Meet Roscoe Kaan, House Of Lies‘ Sexually Ambiguous Child Star

When I set out to write a son for Marty Kaan, Don Cheadle’s ethically challenged character on House of Lies, I thought, “What kind of kid would just undo this guy? What kind of kid would unbalance and upend Marty? What kind of kid would take him out of his role as smug superman who can solve any “case” using a variety of consulting tricks and genuine analytical genius?”

And I came up with Roscoe, based loosely on several children I’ve met over the years whose gender identities have come differently from those of the majority of their peers. He’s a kid who’d rather play Sandy than Danny Zucko in Grease—for now. And in creating a challenge for Marty, I’ve also encountered a barometer for the varying attitudes and preconceptions of the audience. An entire segment of the audience simply dismisses Roscoe as gay. Another immediately jumps to pushing him into a transgender role. Some just think he’s weird. How about this: he’s just Roscoe.

Matthew Carnahan, creator/executive producer of House of Lies, talks to the HuffPo about the show’s “genderqueer” child star, Roscoe Kaan (played by Donis Leonard Jr.). House airs on Showtime Sundays at 10pm and follows Roscoe’s father Marty (Don Cheadle) swindling corporate fat cats with brilliantly conceived con-man schemes.