Stephen Guarino Will Eat You Alive
BY Jami Smith
November 22 2011 4:00 AM ET
With successes in improv, sketch, and stand-up, actor
Stephen Guarino is a rare comedy triple threat. The Big Gay Sketch Show
veteran fills his dance card with cameos on ABC’s Happy Endings, stand-up appearances, and directing his own big
Guarino dishes to The Advocate on why he doesn’t need a script and how to land a role by being the
most insane person at the audition.
On Happy Endings
you play an insanely flamboyant gay bestie. You’re doing that stereotype better
than anyone out there right now.
Stephen Guarino: I’ve
cornered the market on that. What’s good about that show is that if you catch
the first episode, Casey Wilson’s character is bored because she’s friends with
a boring gay guy, who is Adam Pally’s character. So the show is smart because
they set me up as the gay that you would hate, like the ’90s gay, who is really
out of fashion right now. I think that’s really smart. Then, ironically, it
ended up working, and they liked it, which is why I now recur on the show. It
was a nice social comment at first, but it kind of turned the myth true that
the bad gay is the fun gay.
Derek is so hyper.
How do you amp yourself up to play him?
I don’t eat and then I have a lot of Red
Bull and coffee and I just make sure that the writers are OK with me doing
whatever I want because my entrances are all fucking insane. There’s so much
improv on the show. I don’t think in the first two episodes that I said a word
that was on the page.
The line “Slut, come help me out of this split!” makes
me pee a little.
The whole reason that came up was because
in the audition I was against six or seven of my friends for the role, and my
default when I’m nervous is to eat everyone alive. If you’re a receptionist in
a casting office, I’m going to be warming up with you. You are part of my show.
When I went in to audition, I was so crazed — knocking chairs over — and I
ended up doing a split on the boardroom table in front of all of the writers to
punctuate the end of my audition. Then I just started screaming — “Booked it!
Booked it!” — like an asshole and then ran out of the room. I didn’t even wait
to say goodbye. I just left. And
it worked. Then I got to the set on the first day, the split was the first
thing we shot.
Do you get a lot of straight women asking you to hold
their ta-tas? Not a bad gig, in my opinion.
Ha. Yeah I get a lot of people who
recognize me from the show now, which is nice, and it’s always girls. Never gay
guys. I don’t know if gay guys are watching Happy Endings.