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The sexy
professor

The sexy
professor

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Doug Spearman, the out actor who plays buttoned-up Chance on Noah's Arc, swears he's nothing like his character. Well, except for that part about driving his car into a cheating boyfriend's house.

Unlike a lot of actors who play gay characters, Doug Spearman doesn't waste any time being coy about his sexual orientation. "You know I've been in The Advocate before, right?" he says at one of our meetings in Vancouver, Canada, where the second season of Logo's hit series Noah's Arc is shooting. "I talked about the Black AIDS Institute's Miami retreat in 2003." I learn quickly that Spearman is nothing if not forthright--whether we're talking about his upbringing, his past relationships, or his opinions about how African-Americans are portrayed in the media, his candor is always refreshing.

"He's very cerebral, and I think he really likes to think about Chance and what he should be doing," says Noah's Arc creator Patrik-Ian Polk. "A really talented actor finds the colorfulness in a conservative stuffed-shirt character like that."

For a stuffed shirt, however, Chance had his share of drama in Noah's debut season: He moved in with single dad Eddie (Jonathan Julian), who cheated on him and led Chance to take "thug lessons" and to drive an SUV through the front of Eddie's boyfriend's house. Then, when Chance finally decided to give up his apartment, forgive Eddie, and move back in with him, the relationships of Chance's best friends, Noah (Darryl Stephens), Ricky (Christian Vincent), and Alex (Rodney Chester), all vividly self-destructed at Chance and Eddie's wedding.

Everyone's tight-lipped about the show's second season, which begins August 9 on Logo, but there's no doubt that Spearman and company will continue to bring black queer visibility on television to new heights.

How did you first find out about the show? Patrik brought me in to read for a movie he did called Punks in the spring of '98, and I was kind of his second choice for a role. He didn't cast me because the first person accepted the offer, but my acting teachers were really big on thank-you notes, so I wrote him and said, "If there's anything I can do for you in the future, or if you need help, let me know." We stayed in touch over the years, and we both work with the Black AIDS Institute. We had run into each other after a couple of years at the first gay black men's retreat that Phill Wilson and BAI put together in Miami. I guess it was a year later Patrik called me and said he was going to do this project called Hot Chocolate. [Pauses] Yeah, I know. [Alonso chuckles] So he called me and said, "Hey, Doug, I want you to read for this." I came in and read for the role of Ricky. And then I had to pick him up and take him to a dinner party, and he said, "You didn't get the part." I said, "Fine." So later I was going to New York for a weekend with the guy that I was seeing at the time. [Patrik] called me and said, "I have to replace this guy--can you shoot this weekend?" and I said, "No, I'm going away!" And then he called me the next day and said, "Are you still going away?" I said, "Yeah, I'm getting on the plane." And by the time the plane landed, there were all these messages from Patrik: "Please come back--I really need you to do this." And I thought, Well, it's a series, and it's a chance to work with Patrik, because I really liked Punks. Why the hell not? So I made up my mind to do this in the baggage claim at LaGuardia on a Friday night in October, and I flew back on Monday.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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