Writing on the LGBT side of entertainment press, one of the questions that regular falls out of my mouth during some interviews is ‘why no gay characters?’ In truth, I don’t believe every show needs gay characters or storylines but it’s still a valid question at times especially in the vampire genre where, at least in literature, homoeroticism is very much a part of the world.
And, yes, I’ve asked the question several times over the years to Julie Plec, who is Executive Producer over at the CW hit “The Vampire Diaries,” and now I can stop asking the question because the show recently introduced a new gay character, Luke Parker, played by Chris Brochu. (Ironically, Plec’s other series, the ‘TVD’ spin-off, “The Originals,” also has a gay character in Josh, played by Steven Krueger, who I recently talked to for TheBacklot.com)
Via email for this story, Plec said of the new addition to “Vampire Diaries” this season, “We haven’t had the opportunity to introduce a gay character for a while, and were waiting for the right moment to do so.” And, wisely, sexuality isn’t the main part of Luke’s story as he’s got bigger things to deal with along with his witchy sister, Liv (Penelope Mitchell).
I grabbed some time with Brochu recently to talk about Luke, whether his recent broken heart will come into play at all as well as his take on Paul Wesley (who plays Stefan on the show) directing tonight’s episode.
I’ve been bugging the writers for years to get a gay character on the show and it’s great that Luke’s sexuality isn’t the main point of his being there. How do you feel about that?
Chris Brochu: I liked it as well, because I mean, first of all when I realized that I was going to be the first recurring gay character on the show, I was first of all honored and then very excited because I knew that obviously if they liked me, that I think they would really take their time and develop a relationship. Whenever that may happen or wherever it may happen, I think they’re definitely going to take their time because it’s a beautiful time that we live in that we can start talking openly about love and not try and put it into boxes and not try and get it rules because love has no rules. And that’s what I love about it. It’s the potential to be whatever it is, and I feel like they’re definitely going to give him the potential to just grow. And wherever love findings Luke, I think it’s going to be a very…I don’t know, it’s going to be a beautiful moment.
We know that Luke has just gone through a breakup and he seems pretty cool with it. Do we see that kind of come back up or is he past it?
CB: We’re in college. It’s one of those not-too-serious things. And yeah, it didn’t affect me too much. I think he’s got a lot on his plate right now. He’s got a lot to focus on other than a meaningful a relationship…but he and Liv have got their work cut out for them at the moment, and we’ll know a little bit more about why.
What grounds Luke? He seems to be a grounding force for Liv, but what kind of keeps him grounded?
CB: Liv and Luke are very much the yin to the yang. It’s a very beautiful thing. Penelope is such a beautiful actress, and we communicate like brother and sister and it’s really a fun experience to be a part of. But, yeah. Liv is a huge grounding force in Luke because she is kind of tells it like it is, and then Luke kind of comes back and he gets to the heart to it and kind of brings that perspective to Liv. So it’s that kind of pull and push that Liv and Luke do with each other that really kind of define their relationship and defines them as humans.
Before you got involved with this show, were you a fan of the genre and shows like this or movies, because there’s so many out there?
CB: Yeah. No, I mean, I love anything kind of out of the ordinary and when I started auditioning for it, when I started watching it, I really enjoyed the show. And I really thought that I could find myself on the show. And I never thought it would be in this way, shape, or form, but I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity, a better character and a better time. And a better cast! It’s very much a family environment as I talk with cast or crew, everybody comes back with the same kind of situation that they very much feel like they’re a part of the family here. And that’s, I mean, I couldn’t ask for anything better.
Episode 518, Paul directs and that was also a very fine situation because not only do I get to work with him on a kind of actor-to-actor basis but to be able to work with him from an actor/director standpoint was also a very interesting experience. And it was great. He did an awesome job if you wanted to see it.
Do you think that actually helps a director when they are also actors, just because they can kind of look on both sides of the camera?
CB: I think so. I really do. I think it gives you perspective. I think it’s any aspect of it. Film, in any occupation you have, every little piece, every part, is so crucial. You’ve got the producers, you’ve got the directors, you’ve got the actors, you’ve got everybody. Everything needs to be working perfectly for the show to run. And I think going from an actor to going to be the director, give that perspective, I think was very, very, very fascinating for him. And now, even more, you know, on sets it’ll be cool be he’ll ask all the DPs, ‘Oh, what shot are we doing here?’ Very curious individual so it’s cool to be able to watch that.
Have you been pretty much working with everybody in the cast, or are there still some actors that you’d like to work with?
CB: Yeah, it was pretty cool because how it was all set up and how I shot I got to pretty much do a scene with everyone. But I would really like to do more scenes with Candice [Accola] and Zach [Roerig]. That’ll be a lot of fun. I haven’t had as many scenes with them and I look forward to when that becomes a reality.
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8pm on the CW.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.