Kellan Lutz: Kellan Me Softly
BY Brandon Voss
October 18 2011 4:00 AM ET
In your Calvin Klein X underwear commercial, when you look at the camera and cockily say things like, “You can look, but no touching,” it does feel like you’re speaking directly and specifically to gay men.
I’m so glad you said that. When they pitched that concept, I was all for it. That whole commercial was about speaking to everyone and grabbing every audience member that we could, so I’m glad we captured that.
You once told a story on Ellen about a male fan that approached you at a spa while you were naked in a hot tub. You didn’t specify, but I assume he was gay.
Probably, yeah. That’s why I was so flattered. We talked for about 15 minutes, and it clicked that he was probably hitting on me. By no means did I want to lead him on, so it was just kind of funny to me to realize that he was hitting on me — and doing a pretty good job.
Were you aware of gay admirers when you landed the cover of A&F Quarterly at 18?
No, but I was really ignorant. Growing up, I could never tell who was gay. Even in high school, I had friends that I didn’t know were gay until years later. I’d find out on Facebook or something and be like, “Oh, that explains some things,” or “Wow, no wonder they were so cool.” I remember going to a buddy’s house right when I came to L.A. He was showing me his place, and I asked, “Where do you sleep?” He’s like, “Here, in this bed.” He had a roommate, so I was like, “Where does your roommate sleep?” He said, “He sleeps here too.” I was like, “Oh, OK.” I’ve slept in the same bed as my brothers, and I’ve crashed on a friend’s bed, so it did not even cross my mind that they were gay. He called me up after I left his house and said, “Kellan, you handled that so well. I haven’t told many people, so thanks for being such a good person.” Suddenly, all this stuff started clicking, and everything made sense: Some guys I thought were just friends aren’t just friends! That’s the day my gaydar finally kicked in. We’re still the best of friends to this day. Now I have some really close friends who are gay.
Do they alert you when photos of you working out shirtless get posted on the gay blogs?
No, but they will be like, “Ooh, your arms are looking good, Kellan,” “Ooh, your big chest,” or “Gosh, those eyes.” They hit on me in a friendly way. Anyway, I love a topless run by the beach, and it does suck when paparazzi is there. It’s like, “Fuck, do I keep my shirt on because I don’t want to be shirtless in another magazine?” I don’t want to be known as the guy who always takes his shirt off.
Do you worry about your looks upstaging your talent and not being taken seriously?
Well, sure. I think all actors have to be mindful of that. But in the end, it’s a business. It’s great to have the platform to go do independent movies or a fun comedy where I can keep my shirt on, but sometimes sex sells. If me taking my shirt off can get the audience in there, then sure, I don’t mind doing that. But it’s tough, because I don’t just want to be beefcake.