'I should have played a gay cowboy years ago. It's one of my favorite roles'
The new ABC comedy-drama GCB has plenty for gays to love with its bitchiness, its divas and most of all, the hunky gay character of Blake Reilly who is closeted to everyone in the Dallas enclave where the show is set.
Blake, played by Mark Deklin, is a cowboy-businessman married to a woman named Cricket and has a teenage daughter. This isn't your typical marriage of convenience though: Blake and Cricket (Miriam Shor) are the best of friends who both know exactly what the other is up to.
'It was that fine tightrope where I could have just been this jerk who was lying and leading her along,' Deklin tells Gay Star News. 'But she knows and we love each other. And we both have the out – the beard situation has worked itself out, we could both go our separate ways and be fine. But we don't want to. It's a very interesting situation and we're going to explore it for all it's worth.'
'What's interesting is that a lot of the focus is going to be on that marriage and how do these two people make this unconventional thing work,' he added. 'Going into this, I love Blake, I'm very fond of this character, but he's in the closet which obviously a lot of people wouldn't approve of. Truthfully, I don't really approve of that choice. But I understand it now. I'm so fond of this character, I've grown really protective of him and I'm so in love with the marriage between Blake and Cricket.'
Deklin, 44, has been a part of the short-lived series Justice and Lone Star and hopes GCP will provide him and the rest of the ensemble cast with a long-running hit.
'You always wish rating were better than they are but things are growing week by week,' he said. 'Blake and Cricket are getting a wonderful response which I didn't know would happen.'
Deklin has long been in demand for guest spots on such television series as Desperate Housewives, CSI and Sex and the City and has a long list of stage credits in Broadway, off-Broadway and regional productions.
GCB is not the first time he's been called on to play a gay man – but the first time he's also been a cowboy.
'It's wonderful,' he said. 'I've been telling my friends, 'I should have played a gay cowboy years ago. It's one of my favorite roles. I play a lot of guys who are sort of square-jawed professional guys in a suit and that gets boring. It's nice to play someone who has layers.'