And I have produced other television programs since then, so that's my passion now, to be on the producing end of it. Because on Queer Eye, although we were billed as producers, and we did produce, and that's what made part of that experience so special and when I move on to other programs, it's weird, because you work with the cast and other network people and they treat you like a dope. You don't know why things are being shot a certain way. They won't break it down for you. I'm glad they put us through what they put us through on Queer Eye. It prepared me, as a performer, to show up to work and say 'Tell me what to do," which I like. It's cool.
But as far as typecasting me? Not really. It's weird because I've been auditioning a lot for scripted stuff. And I'm going in for like Jericho and The Unit for, like, the straight soldier, and I get callbacks and go to producers and directors. It's kind of a non-issue. The fact is you can either deliver and it's believable on-screen or it's not. And that's okay, to each his own. Some people are ridiculously good as straight people, and they're gay and we all know they're gay, and they work in little episodic roles. So friends of yours go play somebody's husband, someone's lover, whatever, and you know he's gay, but it's pretty believable. If you can sell it, who the fuck cares?
But I don't know about the typecasting thing because, for me, it hasn't hindered me at all for roles. They don't rule out seeing you and/or calling you back because Queer Eye's on your resume. When I walk in, certainly I'm not wearing anything that's even a small nod to Queer Eye. Queer Eye just happens to be on the resume, but there's tons of other stuff.
The one thing I always liked when I watched Queer Eye, it how you always seemed to be so present with the people.
That's the thing, too. And this is not a slight against anyone else who did the show. But, for me... between you, me, and the rest of the readers... I don't feel like... see we were directed that the humor comes from the tough love angle, you know? Making fun of, mocking. But, to be truthful, from the beginning, all the lessons these straight guys were learning, I was learning.
I didn't know the difference or why wide pleated pants are bad, how the hell would I know?! And when I wear a flat front now, it's like, oh my God, that's so much better. How would I know that you could tailor shirts to custom fit you? Who would have taught me that? My family didn't have the money to be tailoring shirts. It's fine as is, you know?
So, all these things that I learned that I could do, I applied them to my life, but I think I had compassion because they were coming from my angle. And I think producers caught this early on and it was just like, 'Dude, I totally get it. I know they've been picking on you, but I'm here to help. What is really going on? There's got to be a reason that you live like this. Why don't you clean? You have a great job, why don't you hire someone to clean?' Or, 'You've been married to this girl for eight years and there's no romance. Why don't you just get a divorce today? I'll take you guys, I'm just wondering why you're roommates right now. Let's get down to what's really up, you know?'
It's interesting, I've had very strong bonds and connections with the guys because it's like, 'I really don't give a fuck what you're wearing or if your end table is appealing to me.' And I've had guys write letters and say 'This haircut will grow out, and I'm going to stop shaving correctly, and I'm going to outgrow these clothes, and I might break some of the furniture and forget that recipe, but I will remember the time I spent with you, because I feel it was the most influential in my life.'
Now, granted, all of us are usually working toward my category. So in the meeting, it usually starts with everyone else and then I go last. Carson will say, 'I think I'm going to dress him like this, because this is where he needs to go in his life.' And Tom's like, 'Yeah, he's passionate about this, so I'll take him to this store, because this will help showcase this, which he loves.' And then we'll build up to, 'let's make sure the reveal includes this, because then we can...' and then it's me last and I kind of pick up the pieces and scoop together something that would matter.
Queer Eye was an amazing experience, but very difficult. Anytime you have five people who are extremely different and forced to have one opinion, you're bound to have conflict. That's what I think was so fascinating: none of us had ever met and we all lived in New York. We didn't run in the same circles. We're very different. And sometimes people would be like, 'What would Queer Eye...' and it was like, you'd have to ask each of us individually. Not all of us were for gay marriage. So, we tried not to be political. We tried to be America's gay sweethearts, because there is no official 'Well, Queer Eye says...' But there's so many casts all over the world now, it's crazy.