In an interview conducted by Girls’ Andrew Rannells, the former White Collar star talks about his days as a soap opera hustler, growing up in the Bible Belt, life before (and after) coming out and his new Amazon series, The Last Tycoon. Check out a few quotes and pics from the publication’s Pride Issue below.
On Being Gay Helping Him To Act
One of the ways I learned how to act, really, is by having secrets, and having to function as a kid in a public school in suburban Bible Belt Texas. Subsequently I worked on a gas pipeline with my brother for a while—there were ex-cons with us. It was not an environment where it was safe to be gay. So it was literally acting of the highest stakes. I had my brother to protect me, but as terrible as it may sound it was a way I learned to select behavior and make choices, even if it was a ruse just to survive, you know?”
On Coming Out To His Family
“I was at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and I was doing Romeo and Juliet and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in rep., and I remember there was someone there who was a hair and makeup artist who I found really inspiring. I thought, If this person can live their truth, what am I doing? I was actually in the middle of doing sit-ups, because I needed some kind of physical release. And I was dating a girl in the company at the time. I wrote a letter to my parents. I would have lost my sense of direction if I tried to do it in person. There was radio silence for a long, long time, at least six months. And then I came home and it was then the blowup that I’d always feared. But we got that out of the way and we got down to the business of figuring out how to love each other. It was a struggle. It’s a struggle for anybody to take their paradigms and their set of beliefs and their set of understandings and completely flip the script. So I’m empathetic towards everyone, and my family is so loving.”
On Television Vs. Theater
“The whole experience of film or television—time feels very fast, and very slow, and you’re revisiting things. I still find live theater the most energizing. Every performance is unique, every audience is different, and there’s an immediacy that’s addictive, especially when you’re in a great play like Book of Mormon or Falsettos.”
For more, head over to OUT.com.