Glee star branches out with gay film role

Harry Shum Jr. tries to be perfect high school student, brother and son in White Frog

Glee star branches out with gay film role
27 June 2012

While the television series Glee has several gay characters, Harry Shum Jr. does not play one of them.

But the actor who portrays high school student Mike Chang on the FOX series has a gay role in the new independent film White Frog which will screen next month at Outfest, the Los Angeles gay and lesbian film festival.

‘This is actually my first independent film. It was a great experience,’ Shum tells Frontiers Magazine in an interview published this week. ‘They are two different beasts. You have Glee and the pace is constantly moving and on to the next thing as quick as you can—it’s so hectic. Independent films you don’t have a big budget. But what’s fun is you can play around more and develop the character. That was an interesting experience for me. I loved playing a different character.’

Mike is a gay high school student dealing with enormous family pressures, but who is always trying to do the right thing. When he is killed in a biking accident, the lives of his loved ones are torn apart. It is Chaz’s legacy that helps to piece them back together in a more authentic way.

Shum thinks Glee fans will be drawn to the movie which is directed by Quentin Lee.

‘It’s definitely a different tone, but there are some Glee episodes that have been a little more dramatic,’ he says. ‘This is about a kid who is a fish out of water, a kid who is not really accepted by his family and the world and trying to find truth in himself. Glee fans can relate to that.’

Although Shum is not gay, he can identify with being an outsider and that has shaped him and his views about LGBT equality.

‘You start to realize we have more similarities than differences,’ he says. ‘In my eyes, life is simple; people make it complicated. I never looked at the differences too much. I grew up in Costa Rica where I was the only Chinese kid in a Latin country, then I moved to San Francisco where I only knew Spanish and lived with Chinese kids. I was in a different world.’



No thumbnail available

Bristol returns to Castle Park for pride festival

Bristol Pride bosses announce plans for party on 13 July and call for financial support from the community
No thumbnail available

Westboro Baptist Church driven away from protest by pro-gay supporters

The infamously homophobic Westboro Baptist Church met their match on Saturday night when they were overwhelmed by pro-gay supporters at their picket 
No thumbnail available

Whitney Houston’s mom ‘absolutely’ bothered by idea she was lesbian

Cissy Houston has told Oprah that she didn’t like Whitney’s friend Robyn Crawford but admits they may have ‘experimented’
No thumbnail available

Chile lawmakers approve gay civil unions

President Michelle Bachelet says she will sign the bill into law
No thumbnail available

Prestigious US military color guard makes history at Washington DC Pride

After over four decades of pride parades, 150,000 spectators at the Capital Pride parade witnessed something never before seen – a US Armed Forces color guard marching alongside rainbow flags and following Dykes on Bikes
No thumbnail available

Hillary Clinton gets gay flag tribute ahead of 4 July

LGBT US flag tribute to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 4 July
No thumbnail available

Edie Windsor, Lee Daniels, Jim Parsons and Wentworth Miller lead OUT 100

Annual portfolio of LGBT figures unveiled by Out Magazine
No thumbnail available

Ian McKellen shows his solidarity with Russia’s gay people

Established actor joins celebrities like Lady Gaga making a stand against the actions of the Russian government and the new anti-gay laws
No thumbnail available

A David and Goliath court battle with gay rights taking on religious hate in Jamaica

As a gay Jamaican fights to ‘read down’ the law against anal sex on the island, the religious lobby go into full attack mode
No thumbnail available

Man executed and crucified for male rape, murder and theft in Saudi Arabia

A religious court in Saudi Arabia had a Yemeni national executed and crucified for robbing, raping and then killing a Pakistani migrant worker