kind of stopped it. The bullying stopped when I claimed myself and proved that I wasn't afraid. A lot of it was when I was hiding when I was younger.


Q: Did you witness any school violence?

R: A kid brought in a BB gun and shot another kid. He was expelled. And someone got expelled for blowing up mailboxes.


Q: So this story rang true to you?

R: It did. I could definitely empathize with the character, with the feelings of helplessness--if only the desperation and the feeling of isolation.


Q: You grew up in Georgia, right?

R: I was born in New Hampshire, and I moved to Georgia when I was 11.


Q: Was that a huge cultural shift?

R: Oh, yeah. I'm definitely a Yankee, a New Englander at heart. Both my parents are Southerners, so they always wanted to go back to the South. I was always the shame of the family--the one Yankee who was actually born in the North.


Q
: Where did you live in Georgia?

R
: Alpharetta. It's a northern suburb of Atlanta, a 45-minute trip outside the city. Very conservative.


Q: When did you start understanding that you might be gay?

R
: I guess I had a suspicion of it my entire life without knowing exactly what it was--knowing that there was something different about me, which I attributed to being an artist. At 11 or 12 I started sort of clarifying for myself. It took a while.


Q: When did you tell your parents?

R
: When I had to. I mean, I love my parents. Coming out to them was sort of coming out to myself. I educated them, and I wanted our relationship to keep growing. I wanted them to be a part of my life still. I wanted to be able to share with them what I was going through.


Q: Was this because of being bullied?

R:
No, I wasn't being bullied at school at this point. I had a group of friends, and I was isolated because I wasn't communicating with my parents. I wasn't telling them what I was going through.


Q: What was your parents' reaction?

R
: Positive. Dad said that he was prouder of me than he'd ever been when I came out.


Q: What was the reaction at school?

R: I just told my friends. At that point I was pretty much out anyway. It was not a big deal.


Q: Were you able to date?

R
: No, I wasn't dating anyone. I was hyper-focused on acting. So I didn't bring a guy to the prom. I was the lone gay person as far as I knew.


Q: Did you date in college in Cincinnati?

R
: Yeah, yeah. It was fine. It wasn't a big deal. I didn't freak out about it. I was beyond the novelty of homosexuality. I just dated the people I liked. Mostly I was concentrating on acting, fighting to do what I wanted to do careerwise.


Q
: Tell me about how you got involved in performing.

R: I started performing when I was a kid. I don't remember myself not being an actor. When I was 4 my parents couldn't get a baby-sitter for me when they were going to see a performance of Peter Pan. I was fascinated by the whole thing. After I saw Peter Pan I started auditioning for community theater. I acted all through my childhood. I went to Stagedoor Manor, this big Broadway kids' camp, when I was 9 and 11. I've done two plays a year since I was 6 until I got [Queer as Folk]


Q: When you moved to New York in 2000, did you have an agent?

R: I had been doing summer stock every summer while I was in college. We did a showcase, like most good conservatories do--monologues and things that agents and casting directors come to see. From that I got an agent.


Q: But you were in New York for a very short time before Queer as Folk.

R: A month and a half. I already had a summer job in a play in St. Louis. Right before I left for St. Louis I got the audition for the show and then a callback. So I was late getting to St. Louis. I had a day of rehearsal, and I got another callback, and they flew me to L.A. After the second call-back and third audition, I knew I had gotten the part. I went back to St. Louis and then back to Atlanta to drop off my stuff before I flew to Toronto to start filming.


Q: Tell me about filming that first scene of the series--the one that everyone always talks about, when Justin is having sex for the first time.

R:
I've done sexual stuff before--onstage, which is even more emotionally difficult. With a [TV] crew around, you are stopping and starting; it becomes really technical.


Q: It's not erotic at all.

R: No. When you watch it, you're like, Wow. I look like that. But it doesn't feel like that at all. It was about communicating with Gale [Harold] and getting across what I wanted to say about the character.


Q: Do you ever get a script and say, "That doesn't ring true to my experience?"

R: The whole character of Justin and the club life he lives--I have no experience with it. It's really foreign to me, which is annoying, but that's just how it is.


Q: How do you feel about your fans?

R: It makes me really happy. There are some crazy ones. I think the gay community is split: They either love [the show] or love to hate it. For me it's always the middle-aged women and teenage girls. It's nice to see that people in Middle America are really affected.


Q: I imagine you must get a lot of mail from at-risk gay teens.

R: I do. I usually just write back and say, "Thank you." The stuff I get is not that severe like, "I'm going to kill myself." I do get a sense that seeing Justin can be a great comfort to a lot of people. They feel that they can stand up for what they feel and who they love.


Q: Are there things that you can't do anymore because of your fame?

R: I can't walk down the street with my head up. I'm not a hat wearer, but now I'm a hat wearer. I don't want to be the center of attention. My posture has changed. I walk with my head down and shoulders slumped. Suddenly I carry myself as if I'm ashamed of something.


Q: Any unpleasant fan experiences?

R: Rarely, but it happens. It always weirds me out and makes me unhappy that some people think I'm Justin. I'm not. People can be talking to me and I know they think they are talking to Justin. It's hard to explain. It's a really subtle kind of thing. It makes me feel like Randy Harrison is not a human being to them.


Q: Yet to many people, you're the face of young gay America. And you're certainly one of youngest out actors to appear on The Advocate's cover.

R: It makes me proud, and it makes me scared. More than anything, I want to be an actor and I want to keep working, and I think there's a danger in being perceived as a poster boy for something. While it's great to be an out actor, I never really had any goals of activism. All my goals are as an actor--to do different kinds of work. It's ironic too. Besides the fact that I sleep with men, I have very little sense of being part of the community of homosexual people, for whatever reason. I have a group of six friends, two of whom are gay. I associate the gay community with a subset of the gay community that I'm not a part of.


Q
: You mean the subset that's represented on Queer as Folk.

R: Yeah.


Q: And you don't identify with that set.

R: I'm just not one. It's a clique that I've never been a part of. It's not like I identify them in a negative way. A lot of my friends are club people [laughs]. It's not me. It's funny to represent that, because it's not me. I don't fit into a gay club setting. It's just ironic that I represent that somehow.


Q: So what do you feel when you see friends living out some of the issues your character is dealing with in the show--the drug use, casual sex?

R
: I hope that they are finding satisfaction. I'm in no way making a judgment. I know it doesn't make me happy. [But] I wonder what kind of lives they will have built for themselves when they turn 45 and can't really have any connection with people because they are so used to fleeting sexual ... I don't know, I don't know.


Q: Do you think that the show is working toward an answer to that question?

R
: I can't speak on behalf of the show. I'm not a creator; I'm just a pawn. I think the sense of community that exists with all the characters--that's the answer. The fact that they have found a family in their friends. It does give some depth and meaning to their lives. I don't know for Justin; he's always looking for meaning out of his relationships with people. I don't think he's as trapped into the drug thing as a lot of the others are.


Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you advise your closeted actor friends?

R: I actually have more respect for people who are in the closet. You end up exposing so much of yourself because you have to talk about your sexual life. You shouldn't have to talk about it. I don't like people who lie. But if you don't talk about it, it's like you're too pussy to talk about it, which I didn't want to be. I would say, "Do it quickly and quietly at the beginning of your career."


Q: I've read that you have been dating someone for three years.

R: I was. I'm not anymore. That ended a while ago.


Q: Are you dating someone now?

R: I'm not going to talk about it.


Q: You've got two more years left on your Queer as Folk contract. Would you sign on for more?

R: No. Not because I don't love the show; I want it to end and start building a career outside the show.


Q: What do you see yourself doing after Queer as Folk?

R: I'm confident in my ability to maintain a career. I don't know if it will be doing either independent films or plays in New England. I sort have this image of myself sort of disappearing for a while and reemerging five to 10 years down the road again. We'll see.



Copyright © 2008 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:40 pm

Splendor in the glass - Lavender Magazine

January 2007
By: Townsend
Source: LAVANDER MAGAZINE
Edited by: Marcy

In 1944, master gay playwright Tennessee Williams rocked American theater and society with The Glass Menagerie. Its poetic, yet unsettlingly candid, view of the Wingfields, a family abandoned by their father and husband, now ranks as one of the towering achievements of 20th-Century American drama.

The Glass Menagerie is especially relevant in 2007, given the awareness of the American public about single parents battling rocky economic times. Moreover, in subtle ways, this classic, which was inspired by Williams’s own personal experiences, codifies the playwright’s struggle with his homosexual orientation.

It’s fitting that the current Guthrie Theater revival features Queer as Folk star Randy Harrison as protagonist Tom. Indeed, given the sensitivity he revealed in that landmark television series, Harrison’s casting seems nothing less than ideal. If Williams’s spirit is out there peeking in on us, he must be ecstatic that Harrison essentially is playing him.

I spoke with Harrison recently about Williams, his play, director Joe Dowling, and Queer as Folk.


Q: I think of Tom Wingfield as a kind of surrogate for Tennessee Williams himself, and I feel like much of his restlessness and his disquietude has to do with being gay. Of course, Williams couldn’t write about that openly in the 1940s.

RH: I don’t think that’s the largest aspect of it, but I think it’s huge. I think the frustration he’s experiencing in the home has to do with his being an artist more than anything, and his realization that it’s going to be impossible for him to follow that dream [by] staying with his family.

I think [Tom’s homosexuality] could be part of it, but it totally depends upon the actor’s take, because it’s not implicit. It’s not actually in the text. It’s definitely a part of what he’s going through. Certainly, there is a lot going on that’s unspoken about him, and between him and his family.


Q: What have you been doing to research the play and your interpretation of the character?

RH: I’m reading Williams’s memoirs now. I’ve read a few biographies, and almost all of his plays. I’m thinking I’m almost filled up on the biographical information at this point, and I need to just come back to the play.


Q: But there is a lot of him in the play.

RH: A huge amount.


Q: It’s certainly valid for you to be examining his life and work. What are you discovering about Williams? I’ve read the memoirs. He was pretty wild.

RH: He was. The memoirs are amazing, just because they take place so much later than when he wrote the play. The character is hugely based on him, but it’s a work of fiction ultimately, and you need to be responsible to the script of the play, not to any biographical information. But I’m amazed at how honest the memoirs are.

I had this image of his just being this mess later in his life. But they’re so astute. I know there were exaggerations and things that were left out, but they’re so honest. You really understand why his characters and his plays are so indelible in the way he writes his memoirs. You have to remind yourself of the time he wrote them—1972.


Q: They were cutting-edge. And they contain all that wrenching stuff about his mother, Miss Edwina, and his sister, Rose. Just heartbreaking.

RH: Devastating.


Q: It seems like there’s a lot that surfaces in Amanda, Tom’s mother, that we find in Miss Edwina, and a lot in Laura, Tom’s sister, that we find in Rose.

RH: A huge amount, but more about Amanda.


Q: Many actresses will tell you that Williams wrote some of the best female characters in all of drama. And you played in one of the most groundbreaking series in the history of television. Your character, Justin, is very patient, nurturing, supportive, and he’s very sweet. I recently watched the episode where you play his winning the King of Babylon studly beauty contest.

RH: Eight years ago!


Q: That’s one big reason why it will be so interesting for your TV fans to see you play Tom. He’s a very restless character—a real contrast.

RH: It feels very, very different.


Q: You’ve done a lot of musical theater.

RH: I haven’t done a lot of musicals in a while. I sang in college, so it was an easier way to get my Equity card, and to start working professionally. There are a lot more opportunities in it. About three years ago, I did Wicked, and since then, I’ve been doing just straight theater—Amadeus and Equus.


Q: You portrayed the lead roles in those two very demanding pieces. And this one is also very demanding—one of the plum men’s roles in American drama. Many would call it the plum role for a young American actor.

By the way, many people in the local queer community are very happy that the Guthrie has been doing Tennessee Williams plays more regularly since Joe Dowling has been Artistic Director.

Before his tenure, it seemed like Anton Chekhov and other great playwrights were emphasized. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but Dowling’s interest in Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams has been wonderful.

Miller was hetero, but his social consciousness was second to none, and so is automatically adored by most queer theatergoers. And Williams’s unmistakably queer sensibility gives us a window into how that sensibility had to be expressed in the decades before Stonewall.

Dowling has this instinctive understanding of the mid-20th-Century American world these two giants encompassed. His production of Death of a Salesman a few years back was just spellbinding. He captured that dance between gritty reality and delicate memory. And The Glass Menagerie also dances that dance.

RH: He’s phenomenal, and he really understands family. And maybe this is why you think he’s done such good work with American classics, because so much is about family. He’s so very astute about family dynamics.

A majority of this play is about this give-and-take—this pushing and pulling that happens within families. And he’s been remarkable about getting in there with us. He has such a keen eye, and such an understanding of who’s winning and who’s losing as far as the pushing and pulling.

Those kind of things really set people off when they’re in that pressure-cooker environment, being in a small home with a family—which is what Death of a Salesman is about.


Q: There’s something Williams talks about regarding shared family pain in Memoirs that comes through The Glass Menagerie as well.

The play’s characters, Tom and Laura, brother and sister, exist in their St. Louis tenement apartment after they had lived in a much more accepting, sylvan, and gentler environment down South.

St. Louis is this comparably harsh, horrible reality for them. Williams says in his memoirs that he feels that when his own family moved to St. Louis, it was traumatic for both him and Rose.

They found themselves ostracized, judged negatively and snobbishly by those in their community and neighborhood there. They didn’t have the same brusqueness and coarser vocal rhythms that others around them had. And they were looked down on for not having as much money.

RH: Oh, yeah. The way in which the family is isolated from the rest of the community in St. Louis. In the play, it’s not indicated whether or not they were born in the South, and moved there, or if they had been there the entire time, and just the mother was from there. But we’re choosing that we actually went on the same journey Tennessee Williams had when he left Mississippi.


Q: I think that’s the right way to go with it.

RH: Right. The family is isolated from the rest of the community both by their being Southern and being poorer. But it is the Depression, and there’s this sense that everybody—all of America—has been forced into this desperate situation. It comes through in his monologues.

And I think they’re more isolated for being Southern. The mother comes from an entirely different reality than the one they’re attempting to live in right now. I think that’s a huge thing that’s making Tom completely restless—his being a part of that other world, and then coming back to this world.

And as he grows up, he more and more realizes the world that his family has erected—his mother specifically, but Laura, too—that he’s been forced to live in, is an illusion. And he has to separate from that in order to engage with reality, and become an adult and an artist.


Q: Great point. The mother, Amanda, goes on about her gentlemen callers, and has this sort of Antebellum South romanticism gone haywire.

RH: Right. And it’s the Depression. It’s not happening anymore.


Q: That’s another thing that I think makes the play more relevant now than, say, only a decade ago. It has a new pertinence now, because we’re seeing a starker division between rich and poor in American society. We’re always finding evidence about the disappearing middle class.

Though that division has surely been creeping up on us since the ’80s, people are now more acutely aware of it. There seems to be less hope for the future, and there’s a desperation just below the surface now.

Amanda comes from a time when there were no government-funded safety nets, and now, more of our safety nets have been cut. In Amanda’s heyday, you had to have means when you were old, or a financially solvent husband who would leave you enough to live on when he died.

She talks about pitiful cases of desperate women she saw in the South—like she’s haunted by that.

RH:“Birdlike women.” That’s right.


Q: Well I can’t wait to see you in this. You are perfect for this role. Now, I must ask you about Queer as Folk. When did you last work on it?

RH: It’s been about two-and-a-half years.


Q: It really portrayed gay characters on their own terms in a brutally honest and funny way. It showed that you can keep your soul, even in a sex-drenched world.

RH: You know, it’s not a world that I’ve ever been a part of, so I’m not in a position to know if it was accurate or not.


Q: I think it’s a brilliant show. It compels queer people to look at themselves.

RH: It’s definitely gritty.


Q: Do you miss doing it?

RH: No. It was a wonderful job. I did it for five years. It was a long time, but it was a wonderful break for me. I learned so much working on it, but I was ready to move on when it was over.


The Glass Menagerie
Jan. 20-Mar. 25
Guthrie Theater
818 S. 2nd St., Mpls.
(612) 377-2224
www.guthrietheater.org

Copyright © 2007 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:44 pm

Randy Harrison talks about Waiting for Godot

July, 21 2008
By: Larry Murray
Source: BERKSHIREFINEARTS
Edited by: Marcy


"Randy Harrison Talks About Waiting for Godot."

Extended Rehearsals Underway at Berkshire Theatre Festival


Beckett's first major and successful play originally opened in a tiny space in Paris in 1953, and was as bewildering then as it is today. The Berkshire Theatre Festival performs Waiting for Godot from July 29 to August 23 in their smaller 122 seat Unicorn Theatre. There are less than 3,000 tickets available for the entire run, and it will be the hottest ticket of the Berkshire summer season.

What a strange yet familiar play Samuel Beckett wrote, so full of meaning for some, but to be honest, it also has its detractors. Those who prefer conventional plays often find it, as Vivian Mercier once summarized, "An evening of theater in which nothing happens, twice."

Perhaps that is because Beckett broke all the rules, and distilled the conventions of theater down to their minimum. The set is spare, plain, with nothing more than a bare tree beside a path. The plot is... well, there really isn't one. The action is simply two homeless tramps who while away their time waiting for the arrival of someone named Godot. There is little character or plot development. The most excitement is when Lucky and Pozzo appear to provide momentary diversions. It is as if you are sitting on a park bench, doing nothing more important than simply people watching. Endlessly fascinating, but what does it all mean? And does it have to mean anything? At least it passes the time.

Needless to say, those who have seen earlier productions of this enigma play will be back for another fix, hoping that maybe this production will provide some new insights and answers to the lingering questions. But Waiting for Godot is always the same, there are few answers, just lingering questions. Sure there is lots of humor, a little vaudeville, and some dramatic tension, even the suggestion of suicide. And a vague feeling that the solution to all the questions may finally arrive.

Having been bitten, bad, by the Beckett bug, I turned to actor Randy Harrison for help in understanding Godot. This fine actor has been performing since age seven, and found early success and fame soon after finishing college, playing the character Justin in the Showtime series Queer as Folk. The series lasted five seasons and 82 episodes and typecast him in many people's minds.

But he has been hard at work in live theater, earning his chops, by taking on roles that will let him further develop his craft. This is the fourth summer he has worked with the Berkshire Theatre Festival. His role as Lucky in Waiting for Godot is about as against type as this actor can get. We spoke with Harrison about the upcoming production which is now in rehearsal. It plays July 29 to August 23.


The interview


LM: Glad to see you back in the Berkshires. How are the rehearsals going?

RH: I've been here for four summers now, and I love it. I feel so lucky to be able to spend time here.

We've had rehearsals underway for two and a half weeks now. I never worked on Beckett before. I love Beckett, so I was really excited to have the opportunity to work on a Beckett play.

LM: Did you bring any Beckett baggage with you?

RH: Nothing much beyond a love of it.

LM: The play can be a daunting challenge.

RH: I didn't feel scared really, I just felt really, really excited about it. There's so much academic stuff, so much to study and think about it, and I just tried to scrape it all away and start fresh.

LM: They say that Bert Lahr (who was in the original Waiting for Godot) didn't understand a line of what he was saying.

RH: I don't think you necessary need to. I just tried to be with the director (Anders Cato) and the script as I see it. It grows for me, and I think for all of us, every time we say it out loud. I worked with Anders last year on Mrs. Warren's Profession and it is great to have him at the helm again.

LM: So how did it come to be that you got Lucky?

RH: One day Kate Maguire just asked me on the phone. And I knew she had been thinking about doing it. She just loves Beckett and she managed to get a grant for some extra rehearsal time.

LM: The NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Grant is a precious gift of much needed development time for the production.

RH: It is just amazing, and we really need it. I am sure we could have put it up faster, like on a normal schedule, but it is so helpful to have the extra time. We're never rushing. We can talk about every moment of the script. The depth of the play expands over time, I think.

So much of Beckett is like living in a different world as a group. So to inhabit this bizarre and fascinating place together, and to have the time to explore it has really helped us as artists.

LM: Have you thought much about Lucky's character? How are you approaching the role?

RH: You know the first thing I did was to memorize that speech, (the famous five minute rapidly spoken monologue) just getting through that, you know, and then a lot of the physical stuff. I mean it has been growing a lot during rehearsal. I needed to get up and hold all those bags, see what it felt like to be burdened like that, to have a noose around my neck, to have David Schramm calling me "pig" and "hog". To just be there and figure it all out organically. The line readings then grow out of the situations.

LM: In some ways there is more information about the character of Lucky than any of the others in Godot.

RH: The characters talk about him a lot more, like his drooling...

LM: I was thinking about his life as a slave, Pozzo complains: "He used to dance...He capered. For joy. Now that's the best he can do." There's even a line about being used up and tossed away like an old banana peel.

RH: Right, he has been exhausted.

LM: So, are you off-book yet?

RH: Pretty much. I just stuffed the last ten lines into my head last night. We'll see how they stick. Takes a while, so much of it is rhythm and repetition. And to hear myself do it a few times out loud before I feel confident.

LM: Have you looked up some of the unusual words like apathia, aphasia and athambia?

RH: Ah, yes. Apathy, uncaring, can't hear and unaffected, indifferent. We have a terrific dramaturg here, Jim (James Leverett) has given us all so much information and been really helpful.

LM: One analysis I read about Lucky is that he is a metaphor for Christ.

RH: I've heard that. It's interesting how much people think about it. Another take on it is that Lucky was intended to be about Ireland, and Pozzo was England. But my initial read on it was that it is more of a class thing. But it is all of those things. It is many layers and it is just simply what it is. You follow the script, and the audience will project what is a personal meaning for them, now they will see it. The problem is that while it is all of those things, you can only pick one to play.

LM: Are there any other Beckett works you would like to do?

RH: So many. I'd like to do all of them. I love Play, Endgame, Krupp's Last Tape. But I probably won't do Beckett again for a while. I am lucky to be able to play Beckett right now. You must be older, ideally, to do all of it.

LM: So this is the fourth or fifth role you have played at Berkshire Theatre Festival. Alan Strang in Equus, Mozart in Amadeus, Billy Bibbitt in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, and Frank Gardner in Mrs. Warren's Profession are the ones I remember. Are there other roles you would like to play?

RH: Haven't thought about it in a while. I used to have this huge list but I know I would like to play Tom again in Glass Menagerie.

LM: Let's talk about that for a moment. That earlier production at the Guthrie in Minneapolis was unusual in that it had two Toms, an older narrater one, and a younger one who was the son. Since you were the young Tom, you didn't get to make the famous closing balcony speech.

RH: And I certainly hope to someday be able to make those narrative speeches. It was a really interesting project, totally different from the standard. We had to work together for each of us to play half of the same role, and make sure we were working in unison to create the picture of a single character for the audience. I think it worked for the audience, but it was frus...hard for us to really gauge, because we didn't get the full arc of what was really intended.

LM: I didn't see the production, but it is much discussed. Were you both on stage at the same time?

RH: Yes, we were often on stage together. He would describe me as I stood there. We did initially have some dialogue together, but I think that ended up being cut. But he was describing me, and himself as I stood there.

LM: One of the things that is striking about your career is that you had quite a bit of training in musical theatre, but you seem to have drifted to more dramatic roles. Certainly there are plenty of challenges in straight theatre, but how about music, is that still on your to-do list?

RH: I love music, but by the time I graduated from theatre school - Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) - I knew I wouldn't be satisfied doing just music. I love - even adore - some of what is being done in musical theatre but I don't necessarily like everything that is being done these days. Sure I worked and made money, but I also felt unsatisfied somehow.

LM: You did a stint as Boq in Wicked on Broadway.

RH: Right. And I loved doing it. But I felt it shouldn't be forever.

LM: There are some videos of your performance in Wicked online, one taken from the mezzanine and one from the balcony.

RH: Isn't that illegal, violate copyright rules?

LM: Of course. They won't be up for long, I'm sure. Legality aside, thanks to YouTube, you can see bits and pieces of great performers and performances that otherwise would never be in public circulation....Piaf, Merman, Jolson.

Let's turn to your earlier years. What happened to the daring fellow who did a production of a Mark Ravenhill play in college? Why aren't his works produced more often?

RH: Oh you mean Shopping and Fucking? I imagine audiences and producers are afraid of it. I also wonder why Sarah Kane (a brilliant but bold British playwright who died before the age of 30 in 1999) isn't represented more, though getting rights to her work is as difficult as Beckett once was. They are doing, let me think, not Phaedra's Love but her first play (Blasted) at the Ohio in New York.

LM: Some people thought Ravenhill would emerge in ten years as the "new" Beckett.

RH: But it seems that Kane is emerging as the voice of that period. I have seen three different productions of her plays. I have been seeing a lot of French theater lately, and have been interested in more contemporary French writers who haven't been produced in the states, or translated into English.

LM: Like who?

RH: Bernard-Marie Koltès. I've seen a bunch of his work recently. And I have a bunch of friends in who have companies in New York who are doing new work as well. The Debate Society are friends of mine who do fascinating new work. The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma who had a big show at the Ohio this year called No Dice and are touring all over Europe.

LM: And the SITI Company, aren't they doing interesting things?

RH: They have a Radio Macbeth and then I think they may be doing The Seagull.

LM: They have something in the works in the American Museum Cycle about the Berkshire's own Norman Rockwell, called Under Construction.

RH: I am interested in how they are going to approach that. He was a great artist.

LM: New plays are often difficult at first. Here's a copy of the original 1956 review of Godot by Brooks Atkinson in the New York Times. He too found it puzzling though I think he suspected it was going to be an important work.

Let's get back to your role, have you found that Lucky's speech is full of musical cadences? When I read it aloud I found it had a beat.

RH: It is the music of it that makes it possible to memorize it. I don't use the device intentionally, but especially near the end, where there is less logic, that can be assigned to it, in order to keep it memorized, I find the rhythm and the tone propels me forward and I find myself continuing to speak even when I am not sure what's coming and it is the music of it, the rhythm of it.

LM: It is quite a tour de force.

RH: It's beautiful. It's just gorgeous. And it's powerful in a way that is not intellectual. You can't explain exactly why. Even when the words don't string together in a sentence that quite comes to a conclusion, there is so much power in just the way the words are assembled. It's amazing.

LM: Since re-reading it I can't get the phrase "quaquaquaqua" out of my head.

RH: It apparently is based on a French word which means like facing in all directions. Not that anybody would know.

LM: One explanation I read was that it was based on a Latin word meaning therefore.

RH: Interesting. Pozzo uses qua beforehand, "qua sky" but I think it's meant differently.

Pozzo: "Will you look at the sky, pig? (Lucky looks at the sky.) Good, that's enough. (They stop looking at the sky.) What is there so extraordinary about it? Qua sky. It is pale and luminous like any sky at this hour of the day. "

There is this amazing workbook from the Berlin production that Beckett directed, I think it was in the late 70's. It has all of his notes on the show. It was an extraordinary and definitive production of Godot. Even he divides the speech up into four sections, it's really helpful.

LM: I noticed that it is the one speech in which he does not designate pauses, just one long speech with few breaks along the way.

RH: Even "Not I" has dot dot dot (ellipses) so you can know when to breathe.

LM: In some ways studying Beckett is like delving into Shakespeare's words.

RH: It is very similar in the way it expands when you speak it. You know, some things you get the logic of it, you understand the intention of the line and you say it, it and that's it, it doesn't go any deeper. With Shakespeare you find the more you speak it, the deeper and deeper it resonates within you. It's amazing.

LM: Ever feel sorry for Lucky, he never gets to put down those damned suitcases...

RH: He does when he dances. When he falls.

LM: ...and they are not full of sand.

RH: No. At least he is able to sleep. Some of the characters can't sleep. I'd love to be able to sleep everytime I hit the ground.

LM: Beckett's authorized biography was titled Damned to Fame, it is said that he despised notoriety, didn't like it very much. Do you relate to that at all?

RH: Of course, I would hate being famous.

LM: What else can be said about this production, what haven't we covered?

RH: I hope the audience finds it as amazing as I have. I haven't had to rehearse for a few days because they have been working on Act II before I enter, but we ran Act I last week and I just can't get over this play. The humanity in it just kills me. For example when the boy entered - it was the first time I saw the end of Act I - it just touched me so deeply. I find it so heartbreaking, but comforting, too. I find the humanity in it to be the most rewarding (aspect), there's no sentimentality. I don't find it...cynical. I think some people just think of it as being so bleak, but there is such humor and life and humanity in it.

LM: It faces the facts.

RH: Yeah. I feel like the fact that he honestly just faces the facts of the human existence, is what makes it so, so earned, the humor and everything.

LM: I took a couple of pictures of the set under construction, and it too looks pared down to its simplest possible form.

RH: Oh yeah?

LM: I tried to find the tree under construction, and see you have one here...

RH: A fake one. I'll have to walk over there and see how it is coming.

LM: It's a great day to do that. But you have a rehearsal soon, right?

RH: Exactly.

LM: Well, thank you for sharing your insights.

RH: You're welcome.


Copyright © 2008 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:01 pm

Randy Harrison Interview: Ibsen's Ghosts at Berkshire Theatre Festival

August 5th, 2009
By: Larry Murray
Source: BERKSHIREFINEARTS
Edited by: Marcy


"Randy Harrison interview: Ibsen's Ghosts at Berkshire Theatre Festival."


When Berkshire Theatre Festival Artistic Director Kate Maguire announced Ghosts for her 2009 season (August 12-29 on the Main Stage), it was clear that this was not going to be some embalmed museum version of a classic. In a year of austerity, she could have chosen to stick to a routine and traditional offering of Henrik Ibsen's 1881 play. It would find an audience because it is one of the great works that moved the theatre into realism, dealing frankly and openly with tough sexual and familial issues.

But one look at the creative team and it was clear that something special was up. This Ghosts is going to be a fresh adaptation put together by Director Anders Cato and BTF Dramaturg James Leverett. Last year they rethought Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

Reunited from that earlier cast are David Adkins and Randy Harrison, together with other BTF regulars Jonathan Epstein, Mia Dillon and Tara Franklin. These names might not be household words, but for BTF regulars, the cast alone makes this Ghosts special.

To explore what was going on, we headed down to Stockbridge to talk again (2008 Interview) with actor Randy Harrison (see bio below). The rehearsal studios at BTF are very simple, even primitive. They are nestled into a wooded lot that also contains the "camp" kitchen where the actors and apprentices eat their simple meals. The sun was out at last, and with it at his back, through the battered old screen door came Harrison, making a beeline for the tape recorder and me. He was all smiles, and we chatted amiably before settling into what would be a serious discussion.

The Berkshire Theatre Festival has slowly become his regular summer home. The Festival is an artistic and spiritual resource where he retreats to try new things and challenge himself. "It is all of those things to me, plus I get a lot of new opportunities here," he said happily.

Opportunities like playing the son Oswald in Ghosts for the first time. In the play his mother, Mrs. Alving (Dillon), is keeping secrets from him, worsened by horrible advice from a puritanical preacher, Manders (Adkins), and complicated by an infatuation with the maid Regina (Franklin) and her devious father, Engstrand (Epstein). Into this household returns the more worldly Oswald, who is mortally ill. The character is a contradiction, someone who is full of life but facing a death sentence. I wondered just how Harrison was playing the son, as someone with vitality, or as a gloomy Gus.

"That's one of the interesting aspects," Harrison answers, "Oswald talks so much about the joy of life, and that's reflected in his painting. But it is this same vitality that is so much a part of him that killed his father. His dad was not able to express himself like that." In the play it is clear that Mr. Alving was a frustrated man who simply had no outlet to express his own joie de vivre in that repressive society.

"His mother says that for all his life his father was stuck in this gloomy town, one completely devoid of real passion and that there was nothing but business and social status." Back then it was all a matter of simply keeping up appearances, of conforming to the rigid strictures of the Victorian era. "Yes, and so the father self-destructed." But because Oswald had his painting, "He was also able to have a great deal of vitality and life."

We moved on to the subject to the forces assembled for the production, including director Anders Cato. Last year they had a couple of extra weeks of rehearsal time for Godot, thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. With that they had the luxury of time that let them examine every line of the Beckett play.

"We got so spoiled," admitted Harrison. "That was awesome. I just love working with Anders Cato, it's so comfortable and he's such a great guide. He makes you want to work harder, to get more deeply invested in the play. Every time he speaks about some aspect of it, it just triggers your imagination." Cato is known for being able to bring out the best in an actor. "He's very clear and articulate about what he wants. Also, he's very good about talking about things that are hard to talk about. He just knows how to guide an actor in a way that doesn't just tell you what to do, but that opens it up both within the play and inside your own imagination."

The last time we spoke, Harrison pointed to Jim Leverett, the BTF Dramaturg, as one of his biggest helpmates in working out his character's role. "He always has such a wealth of knowledge, just having him in the room - especially in the beginning - is great." The work of these literary specialists is little known and appreciated outside of the theatre world, but a good one can provide the clues and pointers that raise a production from competent to transcendent. "There's a lot of brain power there to be tapped," he adds.

For all its realism and insights, most of the translations of Ghosts suffer to one degree or another from being stiff and starched. Since Cato and Leverett collaborated on a new translation, this could smooth out the problems of the older texts. It would be wonderful if the new script were less Victorian and more contemporary. "It is," said Harrison, "I am finding it more natural and easy to speak." As the actors try out the new translation, there are still more changes as the words move from written to spoken. "There's been a little of that, but it's minimal."

Working on the new show with Harrison is a cast of actors who have become, if not family, certainly good friends and colleagues. They've been on other projects together, and have come to share a common language. "That's one of the really special things about working here," he enthused, "When you get to work with people you already know, they have a shorthand and a wit that you respect and trust." Powerful stuff. "You start further ahead than you would in a more ordinary process," he noted. You also have a shared language. "Usually when I start a rehearsal process in New York when I don't know anybody, or the director, I'm like really nervous at the beginning. Even though you try not to be that way, or spend too long trying to seek approval or figuring out how you need to talk to people, and how the process works, it happens."

Getting up to speed in any new job takes time, that's to be expected, of course. But if there are only a couple of weeks to learn and put together a two hour show, the edges can be very rough. "Here we all know each other, and we can start right there. There are no nerves, no beginning worries." Of course, with any new task, there is always the worry about whether things will turn out well. "There's always fear," Harrison points out, "But there's so much less that you have to contend with. Which is really nice."

The actor worked with Mia Dillon in both Equus and Amadeus at BTF and he reports that in her role in Ghosts, as his mother, "I am starting to feel that way towards her. In the play, the son doesn't actually know his mother that well. He's been away from the house most of his life, from when he was seven to age 20. We were just staging the final scene, and I am starting to feel the mother in her. It's funny how that happens."

In the play, Ibsen recounts the years they were just following society's prescribed roles, and as it unfolds, the two are finally getting to know each other. Harrison explains: "Of course they both have ideas about the mother-son relationship, but the last time he was home was two years ago. They exchanged letters and that sort of thing, but they are still negotiating what its like to be with each other and who they are.

"Towards the end of the play he is talking about how he has no love for his father and she asks if he loves her, and he answers by saying that well, he knows her. The awesome thing about Oswald is that he knows it is over for him, that he is going to die. There's no bullshit about him, you know, he cuts everything straight to the bone. So much of the play is about her dealing with the lies and hypocrisy, and the need to fix things, or cover them up, and trying to accept the reality while he is just direct and to the point."

It is always a source of amazement that hundred year old plays can tell us so much about life today. We have more freedom, but the same repressive, spirit deadening cultural and religious forces are at work in our current society. "I find Ibsen really relevant. This play, and his Dolls House, they still speak to us. We spend so much time role playing, trying to be who we think we are supposed to be, instead of actually looking at ourselves and figuring out who and what we really are."

In the final moments of the play, Oswald is sitting in his chair repeating "The sun, the sun..." Does that have a double meaning to you? "There is a double meaning in about everything Oswald says," Harrison responds. "There are a lot of ironies, even bitter ironies, in his words. Especially so in the beginning, before he reveals what his situation is, that he is dying from syphilis.

"Another example is when he tells his mother that yes, he has come home to stay, because he hasn't made any plans to go back to Paris. I'm here for a while, and the audience doesn't know yet what he knows: he has come home to die." His fate is sealed. "Oh yes, and he's there to make arrangements."

Then in a twist in the play, he falls in love with Regina, the maid. "I don't know if they did actually fall in love," Harrison speculates. "She seems aware of what Oswald really came home for, and the great love between him and his mother. Oswald also sees that Regina is young and carefree, and doubts whether she could follow through on what is required, to be his nursemaid for the next 40 or 50 years. Yet he wants to get away from dreary Norway, and he knows if he goes back to Paris, he will never return."

So it seems their great flash of love dissipates as the play goes on, I prompt. "You know, you're asking me to give away all the secrets and endings," Harrison smiles.

That was the idea. And in the process, he's managed to raise everyone's curiosity, making this wonderful old play sound new again.


Copyright © 2009 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:03 pm

Randy Harrison in Ghosts at Berkshire Theatre Festival

August, 16th 2009
By: Larry Murray
Source: GAYBERKSHIRES
Edited by: Marcy


Last night at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, the much anticipated new adaptation of Ibsen's Ghosts opened and it is a a roaring success. The play will be running through August 29 and a full review will appear tomorrow in Berkshire Fine Arts. This article is not so much a review as a continuation of the conversation I recently had with Randy Harrison, who plays Oswald (Osvald) in the play. But first some buzz.

There was a first nighters after-party following last night's show and a rare chance to meet and mingle with the players. Randy's fans were out in force, since many of them have become regular ticket buyers and subscribers to the BTF. Some traveled great distances to be there.

I was digging into the munchies when I noticed a whirlwind of activity approaching. Cameras were flashing, people were getting excited.. Many guests dropped what they were doing and soon were circling their target like gnats around a lightbulb, though they were so thick you couldn't see the object of their attention. I knew immediately it had to be Randy. He does cause quite a commotion when he gets recognized. In fact it is one reason he often wears a hat and nondescript garb when he is out in public.

Randy Harrison came to the fore through his role as Justin in the Showtime series Queer as Folk which ran for five seasons and was its highest rated show. Although the last episode was telecast in 2005, it went on to be rebroadcast on the Logo network, was released on DVDs and was re-edited last year for Canadian broadcast, all of which have continued to spread his name and image. Showtime's early marketing of the show was primarily targeted at gay male (and to some extent, lesbian) audiences, yet a sizeable segment of the viewership turned out to be heterosexual women. That's who were the bulk of his fans last evening.

Harrison, meanwhile, has made great efforts to not let the series typecast him, and to return to his real roots, which are grounded in live theatre. He has acted since an early age. Indeed, it may be the only thing he can reliably do to earn a living. "I have been fired from every job besides acting that I have had. I got fired from waiting tables, being a bag boy, temping at a bunch of different companies, and being a caterer. I can't do anything else but act," he has said.

Last night's performance proves that it is a wise choice, and we are all the beneficiaries. On stage with older and more seasoned actors such as David Adkins, Jonathan Epstein and Mia Dillon, he more than held his own. It is interesting that Mia Dillon's husband Keir Dullea was in attendance as well. He has had a career path similar to Harrison's. He started as a bit of a heartthrob in the films Hoodlum Priest and David and Lisa, went on to play David Bowman ("Please close the pod bay doors HAL,") in 2001 A Space Odyssey. Today he is past the 70 year old mark, but still working, and still a handsome devil.

Still, the crowd wasn't circling Keir, but rather Randy. Once again, they had witnessed a breathtaking performance of great depth from the actor, and even been rewarded with a scene in which he was partially undressed by his mother. But don't get too excited. It revealed far less than the famed Showtime series.

When we met to talk, we spoke about his role in developing new audiences for the theater. Many of his loyal fans in evidence last night are proof that his early fame has helped his theatre career. He probably signed a hundred programs last night, and many more photographs, tee-shirts and the like from his fans who were in the audience simply because he was on stage. And in this, he is not alone. At the Berkshire Theatre Festival, this process has a long tradition. In fact, Kate Maguire, Artistic Director, tells how the actor, Richard Chamberlain, has played a similar role in developing audiences for the theatre, and talks to him often hoping to have him back as early as next season. He played the title role of Dr. Kildare in a TV series from 1961-66 and recently has been seen on Desperate Housewives, Nip/Tuck and is also remembered for the series The Thorn Birds.

Harrison, who just turned 30, is happy about the event, "and I look forward to my 40's and 50's too. There's a lot of good roles coming up. The fact that I have worked on Shaw, Ibsen, and Beckett here is amazing. I do want to play Uncle Vanya when I am an older man, but it isn't something I will play anytime soon. So where do I see myself? I am more artistically satisfied now with the work I have been doing over the past five years than I've ever been. So I intend to keep it up, to make enough money to pay my mortgage and act."

I wondered if his approach to his career, somewhat serendipitous, but constantly moving forward has been calculated and deliberate. "Well, yes, it has, though slowly. It hasn't been a particularly intellectual planned career, masterminding ideas. It's more like acknowledging that I have different passions and interests and trying to pursue them all. Slowly but surely it seems I am becoming more active, more satisfied and more mature. I enjoy doing projects with friends, and I have been spending more time doing music, too, though no more karaoke in the Berkshires, even though it was fun while it lasted. "

When I interviewed Randy in 2008, he said at the time that he didn't have much interest in pursuing musical theatre. This was a surprise, since he has had considerable training and experience in the form. (He was in the Broadway production of Wicked). The conversation turned to Matt McGrath whom I interviewed for Caroline in Jersey and the ongoing development of a musical version of Armisead Maupin's Tales of the City, presented last month in a staged workshop version at Connecticut's O'Neill Center. "You know I do miss music now. I have been away from it long enough, and I have done lots of other kinds of work that I wanted to try. I would feel confident going into another musical at some point."

The thought of Randy Harrison in a new musical, especially one based on such a famous book, is something to contemplate, but frankly, I will be happy just as long as we get to see him trying out a new role each summer at the Berkshire Theatre Festival.

Copyright © 2009 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:06 pm

Randy does Andy

December 4th 2009
By: Brandon Voss
Source: ADVOCATE.COM
Edited by: Marcy


Queer as Folk’s Randy Harrison discusses his new role as late art legend Andy Warhol in Yale Rep’s POP! and his own status as a reluctant “post-gay” pop icon — plus his secret nude photos and the possibility of a QAF reunion.

When The Advocate last spoke to him for a September 2002 cover story, Randy Harrison had only finished his second of five seasons as gay teen Justin Taylor in Showtime’s groundbreaking drama Queer as Folk but was already planning an exit strategy. “I sort have this image of myself sort of disappearing for a while and reemerging five to 10 years down the road again,” said Harrison, who was at 24 the youngest out actor on television. It’s been more than four years since the controversial series ended, but the stage vet, who made his Broadway debut as Boq in Wicked, has remained very visible in the theater world. Now 32, Harrison is currently creating a portrait of polarizing pop artist-filmmaker Andy Warhol in the Mark Brokaw-helmed world premiere of POP!, a Factory-set musical by Maggie-Kate Coleman and Anna K. Jacobs, which runs through December 19 at Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Conn. Advocate.com made the most of 15 more minutes with Harrison, who continues to elevate his “post-gay” position on fame, activism, and sexuality to an art form.

How familiar were you with Warhol and the Factory before you started working on POP! at Yale Rep?
More than most. Near the end of college I was really into the Velvet Underground, which sort of brought me to Warhol. This was back when Kim’s video store was still open in the EastVillage, so I rented a lot of Warhol’s movies from there, like Lonesome Cowboys. I’m fascinated with him. I admire the fact that he just turned out art and created such challenging work, specifically his movies. I also think he’s funny as hell.

Did you study archival footage and old Warhol interviews to prepare for the role?
I did a bit of that, but I ended up having to drop a lot of it to tell the story. A perfect Warhol imitation doesn’t work for creating a convincing musical theater character. A lot of his real mannerisms weren’t useful, and you can’t really project his real voice and keep sounding like Warhol. He spoke in a monotone with almost no inflection and little enunciation in a flat Midwestern accent, which is completely untheatrical. I have to break into song as Warhol and have it be believable.

But since Warhol was an actual living person, do you feel a responsibility to represent him accurately?
Fortunately, this show is such a different context to put Warhol in, so I don’t necessarily feel the same obligation I would if I were doing Warhol in a film. Mine is a very fictionalized Warhol.

POP! doesn’t directly explore Warhol’s sexuality, but many critics over the years have examined the ways his homosexuality shaped his aesthetic and also posed an obstacle for him to overcome in his career. Some of his contemporaries were angered or intimidated by the frankness of his sexuality in his work, but he refused to butch it up for anyone. Do you relate to that aspect of Warhol’s character?
Oh, absolutely. There’s this fascinating book called Pop Out, which is like a queer studies examination of Warhol’s life and career. It’s interesting that Jasper Johns and Bob Rauschenberg were also gay but acted butch, so they wanted nothing to do with Warhol. To me, the most amazing thing about Warhol was that he intentionally played up the “swish” aspect — “swish” being the word that he used — in popism. I have a lot of admiration for that.

When The Advocate interviewed you in 2002, you said that you were scared you might be “perceived as a poster boy for something” because you “never really had any goals of activism.” Considering how much the marriage equality debate has heated up since then, have you found yourself becoming more political?
I always have been political, but I’m political personally and not as a celebrity. I’ll go march in Washington with my friends, but I’m not going to go as Randy Harrison the spokesperson because I’m not comfortable playing that role. But I’m active like any human being should be.


You also told The Advocate, “Besides the fact that I sleep with men, I have very little sense of being part of the community of homosexual people, for whatever reason. I have a group of six friends, two of whom are gay.” Now that you’re in your 30s, do you feel more connected with the gay community? Or, at the very least, have you made more gay friends?
[Laughs] I don’t have any more gay friends! Maybe I feel slightly more connected, but not really. I don’t feel hugely different about it. I’m still not engaged with gay nightlife, but I am a gay person who wants equal rights, so I’m engaged with that. All my friends, straight or gay, are engaged with that.

For a Vanity Fair cover story in 2003 called “Gay-Per-View TV,” you participated in a glamorous photo shoot that featured the major cast members of Queer as Folk, Will & Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, The L Word, and Boy Meets Boy. What was it like to play such a major part in that watershed moment for our mainstream media visibility when you didn’t even feel a part of your community?
For me, it all felt like a fluke. Now, looking back, I can sort of see how that kind of visibility was progress to some extent, but I remember doing that shoot and just wanting it to be over.

Are you serious? In one photo you’re inches away from Megan Mullally and hanging on Thom Filicia while Jennifer Beals is serving face in the corner. That shoot looks like it was a blast.
Really? Oh, my God, no. My memory of it is that it was stressful and nerve-racking. But I have a difficult time with photo shoots period.

Do you wish you could’ve achieved your current marketability in the theater world without actually having to do Queer as Folk?
Not really, because the only reason I’m financially stable is from having worked in television. I’m sure Queer as Folk opened up a lot of doors for me, even if it closed some too, so I’m grateful for it.


Echoing the controversial statements gay directors Todd Holland and Don Roos made earlier this year, Rupert Everett recently advised gay actors to stay in the closet, saying, “The fact is that you could not be, and still cannot be, a 25-year-old homosexual trying to make it in the ... film business.” As a former 25-year-old homosexual who hasn’t done much film work since Queer as Folk, do you think he’s right?
I’ve never really tried very hard to be a part of the film industry, so I don’t know if he’s right or not. Queer as Folk was a fluke, and then I just went back to theater. I’ve been significantly more satisfied with the work I’ve been doing since Queer as Folk ended. It’s been almost all theater, but that was my mostly my intention, so I’m doing what I always wanted to do.


But do you feel like your coming-out has hindered your career in any way?

I don’t know what decisions are being made behind closed doors in casting sessions or what people think of me, so I don’t know what kind of difference it would’ve made or what kind of career I would have now if I hadn’t come out. I just know that not coming out was something I wasn’t capable of doing. I don’t regret it. The one thing that’s been frustrating for me is that coming out has forced me to have to talk about my private life, which is something that I have no interest talking about in general. I don’t feel like actors should ever be obligated to open up about that. I want to be out because it’s important to me socially and politically, but at the same time I don’t think it’s anybody’s business who I sleep with.

Then it must have been strange when New Yorkmagazine put you on the cover of its 2002 “Gay Issue” and labeled you “The Post-Gay Gay Icon.” What did that mean to you?
At the time — and I was feeling this a lot when I was doing Queer as Folk — I was frustrated with how much ghettoizing there was of the gay community: The “us versus them” mentality as far as gays and straights. So I sort of understood the idea of “post-gay” as being beyond labels of sexuality.

A recent Newsweek article claimed that effeminate gay characters on television shows like Glee, Ugly Betty, Entourage, Modern Family, and True Blood might actually be hurting rather than helping the LGBT community. What do you think of the representation of gays on TV today?
I don’t watch all those shows, so I don’t really know who the characters are, but just the fact that they’re out there is important. Maybe adults can’t use them as a political tool in some way, but I know — and this was important to me when I was doing Queer as Folk — that any kind of visibility is a comfort when you’re 14 and living in the middle of nowhere. Now it’s easy to find two boys kissing on TV, so at least you don’t have to go to a weird video store to search for an old Merchant-Ivory movie.

In retrospect, could the substance-abusing, hypersexualized characters on Queer as Folk have done more harm than good in the long run?
Just last night somebody came up to me and was like, “I wouldn’t have gotten through my adolescence if that show hadn’t been on television.” So that good outweighs however obnoxious the show might have potentially gotten.

Do you ever stumble across the edited reruns that currently air on Logo?
No. I wouldn’t watch it. I have a lot of friends that I’ve made since the show who’ve never seen it, and occasionally they’ll say, “Oh, my God, I was watching TV and I saw that show you were on.” They always say, “You were so blond!”

What are the chances of a Queer as Folk reunion special? I’d totally watch A Very Queer as Folksy Christmas.
I’m pretty certain there will never be a reunion, but I do see the cast maybe once a year. I’m in New York and they’re mostly all in L.A., but when I’m out there I try to see some of them for lunch. We all get along.

Getting back to your theater work, the last time you appeared on the New York stage was this past spring at the Public Theater in Craig Lucas’s The Singing Forest, a complicated epic in which you played a gay Starbucks barista and a straight Nazi officer. In one scene, your Nazi character raped Olympia Dukakis’s character from behind for what felt like an eternity. Does that top of the list of surreal things you’ve had to do onstage?
Yes, it does. I was really excited to be a part of that project because I’m such a fan of Craig and the two roles I played were so extraordinarily polar opposite. I’d done a lot of classical work like Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Beckett, but I hadn’t done a new play since A Letter From Ethel Kennedy in 2002, so I really wanted to work on something new. It was a great experience. Olympia’s such a great actress, a great acting teacher, and a great person to just be in a room with so you can watch her work.

The reviews of The Singing Forest weren’t exactly raves. Did critics just not get it?
Oh, I don’t read criticism at all. I can’t. But I’d say 60% of actors don’t read criticism. It confuses you, so it’s just not worth it. I learned during Queer as Folk not to read any of the things people say about you.

You also played Alan Strang in Berkshire Theatre Festival’s celebrated 2005 production of Equus. How did you, unlike Daniel Radcliffe, manage to avoid having a picture of your penis posted all over the Internet?
Well, ushers were running down the aisles taking cameras out of peoples’ hands. Actually, I have heard that there is a way to get one — which isn’t a surprise, knowing some of my fans. I don’t know if it’s online, so you may have to go into one of those fan forums or live chats and talk to some middle-aged, overweight woman who probably has it in a file somewhere on her desktop.

Speaking of fans, novelist Christopher Rice once told me that he sometimes gets mistaken for you on the street. Do you ever get mistaken for Christopher Rice?
Nope. That’s weird, because isn’t he really tall? I often don’t get mistaken for myself anymore, which is comforting.

Copyright © 2009 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:08 pm

Randy Harrison on Samuel Beckett and Endgame at BTF

June 27th, 2010
By: Larry Murray
Source: berkshireonstage
Edited by: Marcy


Gallery: Larry Murray

"Randy Harrison on Samuel Beckett and Endgame at BTF."


It was very early in the morning as Randy Harrison arrived with a cup of wake-up in his hand. Sitting down at a handy picnic table with him to talk about Endgame was an odd juxtaposition of realities. The Berkshire Theatre Festival (BTF) rehearsal facilities are located in the sun-dappled woods, a long way from the dark and claustrophobic setting of Endgame, the Samuel Beckett play he is in rehearsals for. It plays at the Unicorn Theatre from July 6-24.

So sitting in the outdoors, birds a-twittering, with a young actor in the prime of his life seemed to be a parallel universe. Harrison’s world is one filled with great purpose and possibilities. Beckett’s is not.

On stage Randy would transform himself into the character Nagg, who along with his wife Nell, are relegated to spend the evening in trashbins. Beckett’s play demands their acting be confined to their upper torsos only. Theatre – real theatre – demands a lot from a person, and leaving your own skin behind is part of it.

So, I asked Harrison, if you were interviewing yourself, what would you ask? “What are you working on,” he replied simply.

“And the answer is Endgame, the second Beckett play I have done here at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. The first one was Waiting for Godot two seasons ago. Of course everyone wants to know what it’s all about, but it is hard to reduce Beckett, Endgame especially, into a snappy sound bite.“

We’ll try. The BTF synopsis is that Endgame presents an absurdist’s vision of a future where time and reason are little more than suggestions, with characters as memorable as they are miserable. And wrapped up in the hilarity, in true Beckett style, is a brutally honest commentary on life and death. Never has “The End” seemed so bizarre- or so incredibly funny.

Perhaps there was a favorite line that would give us some insight. “One must live with the times,” he offered. How about, “Accursed fornicator, how are your stumps?” I replied. “Never mind the stumps,” he instantly parried. He knew his lines.

We turned to the production itself which is being directed by Eric Hill, and wondered if it would be traditional, unorthodox or something in between. “Eric Hill is always creative, but I wouldn’t call it unorthodox. He’s very, very involved with the text, helping us all get as specific an understanding of it as we can. While he is not skewing it any specific way, he is trying to light our way deeper and deeper into Beckett’s language.”

And what about accents, don’t they sometimes get in the way of audiences understanding the words? “I think Nagg and Nell have a heightened dialect that is not exactly American, but it’s not British either. It’s sort of in between. But at the same time I think all the characters, especially Hamm use different shadings of dialects. It all depends on the phrase, since they are always playing with language, using it to mock each other in different ways. But generally we are quite understandable, even American, in our speech.

One of the funniest lines in the play is Nell’s line that there is nothing funnier than unhappiness. Did he think that was true? “Yes, when you watch classic comedy, especially slap-sticky kinds of stuff, it’s all about frustration, embarrassment and pain and that rings true.” And it makes us laugh.

Perhaps the whole play is just a metaphor, it could be staged as taking place in a hospital. “It could be staged that way,” he agreed, “but with Beckett in general you have to think more and think less at the same time. I find if you spend forever trying to figure out the parallels or what metaphor it is – or try to put everything in a context that is naturalistic – or what does it mean – it just falls apart on you.

“At the same time I feel you (and the audience) can get it without getting it intellectually. You don’t need to draw perfectly straight parallels to understand Endgame,” Harrison explained.

This is perhaps the most important point about Beckett. Though set in a different time and place, and relating happenings in a phase of life that most of the audience has not yet reached, there are insights to be stored away for future reference.

We compared notes on how Beckett and Endgame speaks to us personally. Harrison felt that Endgame sends a message that “All our activities are sort of arbitrary time fillers between today and the day that we die. We just pretend that what we are doing is of any real significance. This helps us create a false justification for our existance.”

Good actors are different from you and me. They have to spend their days thinking about these eternal questions while we enjoy the latest gossip from the twitterati.

Another interesting thing about Endgame is that Randy is playing an older character, in fact a very, very old one. “That was Eric Hill’s intention, and we will be playing older. What he wanted was the physical energy that younger people are more capable of. That brings more to the role than just the struggle of age that is normally conveyed. Being in that trashcan pulling yourself up while kneeling or squatting.”

Nobody ever talks about the physical demands of the role, I offered. “Eric has been talking about it a lot – Beckett often puts his actors in difficult positions. Look at Not I for example.” (Not I takes place in a pitch-black space illuminated only by a single beam of light. This spotlight fixes on an actress’s mouth about eight feet above the stage. The actor can not move from the set position for twenty minutes.)

“Beckett tends to put his actors in these difficult, exaggerated positions because I think he likes what it forces to happen to the actor. The audience gets more when the actor is in such an extreme state of struggle,” Harrison ventured. Beckett was a sadist, I thought to myself.

Beckett wrote Endgame when he was 51 or so, and at the moment that the last of his immediate family had passed away. “I don’t think he was in a very good mood,” said Harrison, but yet there is an enormous amount of humor in it.

“I know a lot of people find Beckett bleak, and I understand why they say that, but I don’t. I find him comforting because he can see the worst and the hardest things about being human and still laugh at it. There is even some joy in it, and amusement at the absurdity of it.”

Harrison’s point is well taken. The exchanges between Hamm and Clov, and towards Nagg and Nell often contain great witticisms wrapped in barbs and insults. One has to look beyond the hurt for the humor.

“One of the things that separates Beckett from other playwrights is that he is not afraid to look at the hardest things, to question them, to examine them and find the humor in them. Look at Nagg and Nell, they are the heart of the play. There’s real care between the two of them. The juxtapositions between them and that of Clov and Hamm are so different. Nagg is trying to save things for her, and even when he is in fear for his life he has the nerve to ask for a sugar plum for her. Their love for one another warms the otherwise grey landscape that Beckett draws.”

When Harrison was preparing for Waiting for Godot in 2008, the production had gained an extra week of rehearsal time thanks to an NEA grant, but this time the company had to work within a shorter time frame. I wondered if that made a difference, did he feel there was enough rehearsal time?

“I do,” he replied, “because – thank God – everybody was off-book (had learned all their lines) by the second day of rehearsal. Nagg and Nell – Tanya Dougherty plays Nell - don’t have that much to remember so we were pretty much ready. And Mark Corkins and David Chandler as Hamm and Clov were ready to go.

“It is also simpler to stage since it is only Clov who really moves around, the other characters are not ambulatory.”

This means they escaped the first week’s routine of just getting the basics down and could immediately turn to the staging, polishing and plumbing he depths. Generally speaking, the more time there is for that, and the harder the actors work, the better the end result.

Coming up for air after that immersion in the world of Beckett, I wondered what Harrison did once the play was up and running besides the performances. “I hike MonumentMountain all the time, and love to just soak in the Berkshire beauty,” he offered. “And I have been reading a lot.”

Since his last appearance in the Berkshires, Harrison has appeared as Andy Warhol in Pop, a musical at the Yale Rep in New Haven. “I love Warhol and his factory, I learned a lot.” Perhaps some day he will do a musical at BTF? “Someday. Who knows.” Harrison prefers the challenge of plays like Endgame which exercise his mind as well as his acting skills. “But once every year or two, I really enjoy doing a musical,” he adds.

I wondered if he would tell me something nobody knew. “Well, I just spent a month on a farm in France, down in the dirt and loving every minute of it. They had sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, and a lot of vegetables to go with them.” (General laughter)

Wrapping up our talk, I wondered what role has brought him the most satisfaction. Without hesitation he answered: “Lucky, in Waiting for Godot.”

Most everyone would agree with that assessment. And Beckett watchers in the Berkshires are curious to see his Nagg in Endgame as Randy Harrison continues to explore the classic works of theatre.

The Berkshire Theatre Festival’s Endgame is in rehearsal now. Berkshire Beckett devotees will make their way to the Unicorn Theatre to see the latest twists given this classic. Eric Hill Directs and the cast consists of Mark Corkins as Hamm, David Chandler as Clov, Randy Harrison as Nagg and Tanya Doherty as Nell. (Previews July 6-9, Opening July 10 and running until July 24).For ticket information and reservations ontact the BTF Box Office at 413-298-5576 ext. 33 or visit www.berkshiretheatre.org for more information.

Copyright © 2010 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:10 pm

Now, in one more victim role

Friday, July 9th 2010
By: Jeffrey Borak
Sorce: berkshireeagle
Edited by: Marcy



STOCKBRIDGE -- Summer in the Berkshires is no camp for actor Randy Harrison.

This is Harrison's sixth summer at the 82-year-old Berkshire Theatre Festival. In that time he's been pushed to suicide by an authoritarian head nurse at a state mental institution; suffered the deadly consequences of syphilis; led a profligate, infuriating life as an enfant terrible musical genius; been a tortured youth who blinds six horses in a stable; played a wretch who is periodically whipped and permanently tethered to the end of a long, long rope.

This summer he's a decaying, legless old man stuffed in a trash can. He is playing Nagg to Tanya Dougherty's Nell in Samuel Beckett's "Endgame," which opens in BTF's Unicorn Theatre Saturday evening at 8 after a week of previews.

Also in the cast of director Eric Hill's production of Beckett's bleak comedy are David Chandler and Mark Corkins as the chief protagonists -- the blind, wheelchair-bound Hamm, and his son, Clov, who attends his father slavishly and keeps threatening to leave.

"Endgame" is a long one-act play that Beckett wrote in French and then translated into English. It premiered in its original French version, "Fin de partie," on April 3, 1957 at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Its first English-language performance was Jan. 28, 1958 at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York's Greenwich Village.

"I enjoy the challenge this play presents," Hill said in a brief telephone interview from his home in Richmond.

Hill says he is particularly drawn to Beckett's language and the play's shifting realities.

This is Harrison's second go-round with Beckett at BTF. He played the ironically named Lucky in Anders Cato's production of "Waiting for Godot" two summers ago, also in the Unicorn.

"I love Beckett. He's so funny, smart. His language affects me emotionally," Harrison said during a pre-rehearsal interview at BTF's Lavan Center. He was joined by Dougherty, a second-year graduate student in the MFA acting program at Brandeis University, where Hill teaches.

"I've never done anything like this before," Dougherty said. "Beckett asks the audience difficult questions and doesn't offer answers. His characters face huge issues of life."

In "Endgame," the issues are as huge as issues can get -- life, death.

Dougherty says she's been helped by the rhyhms of Beckett's language.

Harrison agrees.

"Rhythm is the only way I could memorize Lucky's speech," Harrison said, referring to the normally silent Lucky's vocal outburst in "Waiting for Godot," a monumental, tour de force monologue built on what sound like nonsense syllables.

"Beckett gives you so much, though not necessarily what you need."

While there is an often tense dynamic in the relationship between Hamm and Clov, who occupy the bulk of the play, the relationship between Nagg and Bell is quite different.

"There is a whole history of young love that we keep for ourselves," Harrison said. "(Nagg) is cold, he's hungry, he's horny. They're reaching to touch each other."

"They're dependent on each other," Dougherty added. "If they didn't have each other, they'd die. If the other weren't there, they would die. The other is there to trust, to cherish, to love."

Harrison and Dougherty say that Hill has been a more-than-reliable pilot through the often unfathomable channels of Beckett's play.

"He's so articulate about the play and Beckett," Harrison said. "He is so clear and that makes you excited to work on (the play)."

"He encourages us to play but within parameters," Dougherty said. "He particularly makes you think about the physical, your body."

"Beckett can be very heavy if you don't watch out," Hill said. "So, I want (my actors) to play, to have fun.

"I want to have the actors figure it out. I'm there to keep them on track."

"You read about these situations," Harrison said about "Endgame" and the dilemmas facing its four characters. "You see it from the outside and it makes sense. You can't imagine what it's like, though, to be inside.

"It's nothing you've ever dealt with before as an actor."

Copyright © 2010 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:12 pm

Randy Harrison QAF CON 2010

November 2010

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=8C07203EAAE7375C
(playlist with 16 videos)

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:14 pm

Randy Harrison QAF CON 2010

November 2010

The 2010 UAC's PLanetBabyLon con ended in the most amazing and funny way.
After 2 1/2 days of 'intense' practice of a certain dance routine with the
fabulous Yaelle & David, the fans presented the "final product"
to Rachel, Laurel & Randy as a BIG thank you for coming to Paris on this
Halloween weekend. Did the guests enjoy it? See for yourselves!

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Yvonne on Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:24 am

RANDY HARRISON AT THE QAF CON 2010

November 2010

Another Great interview with Randy taken at the Paris Convention about QAF and the L word..
Randy explains why he loves Justin..


_________________
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It's never too late to try!!!!


avatar
Yvonne
Admin
Admin

Leo Posts : 822
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile http://www.cherishdelight.typepad.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:15 am

Randy Harrison talks about “Tommy”
Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Written By: Charles Giuliano
Source: berkshirefinearts.com
Edited by: Marcy


Charles Giuliano: Good morning, great to speak with you, and greetings from our friend John Douglas Thompson. He regrets that because of the short run he will not get to see you in Tommy.

Randy Harrison: It’s such a short run a lot of people are missing it unfortunately.

CG: Why such a short run? Was there anything in your schedule that was a factor?

RH: My guess is, because it is twice the size of the Main Stage at Berkshire Theatre Festival, they weren’t sure of what selling it would be like. They were cautious. That’s my total guess. I’m just guessing.

CG: Did you have other work pending that locked you in?

RH: No, I’m going to D.C. on August 7. I have three weeks in between.

CG: What will that be?

RH: I’m doing an Alan Bennett play called The Habit of Art at the Studio Theatre.

CG: We have been watching you closely here for the past several years. It is remarkable to see you taking on tough, challenging, serious roles. In the past three years Beckett twice and Ibsen. We were astonished by your Lucky speech (Waiting for Godot) which must be among the most difficult things that an actor can take on. What is this about? What does it mean that you are seeking out challenging classical roles?

RH: Honestly, it’s what I want to see the most. I love Beckett. I love watching Beckett. Ever since I was in high school reading it I was fascinated by it. I wanted to figure out what it would be like to perform. Why act if you don’t pick out the challenges and challenge yourself. That’s why I do it. I would get bored if I did the same thing over and over again. Or something too simple.

CG: Will you ever do Krapp’s Last Tape?

RH: When I’m old. I want to do every part in Beckett that I’m capable of playing.

CG: Let’s talk about the degree of difficulty. What are you trying to accomplish by doing this very challenging work?

RH: The main reason I love it is just as an audience member and a human being. As a reader of Beckett it speaks to me. On a deeper level than almost anything else. I find it really, really, really reassuring. And comforting. Beckett’s perspective on the human experience is similar to my own. More than just seeking out challenges.

CG: Could you elaborate on that? It is such an interesting comment on Beckett and your own life.

RH: I feel like he sees the futility in a lot of human gestures but he also finds a profound humor and humanity. In the somewhat meaninglessness of the human experience. That’s how I feel when I look at, oh, our country is starting another war. I just find that there is something absurd and despicable about what humans do. There is also something oddly redeeming about him. When I see Beckett I find that the character’s experience is similar to what my own is.

CG: When I see Beckett it inhabits me. I tend to start looking at life through that lens. It’s hard to shake off. What about for you?

RH: I often feel that. That is the lens through which I see life. So I never shake it off.

CG: Some actors tell me that after a performance they can take a shower and the character just washes off. Others, particularly method actors, will say that the roles just layer and layer and eventually mess with the psyche. Once you have inhabited the character how do you put it away?

RH: For me it’s really different depending on the show. And the role. Sometimes it’s surprising that it is not necessarily the darkest things that are going to affect me the most. It depends on how different it is from my daily experience. How different it is from myself. Also a lot of it is the process. A lot of it is not necessarily for me the role or the play. Sometimes if the process is very difficult, or there is a lot of tension during rehearsals, or there are tech problems, consistently, you come home and you have to vent and be really careful to process. It’s hard to know what’s going to affect you and to know how to shake it.

CG: Talk about going home and venting. Can you give us a cameo of that?

RH: Sometimes you just have to process out loud everything that happened in rehearsal. Everything you are going through. Thank God, definitely, that actors are really social creatures. You can always call another actor to get a beer with and say, Oh my God, this is what I’m dealing with. This is a part of the play which we just can’t figure out. You know ‘The director’s an idiot. I’m going to go crazy.’ Whatever it is that you need to do, you have to, you just can’t go to bed. Right after a rehearsal, or right after a performance. You need to give your experience to someone else. To have them empathize or help figure out difficult portions. That’s what it is.

CG: When an actor is deeply embedded in a role they may or may not want to respond to you. It is a matter of the responses of the character.

RH: It’s true. I find especially doing something like Tommy now where I am constantly cautious about my voice. Am I going to have enough energy to do the show tonight? So I’m always kind of half there when I’m with people. I’m really thinking and swallowing to figure out where my voice is at. Trying to figure out where my energy level is at. Calculating how many hours I have before I need to start warming up. Do I need to take a nap? So you are never entirely there. Your whole day revolves around the two hours you’re on stage and what you have to do to be in the right place.

CG: You sound like an athlete training for the Olympics.

RH: Certainly for a musical. I would say, other than a Lucky speech which is very intense, a musical is very athletic. But, like I said, it depends on what the role is asking of you.

CG: What I have come to respect in your work is that it is so professional. We rarely see that in musical theatre. Typically for the performer it is 50% voice, 25% dance and perhaps 25% acting. You seem to be a total package. One of the reviewers made a remarkable observation. We couldn’t catch the detail from a balcony seat. But he commented on the scene where you were on the floor, in front of the mirror, and being harassed by your mother. With your fingers, apparently, you were making motions like manipulating the flippers of the pinball machine. There is such remarkable attention to detail that we rarely encounter in musical theatre.

RH: I think you do and you don’t. I have been very fortunate. Very often you get stuck in one kind of theatre. It depends entirely on the show. I hate to make massive generalizations. Many times musical theatre asks just for a very specific thing of the performer. If you are doing that, and only that, for prolonged periods of time you are not asking yourself certain questions that actors who are always doing Shakespeare and Chekhov are asking themselves. Which is why, it is so important to me, that my career be as diverse as I can possibly make it. Because I think it makes you a better actor.

CG: Wasn’t there a time in your career when you were very successful as a television star. People had you in a box.

RH: That’s true to some extent. Casting directors are always trying to say “Oh this is what you are.” And “this is what we want you to do.” So it is a constant battle not just for me but for every actor there is. They are constantly saying “No, I want to do this.” The minute that you do something that’s successful people just want you to do it over and over again.

CG: You seemed to have come to a point in your life and career where you made a decision to walk away from that.

RH: Yes. It’s true.

CG: What was a part of that decision to say, no, I don’t want to be that, I want to be more?

RH: A huge thing is that I get bored. I knew that if I kept on doing the kind of thing that I had been doing I would start half assing it and not do it well because I wouldn’t be emotionally invested in it. That was a big part of it and also I have a love for so many different kinds of theatre. I wanted to learn how to do a bunch of different kinds of acting. If I kept on doing the same thing I’d become limited. I didn’t want that.

CG: You often perform some pretty far out theatre in small houses with limited audiences. If the role intrigues you then you’ll take it on. You never seem to be looking at the bottom line or what’s my best career move. It seems like you are always looking for the most interesting work. Is that fair?

RH: Yeah, of course. I should be worrying more about the bottom line more. As I get older, and farther away from the TV series, and the money I made, I have to be far more conscious about how am I going to get health insurance and pay the bills.

CG: Is Hollywood interested in you? Is Broadway interested in you? What is your interest in pursuing a major Broadway role or a high profile movie?

RH: I audition for Broadway shows a few times a year. I do not audition much for films. It’s a long shot against other people who are much more established. They have much more experience doing it. Those are certainly things I’m interested in. I tend to have much more success working with people I have worked with before. I don’t think Tommy is a role I would ever be able to get if I auditioned for it. I can’t say exactly why. It’s a role that fits me and I’m proud of my performance.

CG: I have a history with Tommy. As a person of that era I saw The Who a lot. Including one time, with a friend, in the front row when they performed Tommy live. It is an experience you never forget. Unfortunately it’s what you take to the theater. You’re listening and thinking how would Keith Moon have played that? Or thinking of Peter Townshend flying through the air with those propeller attacks on the guitar. Where is Roger Daltry swinging the mike? As I said in the review, in many ways, you channeled Roger Daltry.

RH: Really?

CG: Not vocally because your voices and singing styles are different. But just looking at you on stage there seemed to be an uncanny resemblance.

RH: Yeah, that’s why I wanted my hair long.

CG: Particularly when you came out in the suit of lights and bare chest. I thought, Oh My God, It’s Roger.

RH: Yeah. That was definitely a goal. Designwise we wanted to suggest and honor him.

CG: Clearly you brought something of your own to the production.

RH: I know I don’t sing like him. I couldn’t sing the role the way he does.

CG: But you’re not trying to be a rock star. You’re an actor and music is part of the package.

RH: Yeah.

CG: Early on you were successful with Broadway musicals. You seem to have made a decision to walk away from that until now.

RH: I did a musical, not last fall, but the fall before last fall. A musical at Yale. In the spirit of keeping my career as diverse as it can be and doing all the things I want to do. There’s a lot more jobs in musical theatre and they pay more. I could very easily just go from musical, to musical, to musical. I love singing and I love music but I can’t only do that or I will be frustrated. So I had to make an effort to not do them for awhile.

CG: Thank you for coming to the Berkshires with Tommy. It’s such a treat.

RH: I was excited to sing in it and perform in it. I was excited to perform in this theatre and I was very excited to sing The Who.

CG: During the opening night finale just looking at you and how you were interacting with the other actors and the audience bursting out of our seats and cheering, you seemed to be really high on all that energy.

RH: Yeah, that was a very special show. It was an amazing house.

CG: Can you talk about the chemistry of performing for a full house and how that impacts you.

RH: It affects it hugely. From the moment I become Tommy (starting with The Narrator) almost all of my interaction is with the audience. It’s a huge, huge part and Eric (Hill the director) wanted for me, my character The Narrator and Tommy, to constantly include the audience. So much of “Come to My House” is directly sung to the audience. The finale as well. Because they constantly have a role in the show and are being directly sung to, by the end, the finale, they feel very much a part of the whole experience. It’s amazing. Also that finale you just can’t figure out. It’s cathartic.

CG: We were in the balcony and when you first appeared in the box seats of the balcony you felt so close. I felt, on my, I could reach out and touch him. You were so close.

RH: Good.

CG: It was a great device. From the moment you opened your mouth I felt you inhabited Tommy. There was an instantaneous engagement with the character.

RH: That was conscious on Eric’s part to have me in the audience at the beginning. I’m one of the people. It’s the point that Tommy makes at the end. We’re all the same. You don’t have to be just like me. The point is that finally I’m just like you. That’s where the beauty is. So he wanted me to be embedded in the audience and not just another person who comes on stage and tells this story.

CG: That relates to your fanatical global fan base. Whenever we write a word about you it instantly goes viral. When you are conveying that to the audience, and it must have been true for The Who, you are coming from that strange place that you occupy. Like a rock star with a fanatical fan base. How do you relate to that? If you blow your nose it’s news.

RH: (Laughing) I try not to be very conscious of it honestly. It’s strange to think that way. When I’m performing, and know there is really a lot of support for me in the audience, I’m really, really grateful.

CG: When you’re singing come to my house you are telling your followers to be themselves. Don’t follow me. Knowing that you inhabit that space, and are saying that to us, how does that inform the performance?

RH: I think I understand what he is trying to say because I experience that. I want to empower people that follow me to be their own selves. I want them to understand that there is nothing to be gained from me that they don’t already have.

CG: That’s such a tough message.

RH: I think so. That’s where “We’re Not Gonna Take It” comes from. People really reject that idea. They refuse to.

CG: The other night at the party we left early. I don’t know if you came out.

RH: I did eventually.

CG: There were all these people hovering around the door with their cameras and presents. Ready to mob you. I saw it after an opening at BTF. You seem very gracious, but to be just mobbed after a performance, what’s that like for you?

RH: It’s deeply, deeply exhausting. I’m grateful for it but it requires a lot of physical and emotional energy to try to be present with people. I can’t just sit there blindly and sign things and get it over with. I try to express my gratitude but it’s hard especially after a show. You just want to be with your friends and not have to deal with that.

CG: It means so much to the fans.

RH It does. That’s why I had to relax after the show to prepare for that. It is more exhausting than doing the show. At least in the Berkshires it was. It doesn’t happen that often. There’s much more here at BTF because I have been performing here for so long. I started performing here when Queer as Folk was still at its height. Generally when I perform elsewhere there is a lot less of that.

CG: How many years have you been at BTF?

RH: This is my sixth or seventh.

CG: What keeps you coming back?

RH: The opportunities I get. The Berkshires themselves I find are so beautiful. At this point I am pretty well addicted to spending a couple of months here each year. I don’t know what I would do without that.

Copyright © 2011 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Written by Charles Giuliano - Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:19 am

Randy Harrison's experience playing visual artists should help him in 'Red'

Friday February, 3rd 2012

By: Peter Filichia
Source: NJ.com
Edited by: Marcy


Is Randy Harrison getting typecast?
For the third time in his professional career, he’ll portray a visual artist.

This time, he’s Ken, a fictional assistant to famous painter Mark Rothko (1903-1970). He’s at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, co-starring in “Red,” the John Logan-written drama that won the 2010 Tony Award for best play.

In 2000, Harrison began his stint as Justin Taylor on the Showtime cable series “Queer as Folk.” During the five seasons, he saw his character go from a moody teenager to a visual artist.

Then, in 2009, Harrison portrayed Andy Warhol in a musical called “Pop” at Yale Rep. “I do like pop art,” he says. “I understand it as a reaction to abstract expressionism.”

There’s good reason why Harrison sounds a bit more erudite than the average person when speaking about art. “I’m a big fan,” he says. “Just for fun, a couple of years ago, I took a contemporary art course at the Museum of Modern Art. And as soon as we finish here, before we move the play to Cleveland, I’ve decided that I’m going to Washington, D.C., to the National Gallery to see a Rothko there.”

He stops to smile and shrug. “And yet, there’s something funny about my playing a visual artist,” he says. “I have no talent in that area at all. Zero. None. I can’t even draw a straight line. My talent in this area is limited to appreciation and support.”

Not that Harrison has to do much with a brush in “Red.” He’s on hand to help Rothko, who’s been commissioned by the Four Seasons restaurant to come up with dramatic and eye-catching work. As time goes on, Ken is not above criticizing what the master is painting.

Says Harrison: “We’ve all had parents, teachers and mentors that we’ve loved. That doesn’t mean, though, that we don’t reach a point where we feel compelled to express our opinions. Sometimes they go very much against those people who nurtured us, and sometimes we have the need to move beyond.”

However, Harrison still has great regard for his teachers at Pace Academy in Atlanta. “As a young boy, I’d done some community theater when my family was living in New Hampshire: Winthrop in ‘The Music Man,’ Oliver in ‘Oliver!’ I was taken away from it when I was 11, when we moved to Georgia. I had three ‘non-theater’ years for reasons I can’t explain. Then when I got to Pace, the teachers were so amazing. Not many high schools have their kids reading ‘Waiting for Godot’ and acting in plays by Tom Stoppard.”

Yet Harrison originally pursued musical theater. He attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, which features its students in a showcase for agents each spring. One who saw him there told him that an upcoming series called “Queer as Folk” needed a young man to play a teen. Although Harrison was 22, he was cast.

He remains, however, a theater actor.

“I miss being on a set a little bit,” he says. “There’s a sense of community from seeing the same people every day.”

Harrison slowly shakes his head. “But I love rehearsing and really examining a script. And in TV, you’re sometimes given new lines 20 minutes before filming, and you’re suddenly facing someone you’ve never met before, let alone rehearsed with.”

So look for more theater work from Harrison.

“I love working with Anders Cato,” he says, citing the director of “Red.” “This is our fourth show together — one of which was ‘Waiting for Godot.’ I’d wanted to do that once since high school. ‘Queer as Folk’ helped that happen.”


Copyright © 2012 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Written by Peter Filichia - Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Ally on Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:36 am

Queer as folk is back!
Wednesday, May 3 th 2012

By: Kevin Clarke
Source: m-maenner.de
Translator: 90210-Steffi


Is Randy Harrison getting typecast?
For the third time in his professional career, he’ll portray a visual artist.

This time, he’s Ken, a fictional assistant to famous painter Mark Rothko (1903-1970). He’s at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, co-starring in “Red,” the John Logan-written drama that won the 2010 Tony Award for best play.

In 2000, Harrison began his stint as Justin Taylor on the Showtime cable series “Queer as Folk.” During the five seasons, he saw his character go from a moody teenager to a visual artist.

Then, in 2009, Harrison portrayed Andy Warhol in a musical called “Pop” at Yale Rep. “I do like pop art,” he says. “I understand it as a reaction to abstract expressionism.”

There’s good reason why Harrison sounds a bit more erudite than the average person when speaking about art. “I’m a big fan,” he says. “Just for fun, a couple of years ago, I took a contemporary art course at the Museum of Modern Art. And as soon as we finish here, before we move the play to Cleveland, I’ve decided that I’m going to Washington, D.C., to the National Gallery to see a Rothko there.”

He stops to smile and shrug. “And yet, there’s something funny about my playing a visual artist,” he says. “I have no talent in that area at all. Zero. None. I can’t even draw a straight line. My talent in this area is limited to appreciation and support.”

Not that Harrison has to do much with a brush in “Red.” He’s on hand to help Rothko, who’s been commissioned by the Four Seasons restaurant to come up with dramatic and eye-catching work. As time goes on, Ken is not above criticizing what the master is painting.

Says Harrison: “We’ve all had parents, teachers and mentors that we’ve loved. That doesn’t mean, though, that we don’t reach a point where we feel compelled to express our opinions. Sometimes they go very much against those people who nurtured us, and sometimes we have the need to move beyond.”

However, Harrison still has great regard for his teachers at Pace Academy in Atlanta. “As a young boy, I’d done some community theater when my family was living in New Hampshire: Winthrop in ‘The Music Man,’ Oliver in ‘Oliver!’ I was taken away from it when I was 11, when we moved to Georgia. I had three ‘non-theater’ years for reasons I can’t explain. Then when I got to Pace, the teachers were so amazing. Not many high schools have their kids reading ‘Waiting for Godot’ and acting in plays by Tom Stoppard.”

Yet Harrison originally pursued musical theater. He attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, which features its students in a showcase for agents each spring. One who saw him there told him that an upcoming series called “Queer as Folk” needed a young man to play a teen. Although Harrison was 22, he was cast.

He remains, however, a theater actor.

“I miss being on a set a little bit,” he says. “There’s a sense of community from seeing the same people every day.”

Harrison slowly shakes his head. “But I love rehearsing and really examining a script. And in TV, you’re sometimes given new lines 20 minutes before filming, and you’re suddenly facing someone you’ve never met before, let alone rehearsed with.”

So look for more theater work from Harrison.

“I love working with Anders Cato,” he says, citing the director of “Red.” “This is our fourth show together — one of which was ‘Waiting for Godot.’ I’d wanted to do that once since high school. ‘Queer as Folk’ helped that happen.”


Copyright © 2012 randy-harrison.it | All rights reserved
Written by Kevin Clarke - Edited by Marcy

_________________
"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

avatar
Ally
Admin
Admin

Virgo Posts : 1179
Join date : 2010-10-20
Location : Netherlands

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Interviews

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum