Colman Domingo: Big Gay Showstopper

The Big Gay Sketch Show's breakout star talks about spoofing RuPaul, beating Next Fall’s Geoffrey Nauffts, and drinking with Tara Reid.

BY Brandon Voss

April 13 2010 7:00 PM ET

BIG GAY SKETCH 1 X390 (PROMO) | ADVOCATE.COMWhen did you decide to be out in your professional life?
I hired a publicist once I got cast in Passing Strange, and one of the first conversations we had was about how I wanted to handle talking about my sexuality. I said, “It’s never been an issue for me. I want to talk about my work, but if something about myself relates to my work, of course I’ll talk about it.” I don’t really talk about relationships — my private life is private — but I’m very open about who I am. When I first moved to New York, I had some colleagues who said I should be my straightest self — whatever that means — when I went into casting offices, but I didn’t want to put on an act of what I thought was heterosexual. I just wanted to be myself, and I’m very grateful because I feel like I’ve been embraced for that.

How do you feel toward closeted actors?
It’s frustrating when I see others who’ve made the decision to hide who they are. The first film I did was Around the Fire [in 1998] — this hippie movie that took place in San Francisco — with Tara Reid, Devon Sawa, and Eric Mabius from Ugly Betty. I remember Tara and Devon were like, “Oh, my God, it’s so cool that you’re out. I don’t know many people who are out.” But it didn’t seem like a choice to me. I just talked about who I was.

Please tell me you went drinking with Tara Reid.
Yes, I did have cocktails with her. Back then she was young, cute, and really enjoying being a Hollywood starlet. She’d say, “Come hang out with us, Colman!” I’d say, “No, I have to go home and learn my lines for tomorrow’s scenes.” She’d say, “Ugh, you can do that on the set. Let’s go drinking!” So we’d make the rounds. We made good use of her per diem — I’ll say that much.

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