As Brian Kinney on the US version of Queer as Folk, Gale Harold had countless steamy sex scenes with various men that often didn’t look like acting.
How did this heterosexual actor manage such authenticity in a gay role?
‘ … Be yourself,’ Harold says in a Huffington Post interview posted Thursday (2 January). ‘Kiss well and passionately, and move like you mean it.’
The 44-year-old actor was asked if he ever felt uncomfortable filming such intimate scenes during the 2000-05 run of the Showtime drama.
‘Revealing yourself, physically or emotionally, to cast and crew is frequently uncomfortable,’ he admits. ‘But it is essential if you want to to tell the truth.’
‘I felt more at ease being bold with some than I did with others,’ he adds. ‘I was incredibly fortunate to have worked with Randy Harrison as Justin Taylor. We share enough taste in music and art to have had a real camaraderie, and luckily that evolved into a deep friendship.’
Although Brian had a libido that was constantly being satisfied by whomever he was attracted to, the character hooks up with the much-younger Justin in the first episode of the series.
They continue a tempestuous but also sometimes tender on-again, off-again relationship throughout the run of the series.
Harold liked that Brian was unapologetic and uncompromising about being gay.
‘My take on Brian was foremost one of free will,’ he says. ‘He simply wanted men and believed he was right. He had no need to question himself. … I kept returning to my belief that his sexuality was not up for debate by anyone, himself included. That was very freeing, and it inspired me to deflect all speculation about my own sexuality.’
Harold has worked non-stop on various TV series since Queer as Folk left the air. But when the series began, he was an unknown which he thinks was an advantage.
‘I’m straight, but the character was too important to me to muddle his world with my private life. As a nobody, I got away with that deflection,’ he says. ‘I think it may have helped to introduce Brian as a believable gay man.’