Actor Brendan Fehr recently took some heat when he voiced his discomfort with an on-screen kiss between his gay character and Luke Macfarlane’s character on NBC’s “The Night Shift.” Fehr stated in an interview with TooFab that it was a challenge playing a gay character as a straight actor. Feeling that what he expressed was taken out of context, Fehr cleared things up in an interview with TheBacklot published Tuesday.
The former “Rosewell” actor plays a gay, closeted doctor named Drew on the show. It is not his first time being cast in a gay role, but it was his first time kissing another man onscreen. When TheBacklot caught up with Fehr at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, he took the time to own up to his previous statements and admitted that he is still learning about the LGBT community and is using what he is learning to play a character that is part of the community.
When asked about any preconceptions about the show and the role, Fehr said he didn’t really have any preconceptions. He understood the character and was excited about playing a character like Drew, a character he described as a rarity on TV as far as how gay guys are perceived.
He said, “In terms of a fighter and…there’s nothing really feminine about him. He’s sensitive and we’ve seen him cry. It’s not like he’s some closed off robot, but I don’t recall ever seeing it. So that was something I was excited about. But I was just trying to be realistic in the fact that we live in America and being gay still isn’t accepted by all people for all things.”
Fehr went on to say that he felt there were both rewards and risks associated with taking on the role. He cited that some of his fans might not be too thrilled with seeing him in this type of role. He wondered if some people would reject him as an actor. He stands by what he said, but wishes he was more eloquent and clear about what he meant.
“I do stand by everything [and] I was just being realistic about all the possible things. I was having conversations with people and I took the role and I love the role. I’m proud of what I’ve done with it. I just want to focus on the positive stuff too because It’s fun to kind of go tit for tat with people. I’m that kind of person where I like confrontation. This isn’t the place for it and I think this is one where I want people to like him.”
Fehr has gone from feeling a bit uncomfortable to using the role as a means to create change. He stated that he is not playing the character of Drew as gay, but is playing him as human. Specifically, he said he doesn’t want to just cater to the LGBT community; he wants the character of Drew to perhaps create an understanding and even a connection with people who don’t like homosexuals or don’t agree with homosexuality. By growing into the role himself, Brendan Fehr is teaching growth.