All Things 'Nuke'
BY Michael Fairman
February 03 2009 1:00 AM ET
television’s only gay male couple, Luke and Noah of
As the World Turns, Van Hansis and Jake
Silbermann have garnered much media attention for their
portrayal of two young gays in love. Having just
received another GLAAD Media Award nomination for best
daytime drama series, 2009 looks to be another banner
year for the show, and the duo.
Just a few weeks
ago, gay fans got what they've been waiting more than a
year for -- on the January 12 episode, Luke and Noah (better
known to ATWT fans as "Nuke") finally had sex for
the first time. The big day was met with controversy all
over the Internet -- from soap pundits to mainstream
journalists, many questioned the lack of
promotion for the long-awaited moment from
the powers-that-be at ATWT and Procter &
Gamble (the show’s sponsor). Still, when the time
finally came, Nuke fans were thrilled.
The couple made
history back in August 2007 with the first on-screen kiss
between two gay characters on a daytime soap. Subsequently,
footage of the kiss logged over 2 million hits on
YouTube and became one of the site's most viewed
clips. But fans eager to see more became baffled and
outraged as the characters' relationship seemed to stall --
limited airtime for several months led to fear of a
gay kissing ban levied by the network and P&G.
Following viewer backlash, Nuke at last kissed again
in April 2008 -- and the rest, as they say, is history.
caught up with Hansis and Silbermann to discuss all things
Advocate.com:Now that it's finally aired, howdo you think Nuke's first sex scene played out?Hansis: I think it was a natural progression
for the characters at this point to sleep together. I think
it’s a good thing that they did. The time was
right. It is important to show that they take it
seriously. I am glad the fans are so happy because that is
the most important thing.Silbermann: I really liked the way the show
handled it by not really having it with bells and whistles
and fanfare…Hansis: Also, it was exciting for the fans not
to have any “spoilers” on it, because I know
there was a big fan group waiting for this moment. In
this day and age, to keep that a secret is pretty
cool. I think the fans enjoyed being surprised and shocked.
Their passion seemed to ignite out of an
impassioned argument, as they had been broken up for
some time.Silbermann: They weren’t really mad at each
other. They really wanted to be together. So I think it was
one of those heartfelt moments of what they were
trying to say, and the action came out of it.
It’s important that gay romance receives
fair cultural representation on television. Do
you feel a responsibility in portraying these roles?Silbermann: The most important thing is that
it’s a story for people who felt unrepresented on our
show, or any show.Hansis: One of the most important things in the
daytime medium, in portraying a couple long-term, is to give
a voice to people who had not had a voice. Also, to
show people who are not gay or who don’t have a
personal connection to the story. They can form an
empathetic connection to these characters. It helps people
in that way.