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.