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|Jonatha||Oct 23 2007, 06:58 AM|
Even before Sunday night's episode of Desperate Housewives, ABC was already far-and-away the leading network when it comes to gay representation on broadcast television. But when Susan Mayer introduced herself to new neighbors Bob and Lee, gay fans had a whole new reason to tune in for the soapy shenanigans. These aren't just any old neighbors after all — Bob and Lee are the first gay couple to set up house on Wisteria Lane and their arrival promises to shake things up.
Tuc Watkins, who plays desperate househusband Bob Hunter, recently took time out of his bi-coastal work schedule to talk with us about playing gay on a hit show, how he almost had Nathan Fillion's Desperate Housewives' role, and what secrets Bob and Lee might know about their neighbors.
AfterElton.com: Congrats on getting the Desperate Housewives gig. How did that come about?
TW: I initially met Marc Cherry for the role of Dana Delany’s husband that ended up going to my friend Nathan Fillion who I’ve known since the mid-90s from One Life to Live. And when I found out that Nathan got the part, I was very happy for my friend and wanted to put a knife in his neck all at the same time.
Then a couple weeks later the role of Bob Hunter, one of the gay guys on Desperate Housewives, came up, so it was just a couple weeks between not getting Dana Delany’s husband and then becoming Kevin Rahm's boyfriend on the same show.
AE: So you’ve known Nathan a long time?
TW: Yeah, Nathan and I both started together within a couple months of each other back in 1994 on One Life to Live. He used to beat me up a lot on that show.
AE: I loved him on Firefly.
TW: One year when we were living in NYC, he and I went as evil Captain Kirk and good Captain Kirk from Star Trek. There’s an episode of Star Trek where he had an evil doppelganger and Nathan and I went as good and evil Captain Kirk together, and then he later became Captain Kirk on Firefly.
AE: Do you know how many episodes of Desperate Housewives you’re going to be in yet?
TW: Well, they hired us to do two episodes, but they seem to like the way things are going and they asked us to do a few more so we’re doing three more now and we’ll see what people’s reaction is and we’ll have to see down the road.
AE: You play Bob and Kevin Rahm plays Lee and from the pictures that we’ve seen so far it looks like Bob has the day job while Lee stays home, is that correct?
TW: I’s funny on Desperate Housewives, like any soap opera really, they’re not very specific about what anyone does for a living. But you’re right, they sort of set it up that I wear the fancy suits and carry the briefcase and get in the expensive car and Kevin has been described as the desperate housewife while I’m the desperate husband. But they’re still kind of fleshing out who we are and what we do.
What they really do on shows like that, it’s more about the relationships between the people as opposed to what they do, but I will say it appears that we are loaded because we have nice clothes and a nice car and really horrible taste in artwork.
AE: I’ve seen the fountain and the Wisteria ladies gasping at it.
TW: Yeah, that inspires the neighborhood association to reconvene.
AE: Have you and Kevin, with Marc, really fleshed out the guys? For example, how long they have been a couple or what their relationship is like?
TW: We’ve never really sat down and had a powwow about it, but I think for two gay guys to leave a metropolis and move to the suburbs, my guess is they’ve been together for a while.
AE: And what so far is your relationship like?
TW: Well, my character is anxious to move to the suburbs and get out of the muck and grime of the city, and Kevin’s character was perfectly happy where he was, so it creates some conflict between the two of us. One of the things I like about the characters that Marc has created is we’re not this PC gay couple on the show. We have lots of faults and we are pretty quick-witted, but we’re not your stereotypical gay couple.
AE: In what ways do you break those stereotypes?
TW: I think the other characters on the show initially are excited that a gay couple’s moving in because property values will increase and they’ve all got good taste, and we show up and we have horrible taste. We’re not a lovey-dovey couple to each other just like all the other people on Wisteria Lane. We’re not necessarily loving to each other, which leads to a lot of comedy.
AE: When you say that you’re not loving to each other, do you mean in general, or that there’s strife in the relationship?
TW: No, it’s not really written in such broad strokes. We’re brought on as a couple, but we’re not really perceived as just one unit. We’re not, you know, all affectionate towards each other. We’ve been together a long time and like any other couple that’s been together for a long time, there are things that irritate us about each other so I think we’re drawn really realistically, like any long-term couple would be, whether they’re gay or straight.
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