Acting brings on many challenges and many times the professional aspect of it has to outweigh any personal connections or disconnections. In an exclusive interview with TooFab published Wednesday, Brendan Fehr opens up about playing a closeted gay doctor on the new NBC medical drama “The Night Shift.” He admits to being “really uncomfortable” playing a homosexual character at first.
Fehr, most known for his role on “Roswell”, has played a gay character before, but felt his role as Drew to be far more challenging because he actually had to film his first man-on-man kiss with his onscreen boyfriend played by gay actor Luke MacFarlane. Although uncomfortable kissing another guy, Fehr explains in the interview that it was the challenge of playing a homosexual character that attracted him to the role.
“It was the challenge of portraying Drew. I think it was the risks involved as well. To play a homosexual on network television, what are the risks? There’s a whole bunch of them. What are the rewards? Not as many. I just felt like I had something to offer.”
Fehr goes on to explain that he never defined himself as being straight in his personal life. He is who he is and feels that there are many gay and lesbian characters in both television and film defined by their sexuality. He feels the character of Drew is the opposite because he is a guy who just wants to be seen as a doctor, not a gay doctor. Fehr feels he can really bring that vision to the role.
As far as kissing another man while in character, Fehr discusses his discomfort with it at first as a straight actor. He says, “It was uncomfortable for me. In Episode 106, my boyfriend comes and I don’t like kissing guys, it doesn’t do anything for me. It’s really uncomfortable, but you gotta get past that, his story is bigger than that. The emotion behind that is so much bigger than that. I was scared, petrified in a lot of ways, but I wanted to push myself and see if I could do it.”
Fehr is not the first straight actor to play a gay role, but he may be one of the first stars to actually admit any discomfort as far as kissing another man. But even with that discomfort, the “Roswell” alum says he is “honored” to play a character like Drew on a show that looks like it may turn out to be a hit show. “The Night Shift” airs Tuesday nights on NBC.