Randy Harrison: Randy Does Andy

Queer as Folk’s Randy Harrison discusses his new role as late art legend Andy Warhol in Yale Rep’s POP! and his own status as a reluctant “post-gay” pop icon — plus his secret nude photos and the possibility of a QAF reunion.

BY Brandon Voss

December 04 2009 6:55 AM ET

RANDY HARRISON 3 X390 (JOAN MARCUS) | ADVOCATE.COM

A recent Newsweek article claimed that effeminate gay characters on television shows like Glee, Ugly Betty, Entourage, Modern Family, and True Blood might actually be hurting rather than helping the LGBT community. What do you think of the representation of gays on TV today? 
I don’t watch all those shows, so I don’t really know who the characters are, but just the fact that they’re out there is important. Maybe adults can’t use them as a political tool in some way, but I know — and this was important to me when I was doing Queer as Folk — that any kind of visibility is a comfort when you’re 14 and living in the middle of nowhere. Now it’s easy to find two boys kissing on TV, so at least you don’t have to go to a weird video store to search for an old Merchant-Ivory movie.

In retrospect, could the substance-abusing, hypersexualized characters on Queer as Folk have done more harm than good in the long run?
Just last night somebody came up to me and was like, “I wouldn’t have gotten through my adolescence if that show hadn’t been on television.” So that good outweighs however obnoxious the show might have potentially gotten.

Do you ever stumble across the edited reruns that currently air on Logo?
No. I wouldn’t watch it. I have a lot of friends that I’ve made since the show who’ve never seen it, and occasionally they’ll say, “Oh, my God, I was watching TV and I saw that show you were on.” They always say, “You were so blond!”

What are the chances of a Queer as Folk reunion special? I’d totally watch A Very Queer as Folksy Christmas.
I’m pretty certain there will never be a reunion, but I do see the cast maybe once a year. I’m in New York and they’re mostly all in L.A., but when I’m out there I try to see some of them for lunch. We all get along.

Tags: Theater

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