Russell Tovey Will Play Gay Character In HBO’s New Dramedy

russell-toveyOut actor Russell Tovey said he wouldn’t play a gay character unless something special came along. Apparently, the British thespian found just what he’s been waiting for when the script for HBO’s upcoming dramedy Looking landed in his hands. Tovey has joined the eight-episode half-hour series, which chronicles the lives of a group of gay men living in San Francisco. Tovey, best-known for the U.K. drama Being Human, will play Kevin, “an accomplished video game wunderkind who has achieved financial and critical success at a young age,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Last May the actor told the U.K. paper The Independent“Every character I play is straight, which is unique, my agent says, because it’s not really been done before that someone who is completely out is able to play straight roles. So for me to play gay it has to be something special, because it might actually be more of a risk. So I’m waiting for that role – I want it to be something that moves things forward.”

Tovey’s character is a coworker of the character played by the previously announced Jonathan Groff. Also announced for a recurring role in the series is Scott Bakula, “who plays Lynn, a wealthy and popular figure in the San Francisco gay community.”

The pilot will be directed by Andrew Haigh, highly-regarded for last year’s searing romantic drama Weekend. The series is scheduled to begin filming in San Francisco within a few weeks.

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  • LubbockGayMale

    Why do we worry/brag about whether an actor is straight/gay in a gay/straight role? It’s called ACTING for a reason, isn’t it?

  • Dxley

    Those ears, though!!!! They remind me of Channing Tatum whom I don’t, in the slightest, find attractive.

  • Cam

    @Dxley: @Dxley:

    Really? I find him kind of ridiculously adorkable.

  • TrekBear

    He was absolutely adorable in Being Human and cute in a Doctor Who Christmas special with Tennant’s Doctor.

  • Goforit

    @Dxley: Oh don’t complain about the ears. They simply provide a better grip.

  • nf0603

    I think he’s adorable. Not conventionally attractive but I generally go for “quirky” myself. Plus, the guy has been out since the start of his career and yet he keeps getting work… much like Bomer, Parsons and Harris, I think someone like him is a wonderful gay presence and a strong role model to younger gay youth in a way I didn’t have when I was growing up and all the out icons were people ten years out of their prime.

  • Tackle

    I love his ears. They give him character and make him different. Thank god he did not elect to have them surgically pinned back. He would have looked like so many others. Their odd, yet beautiful. Which equals : unique …

  • ludwig9

    Unfortunately, when a gay actor accept gay roles, he is forever typecast, at least in America. The same fate will most likely befall him as well.

  • Cam

    @nf0603: said… “the guy has been out since the start of his career and yet he keeps getting work… much like Bomer, Parsons and Harris,”

    Agreed, however lets not take something away from Tovey, Bomer just recently came out as did Parsons after pressure from the gay blogs etc… And Harris was outed by Perez Hilton. Tovey was publicly out from the beginning.

  • nf0603


    Hi, I think you might’ve misinterpreted what I said. I think Harris, Parsons and Bomer are wonderful gay role models for younger people coming to terms with their sexuality. I was basically saying that I feel like Tovey, despite his relative obscurity in America (being an actor who has worked almost exclusively in the UK to this point) belongs on the same boat as he’s been out for a very long time and manages to keep getting work.

  • Niall

    @Cam: Same here, I love his cute ears too, and I definitely find him much more attractive than Channing Tatum, who’s just…no

  • stranded

    I love Tovey and will watch, since i’ve watched everything he’s done. Being Human was great and so is Him and Her.

    BTW, this isn’t his first gay role…technically.

    In Doctor Who he played Midshipman Frame, who made two appearances the second of which he was set up with Captain Jack by The Doctor. It was really cute. I mean it’s not a big role, but there you go.

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