BY Advocate Contributors
December 11 2009 7:35 PM ET
Betty has become a bit more glam of late with her chic new eyewear and bang-less hairstyle, but the question remains ... when is she going to lose those damn braces?
[Laughs] That’s the question everybody asks. Very soon! Somewhere between episode 16 and 18. We’re currently shooting 13, so ... very soon. Right now we’re just starting to map out the rest of the season so we want to make sure ... it’s such a big moment. We want to make sure it airs during a good time. But, yeah, they sure are ready to come off [laughs].
I recently re-watched the pilot and was again struck by how breakthrough the character of Justin was in terms of being a young, unapologetically fem character. Can you talk a little bit about casting Mark Indelicato and how you direct a young actor to play gay?
Well, Justin was written as an effeminate 11- or 12-year-old — I think that’s what the stage direction said — and Mark came in and did such a good job at the audition. He just nailed it. He took it beyond being just a punch line — he made it a real character and a real performance. That was one of the great early surprises on the show. He was so young coming in, so you really don’t know what he’s going to be capable of over the course of the series. He’s been terrific.
This season, Justin is sadly the target of bullies at his less-than-queen-friendly Queens high school. Were you a bullied at school for being gay?
I wasn’t a target of that kind of bullying, no. Nothing that bad.
Michael Urie’s character, Marc St. James, advises Justin to be in on the bully’s joke. Did you ever get that kind of advice?
That wasn’t specific advice that I got, but I know that concept came from the writers’ room.
Were you lucky enough to have a Marc-like mentor in your early life?
Can you talk to me about the creative decision to have Justin announce “I’m not gay” in the recent episode “Backseat Betty?”
We want to tell a story of Justin coming to terms with his identity over the course of this whole year, and I think when he says that, it’s really the beginning of telling the story, as opposed to the end. It gives us a place to go to. He’s gonna be struggling with his identity, and that’s part of it that’s very realistic and relatable. Not really knowing who you are or what you are.