Kevin Daniels On Gay/Straight Relationships And Hank’s Spiral On Tonight’s ‘Sirens’

by | April 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM | LGBT

Kevin Daniels as Hank in 'Sirens' (USA)

Your ex is getting married and you tell everyone you’re fine with that.

BUT…what happens if the person your ex is marrying looks a lot like you and you find that maybe those feelings you thought were gone for good were really just simmering beneath the surface?

That’s the basic premise of tonight’s all-new episode of “Sirens” when the ex boyfriend of gay EMT, Hank (Kevin Daniels) is getting hitched and invites Hank and his friends to the nuptials. But will Hank be able to hold it together when all his old feelings come rising to the surface?

But this is “Sirens,” the freshman comedy series developed by Bob Fisher and Denis Leary, so you know there will be more laughs than tears. Case in point, the on-the-job call that involves a certain part of the male anatomy that unexpectedly throws Hank over the edge. (It’s one of the funniest moments in the episode, if not the series)

I had the chance to chat with Daniels earlier this week about what to expect in the episode and whether Hank can move past this and maybe find love of his own.

We know Hank’s ex is getting married in the episode but what is Hank’s opinion of gay marriage?

Kevin Daniels: Hank has a very complex opinion about gay marriage. He starts in the episode pretty early on talking about all the reasons why gay men should not get married and how happy they are to be single and do whatever they like. He’s also been speaking after four, five, six, seven shots of whiskey. Over the course of the episode, his thoughts change based on what happened to him and what he goes through in this episode.

In the beginning of the episode, he references that he’s dating several people at several different hospitals. Is that just who Hank is or is he acting out?

KD: I think it’s a reaction. I think, again, he’s a complex person and he’s a lot of different things but I think there’s that side of himself that he keeps hidden or private. There’s a great scene that happens in this episode at the baseball field and they get a call and a guy has been hit in the nuts but that may be one of my favorite pieces of dialogue I’ve ever gotten to say.

And Hank has these straight friends he can lean on and does in this episode and there’s something revolutionary about that. Do you feel that it’s revolutionary for TV?

KD: I think representation is important and I think people love to be able to see themselves and identify with characters on television and the fact that there are more gay characters on TV and I think it changes popular opinion and it makes people realize, ‘Oh, this is like my friend John’ or ‘this is like me.’ I think it’s great…I’m so happy to get the chance to play this part. And it’s so well-written and it’s their top priority. ‘No, no, no, we’re not looking to promote more stereotypes. We’re not looking to be novel. We want to create a real, living, breathing guy who is ex-military, who is black and happens to be gay and has a best friend who’s straight.

How does Hank react when he finds out his ex is marrying someone who looks a little bit like him?

KD: How would you react?! You immediately start thinking ‘was it me? How do you go and marry someone who looks like me?’ It’s kind of hilarious to watch him unravel and get it resolved and what he discovers about himself and what he discovers about those insecurities and thoughts that one has when faced with something like that.

Talk to me how it is working with Loretta Devine as your mother…

KD: I’ve been a fan of Loretta Devine’s since I was a kid from ‘Waiting To Exhale’ and she’s been in so many of my favorite movies and television shows. When they first asked me who I wanted to play my mom, her name flew out of my mouth! I never believed they’d be able to get her!

Kevin Bigley, Michael Mosley and Daniels (USA)

I need to know if Michael Mosley has some good dance moves in real life but he was moving pretty well in the episode.

KD: Mike is actually a pretty good dancer. Mike is a really great dancer. Believe it or not, I was the one who was off beat!

Will we see Hank in any other dating situations later in the season? 

KD: I don’t want to spoil anything but there are a couple of instances that happen in the finale that could lead to something else. That’s all I’m going to say. I know that Bob [Fisher, Executive Producer] is very excited about writing this. There are a couple of things that we can look forward to as an audience and they were fun to shoot.

Are there gay writers on staff? The writers seem to really clue into specific things about gay guys.

KD: I keep asking and there are no gay writers on staff and no black writers on staff. When they wrote the dinner scene in the episode before, I said ‘Bob, who’s black in your family? I know you have some black people in your family!’ [laughs] It’s amazing…like the asexuality storyline really resonated with people and Bob went and did the research because he knew someone who claimed to be asexual and he wanted to find out how he could write that in a way that’s, A, funny and, B, not alienating to anyone. They’re just tackling so many issues in this little half hour sitcom.

“Sirens” airs Thursdays at 10pm on USA

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.