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.



Chris Diamantopulos James Black X390 (USA) | ADVOCATE.COM

Sure, but what about those who say, whatever love
scene actors do, that there must be some chance for a
spark? Were you ever nervous about doing a love
scene with a man -- nervous in the sense that it
would trigger something in you that you never thought
was there?
The short answer is no. I’ve always known
I was straight, which is why there has never been any
question. I’ve always been super-comfortable
with the gay community and my gay friends. It’s
always been a clear understanding of who I am, how I
am. There was no trepidation doing this. The only
concern, maybe, was that we show what needed to be shown in
the scene. Like I said, I don’t like ambiguity
in filmmaking or television. I like the writers or
creators to have a clear goal in mind. Fortunately,
this show is headed by some of the best writers in the
business. Rodney’s character is sort of the
moral compass of the show, and I love that
they’ve chosen this gay character as the guy that
sort of equalizes what is right and wrong here.

And things in television have evolved. We’re
living in different times. There are many more LGBT
characters prominent now on television.
It’s about showing real people. One of
the things this show does well, I think, is represent
the gay community as a "regular" community.
What’s fascinating to me is why hasn’t been
that way forever [on TV]. I understand stereotypes. I
understand comedy stereotypes. Ethic, sexual -- I get
it. At the same time, the fact you mentioned that
we’re living in a time where we’re
seeing more [LGBT characters], isn’t it amazing that
not so long ago, we didn’t?

Well, what is nice too is that you’re working
with an actress that helped change that forever.
God. Do you have an hour to talk about Debra? I
would say that if you are a real fan of Will &
that you might be able to imagine how much
fun it would be to work with her, but you really
cannot imagine! I mean, this chick has to learn so much
material; she’s nearly in every scene and
she’s on set all day, and let’s not
forget, she’s also a mom -- and a spectacular
mom. I would expect her to need a minute to focus when
she gets on set, but she’s always more prepared
than the guest players are. She knows her lines,
everybody else’s lines; she knows where she’s
going. And she’s funny, has a spectacular sense
of humor, and she can hang with the boys. For me, that
was the hidden lottery ticket. She’s a genius.

Overall, what are you finding most challenging
these days?
Trying to be in the same city as my wife.
She’s in New York, I am in L.A., and
we’re both shooting a series. But that’s not
the most challenging. I would say, keeping up with
what’s happening with what’s going on
outside of this business; what’s going on around me.
I sometimes get so focused on work that I forget
there’s a whole other world out there. 

Tags: television