Lively Addition

A new straight character learns to say The L Word.

BY Peter Davis

January 01 2005 12:00 AM ET

One of Eric
Lively’s duties as the newest cast member on the set
of Showtime’s lesbian soap The L Word,
which returns February 13, has been unofficial
canine-sitter. “All the girls in the cast have
a dog except me,” Lively reports. “The fiasco
of the day is that I offered to dog-sit and now
I’m left in a house with six dogs.”

Lively, a
23-year-old Abercrombie & Fitch model turned actor,
joins the cast this season as Mark, a scheming
straight guy and porn director who specializes in
snuff films, hidden cameras, and anything shocking.
Mark is making a documentary about our favorite group of
lesbians, whom he befriends in Los Angeles, and he
treads a thin line between exploiting these sexy women
and feeling guilty about using his friends to make
money. Lively related to Mark’s awakening to lesbian
culture. “I had a very limited perspective of
the life of your modern-day lesbian. This show has
opened my eyes. It’s fascinating how these women live
in Los Angeles but protect themselves by not
integrating completely.”

As the token male
actor playing a straight character, Lively is replacing
Eric Mabius, who played Tim last season. Being male on a set
where the cast and crew are mostly women has
advantages. “The girls feel very protective of
me. With all these women, it’s surprisingly not
competitive. But it wouldn’t fly for a guy to make a
titty joke.”

Like L
Word
costar Jennifer Beals, Lively has a passion
for photography. When he started taking pictures, Lively
adopted the alias Morton Bertoli (borrowed from Morton salt
and Bertoli olive oil). But in his new role on The
L Word
, Lively is happy to be credited as
himself. “I was really afraid when I decided to
do The L Word,” he admits. “I
thought, God, all these women! But I’m having such a
good time. I’ve never liked a group of people
so much.”

Tags: World

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