Chris Diamantopoulos on Top

After nearly a decade of guest stints -- from Law & Order to Eli Stone -- Chris Diamantopoulos has landed the plum role of Debra Messing’s best and gay friend, Rodney, in the new USA series The Starter Wife. For those of you expecting another Will-Grace pairing, you might be surprised to see what this hunk has up his sleeve.

BY Greg Archer

October 24 2008 12:00 AM ET

Chris
Diamantopoulos is suddenly on top. After nearly a decade of
guest stints -- from Law & Order to Eli
Stone
-- the 33-year-old actor has landed the plum
role of Debra Messing’s best and gay friend, Rodney,
in the new USA series The Starter Wife. But
it’s not just any supporting role. By the looks
of it, the new show is giving his character plenty of
screen time, a good portion of which revolves around a new
relationship with a high-profile albeit closeted Hollywood
hunk, played by James Black. In an Advocate.com
exclusive, Diamantopoulos reveals his true passion
-- wife Becki Newton (scheming Amanda on
Ugly Betty) -- and why filming those steamy
love scenes with another guy don’t feel that steamy
at all.

Advocate.com:Your character, Rodney, has a great to deal more
going on, now that The Starter Wife has leapt
from miniseries to series.
Chris Diamantopoulos: The miniseries was a
template. Rodney was Molly’s best friend. He was
there to support what Molly was going through, but I
think this time around he’s really a
three-dimensional character. And right off the bat,
he’s gotten into a relationship that he should
be wary of.

Felix. Yes. It’s high-profile guy who is
closeted. Despite the fact that all signs are pointing
to stay away, he kind of goes for it ... and there are
some interesting moments.

How challenging, or is it, to play a romantic role
with another man when you’re not romantically
drawn toward other men?
It’s a good question, and I am surprised
it hasn’t come up more often. The truth of the
matter is, love scenes in general are odd. It’s few
and far between when you are actually attracted to the
people you are doing them with, at least for me, when
I was asked to do heterosexual love scenes in the
past. Frankly, the love scenes with James -- and he’s
a terrific actor -- we both go into it with the same
perspective, which is "Let’s both remain true
to how it is written, and let’s figure out
exactly how to make it authentic." James is straight as
well, and so we look at it in terms of, "How do we
show exactly what needs to be shown and make sure
we’re also within our comfort zones so that we can
figure out how to do it?" I wouldn’t say that
it’s easy. I would say that it’s work.
The love scenes, to be honest, are exceptionally
mathematic. Mechanical. We talk about it, figure it out, so
that when it comes time to do it, there are no
surprises. Does that make sense?

It does. Well, it’s interesting because I played a
gay character on Broadway and it was more of an
implication of "gay" and there was no real
authenticity. Getting into the emotional psyche of a
character, for me, is a lot easier than understanding
what compels them in a physical perspective. What I do
is just look at what compels me in a physical
perspective and then just sort of apply that to the
character. But it’s tricky. It’s not the
easiest thing in the world to do. You have to adapt
your mentality and figure out a way to make it organic.

 

Tags: television

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