Interview: Luke Macfarlane


Luke Macfarlane is quickly establishing himself as a leading man in Hollywood by bringing a winning combination of charm, versatility and intelligence to his roles. He plays Scotty Wandell in the critically-acclaimed drama Brothers & Sisters – and with the season three DVD released this week, we bring you an interview with the actor about his role on the show.

You appeared in the first season of ‘Brothers & Sisters’ as a guest star. Did you know back then that you would become a cast regular by the third season?

It’s funny, but I never imagined I would be a cast regular on Brothers & Sisters – especially by way of marriage. I remember riding bikes over to one of the sets a while ago and asking Matthew Rhys [who plays Luke’s lover on the show], “What do they have in store for us?” And he said, “I think we’re getting married.” It was a total surprise to me.

Were you excited about the prospect of becoming a series regular?

Definitely. It’s always really nice when you come into something and your agents tell you, “There’s a possibility for you to become a series regular here.” However, it was a complete surprise because I had no idea where they were going with the storyline. In fact, I continue to have no idea where they’re going with it.

Was there an immediate chemistry between you and Matthew Rhys?

We always got along very, very well and there was never any awkwardness between us. Matthew was ready to jump into the gay love affair with great aplomb, which was fantastic. I don’t think we’ve ever had any tension between us. It’s always been great.

Do you receive much fan mail on the show?

I’ve had a number of letters from the gay community talking about the lack of role models for gay people on television and how happy they are to see Scotty and Kevin together. I really applaud the show’s creators for depicting a real romance for them. I’m glad they didn’t go for any clichés.

Do you receive more letters from women or men?

I’m always surprised that I get as many letters from girls as I do from boys. In fact, I’m always amazed at the care these people put into some of the letters. Sometimes I get drawings and it’s totally flattering. At the end of the day, we wake up really early in the morning and we go to work to do our thing. We sometimes forget that the show gets beamed out into the universe, so it’s always very touching and flattering to receive mail about it.

How long does it take to shoot an episode?

We usually work on nine-day episodes. Hopefully they give us the script about a week in advance, but as you approach the end of a season, it sometimes arrives about two days before we start on an episode. I think we’re very fortunate because we have such terrific writers and terrific actors – and there is a real sense of collaboration on the show.

Do you have much input into your character?

Sure. After the first table read, which they try to do for every episode, the actors can approach the writers and say, “I think I might want to do this.” I love the way it’s open for us to do that. From my experience on other television shows, I haven’t seen as much collaboration between the actors and the writers. We’re very fortunate on Brothers & Sisters.

Can you change the wording in the script if you’re not satisfied with it?

Well, you can talk about it with the writers and change things. With certain producers you have to say every line as it’s written in the script, but there are other producers who let you do your own thing. That’s not to say we don’t respect the scripts tremendously – but the longer the show goes on, the more the actor owns the part. The writers and producers start to encourage us to say what we want to say.

Your character marries Kevin Walker in the show, but that’s something that most gay couples in California cannot do anymore. How did this storyline come about?

I find this a fascinating story because I think the election happened about a week after the show aired in the States – and then Prop 8 didn’t pass. It was amazing that we’d done this thing that was, without foresight, very provocative.

Did you enjoy filming the wedding scene?

It was wonderful. It kind of felt like we were doing something big – and it was all done with great care. The writers spoke with someone who had officiated gay marriages, so the words were very accurate and in line. It was all really beautiful.

How well does the cast get along?

We all get along extremely well. There’s a great camaraderie on our set and everyone is very professional. We all get on with our work, but we also hang out together when we’re not working. It’s a great show in that respect.

What’s it like to work with Matthew Rhys?

It’s great. Matthew is an incredible actor and an incredible guy. We both come from theatre backgrounds, so our approach to the material is very similar. I couldn’t be happier.

And what’s it like to work with Sally Field?

Sally Field is amazing. She really makes you raise your game when you’re on set. She’s like a leader in some ways. I remember one time specifically when we were filming a dinner scene and there was a lot of chatter among the cast. It was late at night and we’d had a really long day, but she just stood up and said, “Everybody be quiet.” Everyone went quiet. She has that kind of effect.

‘Brothers and Sisters: Season 3′ is available to buy on DVD now.

Source: Entertainment Focus

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