Haaz Sleiman: Jackie's Strength

Haaz Sleiman is just what the doctor ordered as a gay Muslim named Mo-Mo in Showtime's Nurse Jackie.

BY Brandon Voss

June 15 2009 12:00 AM ET

Richard Jenkins and Haaz Sleiman in The Visitor X390 (PUBLICITY) | ADVOCATE.COM

Ever since you were cast as Mo-Mo, there have been discussions in the blogosphere about your own sexuality. Have you found that people now seem more interested in whether or not you're gay in real life?
I don't really read blogs, so I don't know what's being said. That's never come up, but it's not something that would bother me if it did. It's all about doing good work, and the stuff that comes with it afterward, it is all fun.

But for the sake of satisfying curiosity once and for all, you're straight, right?
Yes.

Do you have a girlfriend?
Yes, she lives in New York. She's very supportive and can't wait to see that kiss that I told you about.

Let's talk about your first major movie, out writer-director Maurice Jamal's 2004 urban gay romantic comedy The Ski Trip.
[Laughs] I knew that was going to come up at some point. What do you want to know?

How do you look back at that experience?
It was a great experience. I was very excited to work on it, I learned a lot, and it was a lot of fun. At the time I hadn't done much acting, and the part was really something different for me, so I just threw myself in there and had a ball. But it's kind of like when you look back at outfits from the '80s or a picture of yourself when you were 13: You look back, like, "Oh, my God, what was I thinking?" [Laughs] But I'm still in touch with Maurice every now and then.

How did it feel to be that film's shirtless beefcake?
I just hated that I couldn't eat, because I had to keep my abs looking good. That was the worst part. Other than that, I was like, "C'mon, take it off!"

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