"I am, as my friends say, on the spectrum." by Lawrence Ferber 5/27/2019
In the first season of neo-noir Netflix series What/If, Renée Zellweger chews scenery as Anne Montgomery, a manipulative venture capitalist who offers a would-be biotech innovator, Lisa (Jane Levy), $80 million to fund her company in exchange for a night alone with Lisa’s strapping husband, Sean (Blake Jenner).
A self-aware, soapy riff on 1993’s Indecent Proposal (the characters explicitly acknowledge this!) from Revenge creator Mike Kelley, What/If also sees Lisa’s gay brother, Marcos (Juan Castano), face his own crisis of monogamy and trust when he and boyfriend Lionel (John Clarence Stewart) invite charming third Kevin (Derek Smith) into their bed.
Castano, who also appears in Netflix’s upcoming Tales of the City and played Zachary Quinto’s husband in the 2015 ex-gay drama I Am Michael, had a legit revealing chat with NewNowNext about the self-discovery queer roles (and being Quinto’s onscreen bae) have afforded him—even if he didn’t get $80 million in the bargain.
So to get it out of the way, how do you identify as far as your sexual orientation? I would say that for the majority of my life I identified as straight, but as I got older I think my sexual preference has gotten more fluid. I am, as my friends say, on the spectrum.
Did playing Marcos assist with that fluidity? Yeah. It wasn’t the first time I played gay, but it was my biggest gay role [to date]. When I first had to kiss another man, it was in a play in New York six or seven years ago, Minotaur. I kissed this guy, and you’re rehearsing over and over, and it didn’t feel that different from kissing a woman. Then on I Am Michael it was the same thing. It feels really nice. I think what’s important is that as long as there is a connection with a human being that feels good it doesn’t make a difference if it’s a man or a woman. I would say playing Marcos solidified that for me simply because spending that much time with a character you fall in love with them and what they’re going through.
What do you like best about Marcos as a character? I like that he’s kind of quiet.