It was last December that actor Marc Anthony Samuel made his first appearance as gay nursing student Felix Dubois on the ABC daytime soap General Hospital.
The character quickly gained attention but not in a good way.
In his very first scene, he pulled a tube of ‘red velvet lipstick’ out of his pocket when a female colleague needed to spruce up for a date. People were a little appalled because it appeared to be perpetuating a gay stereotype.
But it turns out Felix was working as a representative for a cosmetics company on the side and that connection was crucial in setting up the show’s nurse’s ball which was the setting for a week of 50th anniversary shows.
Samuel tells Gay Star News he’s having a ‘blast’ playing the role.
‘I love everyone associated with it,’ he says. ‘They are so behind the whole storyline for Felix – developing him and creating a world for him and introducing him to the Port Charles community – not making him this kind of fly by night character.’ ‘It’s been a privilege to work with people who I’ve seen over the years on TV,’ he adds. ‘It’s kind of surreal a little bit too. I’m working with people who have been in my pop culture psyche for years. It’s been a great ride.’
Felix comes along as ratings for the few remaining daytime soaps in the US are stabilizing after years of steady decline.
Rival soap Days of Our Lives on NBC has put on the front burner its gay storyline between the characters of Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis who are an established couple raising Will’s child together. So far, Felix’s love life has been limiting to crushing on a few straight guys and he spends a lot of time helping his female BFF with her romantic troubles.
But will Felix ever have a love interest of his own? ‘He will, he definitely will,’ Samuel says. ‘I don’t know anything yet but that’s what it sounds like will happen. I think overall that’s what they’d like to see. Felix can’t be going after straight guys all the time. He knows better.’
Samuel thinks that’s what the soap’s fans are hoping for too: ‘People have really taken a liking to him and I’m glad, I’m really glad because GH fans are serious. I’m so glad to have them on my side. I’ll take them in a bar fight with me, I’ll have them so back-up when I’m doing a big dance number. They’re faithful and I love them.’
In addition to his recurring soap role, Samuel is also one of the main stars of the new gay-themed feature film Hot Guys With Guns which has been tearing up the film festival circuit in recent months and has already sold out its Friday screening at LA’s Outfest. The movie, written and directed by Noah’s Arc star Doug Spearman, has been described as Lethal Weapon if Mel Gibson and Danny Glover had been gay and exes.
‘It’s a film that I’m proud of, a film that I would go see,’ Samuel says.