Guillermo Diaz: Pinup Boy

Actor Guillermo Díaz bares his soul and more as he takes on yet another dangerous character in the new series Scandal.

BY Ari Karpel

April 24 2012 1:00 AM ET

 Two years ago Guillermo Díaz was invited to a party for Pinups, a gay magazine that features one pictorial a month, a matter-of-fact portrayal of a regular guy hanging out naked. “I’d never heard of the magazine,” recalls Díaz, who met Pinups’ creator and resident photographer, Christopher Schulz. “I was like, ‘When are you going to shoot me?’ And he asked, ‘You want to do it?’ I said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it. I want to be naked in a magazine.’ ”

So, TV career be damned, he did it.

It’s pretty much how Díaz has approached his career from the beginning. Whether acting in mid-1990s indie films like Party Girl and Stonewall or, more recently, playing drug dealer Guillermo on Weeds and Angel, the gay nurse on NBC’s short-lived hospital series Mercy, Díaz has gone with his gut, picking roles that grab him. And if they play into stereotypes or upend them, it’s all part of a long career he hopes will be filled with, in his words, “emotionally crippled characters.” He explains, “That’s what I want to do. Dark, fucked-up characters have so much more going on than the hot guys. That whole sex symbol thing, it’s hard for me to connect to that and the pressure of having to live up to that.”

It should be no surprise, then, that Díaz showed up for his interview, at a West Hollywood café near his house, wearing black cords, Converse-style sneakers, and a black plaid shirt. Not quite the WeHo pretty boy uniform. And then there was his hair. “I did the Mohawk because we’ve shot the whole season already,” Díaz explains, referring to the new ABC political drama Scandal, debuting April 5. He plays Huck, who, in the series’ first episode, is a mysterious figure, unshaven, cloaked in a hoodie, lurking in the corners of the office run by Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope, a high-powered consultant and former White House publicist who spins her clients’ way through political crises.

In later episodes Huck is revealed to be an ex-CIA agent, one of the show’s fixers, and the firm’s computer hacker. He hunts down information online and sometimes “goes out and takes care of it himself,” Díaz says, cryptically. “He’s sweet and tragic but really dangerous too. He’s a nut.”

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