Beam Me Up, Scotty: Luke Macfarlane


When it comes to gay characters and storylines, Brothers and Sisters is among the select few that gives them prominence on mainstream television. And this is thanks, in large part, to out actor Luke Macfarlane.

The relationship between Kevin Walker and Scotty Wandell on Brothers and Sisters, one of the best-rating dramas on American television, has arguably been a watershed for gay rights. Their courtship, intimacies and eventual wedding have played out in millions of lounge rooms around the world. As Kevin and Scotty prepare to have a baby, Canadian actor Luke MacFarlane, who plays Scotty, talks about his character, the politics of the show, and craft of acting.

It’s been a pretty interesting year for Brothers and Sisters. Talk about what stands out to you with regards to the storyline.

I guess this year was a big storyline for us with this, kind of, ‘How do two men have a baby?’ story, which I think is an important area. And they’ve been taking their time with it and addressing the details really carefully so [I’m] really, really impressed with that story line and the boldness of [US network] ABC going out there and telling their story.

Certainly something big was playing out back in the US with regards to the politics and everything too.

Yes, absolutely. Totally. Well, there seems to always something terrible happening to the gays in the media, so … there’s always some big story about it. Actually, I remember hearing this controversy when Adam Lambert who was refused an interview or something like that. Do you remember the story too?

Yeah. I remember the season of American Idol and also following up, yes.

Right. And I remember listening to some talk radio program and they were saying the “ABC and the news media coverage, they’re not letting Adam Lambert go on and it is just a shame, it’s awful”. And I felt like calling him in and saying, “ABC has these incredible gay story lines that are being represented in both Brothers and Sisters and Modern Family”.

Do you guys feel like a certain sense of responsibility because you are on the front lines with that particular kind of topical theme that’s happening?

Sure. I mean, everybody takes their storylines really seriously, so yeah, in some sense I think we’re doing good things. I was actually friendly with one of the lawyers that was responsible for this new federal case which is trying to overturn some of the legislation at federal level of proposition 8. And he said that quite often, Brothers and Sisters was used as a conversation pointer, that it was a sort of good representation of a gay healthy couple to others. That was encouraging.

How long do you think that it will be for gays who want to ever really be something accepted by everyone?

Who knows? You know, all you can continue to do is look forward and generally, politically speaking, all political movements kind of move towards inclusion, so we’ll see it one day.

Has it restricted you in terms of your career?

Sure, absolutely. I mean, one never knows. I’ve been fortunate enough to be on a show that’s lasted for more than three episodes, which is not often the case in television. So, there’s certainly concern about what life will bring after, but, you know, life’s short. Then you die.

Are there any other projects looming that you’d like to work on?

I began in the theatre and that’s always been my passion. I went to Juilliard and started in New York, so actually, right before we go back to work, I’m going to New York to work on a musical which is new for me. And it’s actually a one-man musical.

A one-man musical? Excellent. Singing and dancing?

No, no dancing. I cannot dance. I wish I could. So, this is something that a good friend of mine has written and he’s a fantastic writer and I’ve done his plays before and hopefully this will have a life of its own, and I can go right from Brothers and Sisters to my touring one-man show.

This is quite a different thing.

It is, yes.

What kind of emotion you have in one side and then the other one?

Well, the theatre is great. I mean it is really the actor’s medium. Television is the producer’s medium and film is the director’s medium. So, I think actors love going back to the theatre so they can kind of get back to a little bit of the control.

And do you know Scotty very well?

I’m getting to know him better. It took me a little bit of a while to get to know him, but I think I started off in a very different place than I ended up now. But that’s part of the joy of getting to figure a character out over a long period of time.

Source: SX Australia

Leave a Reply