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Sunday, January 11, 2015

(OUTscene AMERICA) MK talks Seattle, Soaps and Scott (Bakula) with LOOKING's Murray Bartlett!

Bartlett as Dom                     HBO
by MK Scott 

LOOKING returns Tonight for a second season and all the major cities were having special Sneak Peeks like they did last year, but with the added twist of one or more of the stars, making in-person appearances. Well for Seattle, it was this past Friday with our old pal, Murray Bartlett (Dom) in town. As you may recall, we chatted with Bartlett in 2011 at SIFF, when his film, AUGUST, screened. Last time it was Bartlett, Eldar Rappaport (The film's Director) and my DP, Zheng. This time it was just Murray and I alone in the small theater at the Harvard Exit (The LOOKING screening marked the last event for the 40 plus year Capitol Hill Movie House). Earlier that day, Bartlett was taken on a grand tour all over Capitol Hill and that was only of the things we asked him about!

Bartlett in Babeland               3$

MK: We are talking to Murray Bartlett the star of Looking for its Seattle premiere for season two. And I would like to first find out from you about; you had a really great day.Tell me about some of the places that you went to?

MURRAY: We went to Gay City first. And met the guys there and had a coffee, and they showed me around the great new theatre space there. We went to the New Twelve Avenue Arts Building, where Three Dollar Bill is based now. They have their new offices there. So I had a bit of a look around there. I had a look in the amazing new Blackbox Theatres that they have there. And it’s an incredible complex; the affordable housing upstairs. That was amazing. We went to Atomic Cosmetics. Bought some great products, which I’m assured are going to make me look younger. (Chuckle) That was exciting. We went to Babe—is it Babeland?

MK: It’s legendary. They actually have a location in New York.

MURRAY:  Right, yeah. So we went and said hi to them. They gave me a wonderful gift bag, which was amazing.

MK: Did they give you any dildos?

MURRAY: (Chuckle) I haven’t had any chance to go through if they’ve given me, yeah, but I’m excited.
I’m looking forward to it.

MK: They also specialize in vibrators too.

MURRAY: Is that right? Fantastic! We had great cupcakes, at the—what’s the cupcake?

the 12th man                              3$
MK: Cupcake Royale, which is also Seattle world famous.

MURRAY: Yeah. We sampled their cupcakes, sampled a Twelfth Man cupcake in honor of the Seahawks.

MK: And I’ve heard you’re a fan.

MURRAY: I am now, yes.

MK: Wonderful! (Laugh) Go Seahawks. (Laugh)

MURRAY: (Laugh) Exactly. You know, it was a really great day. I really love the city. I’ve only been here once before,but it’s nice to be back and get to see a bit more of it.

MK:  And so tell me about Looking. One of the great things about the first season was you
got to work with the one and only legendary icon Scott Bakula. What was it like?

MURRAY: You know, it was amazing. I was a little nervous in the beginning just because he’s, you
know, a he’s a great actor and has done a lot of stuff that I’ve seen. We were all feeling a little,
you know, really excited and a little nervous to meet him. But he’s such a lovely man, and so
approachable and incredibly friendly, and was really excited to be on the show. He’s – you
know, we were thrilled that he was so into, you know, being on the show. So it was a great.
You know? And he’s an amazing actor. So it was a thrill for me, as an actor, to work with someone who’s had such an incredible career. It always makes you better when you work with someone who is a really great actor. So it was very exciting. And thankfully we’ve had him back for the second season, which was amazing. He is working on another show now, so he was gracious enough to fit us into his schedule because he was working a really intense schedule, and we adjusted our schedule around him so that we could have him back. So yeah, we got to do more stuff together and, you know, our relationship, the relationship between Dom and Lynn becomes a lot more complicated this season. So that was exciting to play.

Alvarez, Groff, Bartlett                                           HBO

MK: What approach, or what impressed you about this particular role?

MURRAY: I am a huge fan of Andrew Hague, who is our showrunner and executive producer, one of
our main writers and directors, who is an amazing man. I loved film, Weekend. So I, you know,
knowing that he was involved in the show it was thrilling for me. I also thought, you know,
our creator, Michael Lannin, wrote a really fantastic, the concept of the show I think is really
interesting and was very appealing to me. And the way that they’ve written Dom, my character,
I just found very true to life and something that I hadn’t quite seen; you know, a gay man coming
into his 40s and all the things that go along with that. I felt like it was a really great sort of
honest take on that character. And, you know, being a man of similar age I felt, you know, a
really strong connection with all the other things that Dom’s going through. So that was, you
know, that was all good. I felt like I really understood the character, I guess.

MK: Exactly. And also the character is kind of more of a departure from what you usually have
done. It’s more rugged/butch I would say.

MURRAY: Oh, all right. (Chuckle)

MK: And you got your American accent down, which is great.

MURRAY: Oh, thank you. Thank you. (Laugh) No, I mean, I love playing this character. It’s a rich,
three dimensional character, like all the characters on this show I think, and that’s, you know,
that’s always satisfying as an actor.

Jacobs with Castillo                          Presta
MK: Wonderful. And, in fact, our mutual friend, Damon Jacobs, got a chance to
interview both Frankie and Raul,  (Raul Costello and Frankie Alverez)  at the New York GLADD awards and had some really great things to say. And the only person we haven’t talked to is Jonathan (Groff), of course.

MURRAY: Okay. We got to track him down.

MK:.So how is he to work with?

MURRAY: I mean Jonathan’s become a really good friend, so, you know, and we’re lucky, a lot of the regular actors on the show live in New York. So we, in between seasons we hung out together
and we’ve become really good friends. And so working together now feels like hanging out with
a bunch of friends and a camera. Sometimes we finish scenes and we’re like; oh, my god, did we do anything? We’re just like being friends.And, you know, so that’s what it feels like with Jonathon. He’s like an adorable person, just lovely through and through. So I, yeah, I feel very, very lucky to be able to spend time with him and to be able to work with other people.

Groff on OLTL
MK: Now have you and Jonathan compared soap notes?

MURRAY: He hasn’t worked on soap, has he? Really?

MK: While, he was in Spring Awakening. He had a short term part on One Life To Live.

MURRAY: Oh, my god, I didn’t know that.

MK: He played a disturbed teen.

MURRAY: Oh, my god.

MK: And they had to change the storyline because it was a little bit real life stuff, like some High School shootings, and the character just kills himself. And so, yeah, if you get a chance make sure to ask him how he liked working on One Life To Live.

MURRAY: I will, for sure.

MK: Absolutely. And of course I know you originally from your role (as Cyrus) on Guiding Light.

MURRAY: Right, yeah.

Bartlett was always in a Towel on GL
MK: And are you still in contact with your cast mates?

MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, we’ve sort of all gone off in our separate directions, you know? But every now and then we check in. I had such an amazing time on that show and made some, you know, great ventures with people. So a lot of very fond memories.

MK: (Laugh) Well, actually Damon had a question that he wanted me to ask you. He wanted to know if there was a difference between the soap fans versus the Looking fans?

MURRAY: Mmm, I mean not really that I’m aware of. Everyone’s so different and specific. So I feel like it’s hard to generalize. 

MK: All right, well, and also how do you see yourself – do you see you being on the show for as
long as it lasts? Or is there other things that you want to do?

MURRAY: There are other things that I want to do, but I will be with this show as long as it lasts. I
absolutely love it. I love the people that I work with, the actors and the crew. We have an
incredible crew, mostly a local crew, who are just wonderful. And we’re all, you know, very
devoted to the show and we have a fantastic time together. So I, you know, as long as I’m able
to be with that wonderful group of people I will be with them.

MK tries a selfie with Bartlett
MK: And thanks, always, for joining us. Appreciate it.

MURRAY: My pleasure, it’s always nice talking to you.

LOOKING airs Sundays at 10:00 PM on HBO

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