Josh Strickland, Stripped

Star of Peepshow and E!'s Holly’s World, Josh Strickland reveals why, despite much speculation during his stint in Broadway’s Tarzan, he hasn’t publicly discussed his sexuality until now.



JOSH STRICKLAND XLRG (E!) | ADVOCATE.COMBeing sexually objectified on a nightly basis in Tarzan must’ve been great incentive to stay in shape.
Absolutely, but I still got criticized. Everybody thought I was too skinny or whatever, but [the creative team] didn’t want me to be like the cartoon character. In the book Tarzan eats berries, so he’s not going to be a gigantor! I was slim and toned. It would’ve been easy to go to the gym every single day and get pumped up and big, but they didn’t want that. They wanted me to stay lean — and also hairy, because he didn’t have a razor out there either.

I could never get past those Crystal Bowersox-y dreads.
I know! [Laughs] Oh, believe me, I couldn’t either. I mean, come on, I had to wear that every day.

Do you play up your masculine charms for the females in the audience at Peepshow?
Absolutely, but that’s just part of being an actor. I enjoy interacting with the audience. You get the couples who come out, and I think they know I’m gay, but everyone’s walls come down for a night because it’s a very sexual show. The women are looking at the men, the men are looking at the women — and maybe the men too. People come to let their hair down and relax.

You met Holly for the first time when she joined the Peepshow cast. What were your preconceived notions about her from seeing her on The Girls Next Door and Dancing With the Stars?
We just knew Holly was a gorgeous Playboy model, so we thought she’d fit really well into the Bo Peep character. Most people might say she wasn’t the best dancer when they watched her on Dancing With the Stars, but she’s worked very hard in our show. She’s amazing. She’s been in the show for about a year now, and she continues to get better and better each week. We were hoping somebody cool would come in, and luckily she did.

Little did you know that you’d befriend her and get on a reality show.
It’s funny how it all happened. Holly was very quiet and reserved at first, but then we spent so much time together putting her into the show, so we just got to know each other and clicked. I wasn’t originally supposed to be a part of the pilot, but I was around whenever they were shooting because we had became such good friends, so it worked out.

Tags: television