What It's Like on Alec Mapa's Fire Island
Half Share is a comedic romp with six friends over the course of a summer on the mythical Fire Island. The show, which premieres tonight on Here TV, stars Alec Mapa, Sam Pancake, Jesse Archer, and a whole host of other amazing talents. The Advocate got Mapa (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives) to reveal some of his favorite moments on and off set.
The Advocate: What makes Fire Island such an amazing, magical place?
Alec Mapa: It's an historical hedonistic playground where none of the conventional rules apply. The minute you land on Fire Island, the atmosphere changes, the ground shifts beneath you, and anything can happen. I've done things on Fire Island that I've never done anywhere else. Without even thinking twice.
What was the inspiration for the script and characters?
Our entire cast and plot is something Sean Hanley dreamt up. We just embellished what was already there.
Jack Plotnick and Sam Pancake are hilarious. What was it like working with them?
I worship at the altar of Plotnick and Pancake. They're two of the funniest, smartest, most inventive actors in the business. They are completely fearless and always believable. I don't find a lot of people funny. But Jack and Sam make me laugh until I pee.
Tell us your favorite moment filming the show.
Filming the dinner scene was super fun. I'm pretty sure that was real vodka in those glasses. I've never been "one of the boys," but the cast made me feel as if I were part of a very special club.
Do you have any good gossip about the production you can share? Any embittered fights or fun romances? Budget or location fiascos?
I stayed at a very famous gay porn star's house in the Pines and there was a mirror over my bed. I kept on wondering why the entire place looked familiar, and then I'd remember that a million movies had been shot there. That was fun.
A lot of viewers have never been. What’s the one thing about Fire Island that everyone wanted to capture in the show?
The friends you make on Fire Island become your family. You may never see each other for months at a time, but you'll always remember each other.
What’s the craziest real thing you’ve ever seen on Fire Island?
I saw a man walking on the beach naked. I didn't think that was a big deal at first — but then I saw he had 10 piercings on his dick.
One last question: The Pines or Cherry Grove? And why?
There's a lot to love about either one. One is funky, one is fabulous. I'm a little bit of both, so I've had houses in both places and had a blast at each one. Cherry Grove was definitely quieter and less sceney, and the Pines was where I went when I wanted to be seen. Don't make me choose.
Half Share premieres tonight on Here TV, our sister network. Watch a trailer below.