Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

TV's Paul James: Rush, rush
by Andrew Davis
2009-10-01

This article shared 5278 times since Thu Oct 1, 2009
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


On the ABC Family show Greek, which centers on the fraternity and sorority-related goings-on at fictional Cyprus-Rhodes University, Paul James portrays Calvin, a pledge who happens to be Black and gay. Windy City Times talked with James about the show, his character and CSI:Miami.

Windy City Times: What attracted you to the script and this character?

Paul James: It was funny; I was waiting tables and I was pretty open to anything that came along. [ Interviewer laughs. ] No, really, it was different in the pilot than it was in the show—it seemed like Calvin didn't really care what anyone else thought of him, and he did what he wanted to do; he seemed like a real free spirit. He was a jokester who happened to be gay—it seemed to be a twist on something we hadn't seen before.

It's funny how things work out. With every script, you have to roll with it. It's definitely a different process than what I'm used to. The first half of the first season, we're still being fleshed out; we [ the characters ] are in such a different place now. We've changed and the show's changed.

WCT: I really like the show's writing and the acting.

PAUL JAMES: I do, too. The casting process was actually long and grueling for them, and I think, in one respect, [ creator ] Sean [ Smith ] didn't want to have a show like One Tree Hill, which is a good show; [ Smith ] wanted diversity in the cast. I don't think he wanted to do it for the sake of having diversity; I think he wanted to find good actors that really could [ do a lot ] with the actors. Between the first season and now, it's like night and day.

WCT: I do love that the characters are not one-dimensional. Let me ask you this: What would like to see happen with Calvin?

PAUL JAMES: You know what? I have learned ... well, it's not up to me. It doesn't help me to have expectations because, if I do, things could end up being disappointing. I will say that I like it when Calvin can have a little fun. He tends to hold the dramatic storyline down or he tends to be the giver of advice. It's nice when he can be a 19-year-old kid and not a wise 30-year-old man. [ Laughs ] I like it when he reacts with other characters on the show, like in the casino episode, when all the characters are together but have different plot lines.

WCT: I can tell you're young because you said 30 is a wise age. [ Laughs ]

PAUL JAMES: It's hard for people to remember sometimes that we're young. We're in college, and we're going to make mistakes. My character tends to be wise beyond his years, but he's still a kid, you know?

WCT: Yes. It's cool that there's a character such as Calvin—who also plays hockey—on this show. How often do you see that?

PAUL JAMES: Yeah; you don't see many Black people playing hockey at all, which is funny.

WCT: I saw a recent episode that featured "The Undie Run."

PAUL JAMES: That's a good one, actually. I think that's one of my favorites; it's when Jacob [ Zachar, who portrays Rusty, another pledge ] goes crazy with the Nerf gun.

WCT: Did you all feel a need to get in shape for that scene? [ Note: All the cast members strip down to their underwear. ]

PAUL JAMES: I have my shirt off for about half of the show—maybe there was a memo that came down that Calvin has to have his shirt off in every other episode—so I'm used to it. I know that most of the other guys were going to the gym a lot and most of the girls were on cleanses. It was a funny atmosphere. The guys were all tired, and the girls were all angry because they were hungry. [ Interviewer laughs. ] I remember Amber [ Stevens, who plays Ashleigh ] saying, "This is ridiculous! I'm ordering Chinese food. I have to eat!"

WCT: It seems like [ the cast ] has really good chemistry—like you would go out for a drink at a local bar after shooting.

PAUL JAMES: We do, often. There are different groups and different pairs who hang out.

WCT: Was there any part of you that was initially concerned about your acting roles being pigeonholed? I ask that because the guy who currently plays your boyfriend, Gregory Michael, was a lead character on the [ LGBT ] show Dante's Cove.

PAUL JAMES: No, I wasn't concerned about that. It just didn't cross my mind. I think every actor is wary of playing the same role over and over again, but that doesn't mean that even every gay character is going to be the same. I've played characters who were not gay, so it's not like it's the first dip in the pool.

WCT: I'm looking at what you've been in. You were on CSI:Miami?

PAUL JAMES: Yeah. Some of the actors on that show were some of the sweetest people I'd ever met, including Emily Procter [ who plays Calleigh ] . She bought my co-star a bottle of wine when he mentioned he and his girlfriend liked a particular wine.

WCT: You've also been in a [ project ] called The Architect.

PAUL JAMES: It was a really good script. I'm not sure that it quite came together as a movie, but I had fun and I learned a lot. It's a bunch of different stories, like a family in the projects of Chicago. There are a lot of great actors in it [ such as Viola Davis and Isabella Rossellini ] . I actually played a gay character in that, with my buddy, Sebastian Stan.

WCT: Do you have an ideal role or co-star?

PAUL JAMES: I loved The West Wing. I grew up in Washington, D.C., and always loved politics—and I went to Syracuse University, where [ executive producer ] Aaron Sorkin went as well, so I feel like I was predestined to like that show. But working with any of those actors would be a dream come true—Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford. I like the style of the show; it had comedy and drama, which Greek also has. But what I really liked about [ The West Wing ] is that they always seemed to cast these really great actors, like theater actors. There, they didn't have to really be concerned about what the actors looked like; here, there's a different demographic so looks are sort of important.

Also, I love Don Cheadle, and Chiwetel Ejiofor is one of my favorite actors.

WCT: I love [ Ejiofor ] in [ the movies ] Inside Man and Kinky Boots.

PAUL JAMES: Yes! And there's this one Shakespeare DVD where he does this great monologue; I had never seen it done the way he did it. I said, "This guy is an actor." I'd love to work with him.

Find out more about Greek at abcfamily.go.com . The fall portion of season three ( divided like college semesters ) is currently airing on Mondays and ends Nov. 2. Seasons one and two are out on DVD.


This article shared 5278 times since Thu Oct 1, 2009
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-07-04
- "And this was Richard Gere in 1977. … He was so beautiful. And I'm there. My mom didn't go. It was just me and my mom's two gay friends. And I just remember being like, 'Oh my God, I'm gay. … ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, NFL player, gay country singer, 'Bliss,' MGK 2022-07-03
- LGBTQ+ teen sensation JoJo Siwa will guest-star in the third season of Disney+'s hit series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Out Magazine noted. She will play Madison, a Camp Shallow Lake alum. Also, Corbin ...


Gay News

Hulu's 'Love, Victor' draws to a proud conclusion with season three 2022-07-02
- Love is in the air for Pride Monthas the television show Love, Victor concludes with its third season. The gay rom-com Love, Simon came out in 2018 and inspired the Love, Victor Hulu series two years ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-06-27
- "I'm not gay. I'm not straight. I don't know what I am. I love people. … I refuse to be anything, really, except for open to it all."—Kesha (without the dollar sign) makes this revelation in ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elliot Page, NPH, Madonna, Chita Rivera, Jennifer Lopez 2022-06-26
- Elliot Page talked with talk-show host Seth Meyers about how her Netflix show The Umbrella Academy incorporated the actor's own personal transition into season three of the series, Deadline noted. "With Steve Blackman, the showrunner of ...


Gay News

'General Hospital,' Kelly Clarkson among Daytime Emmy winners 2022-06-25
- ABC's General Hospital—already the winningest sudser in daytime history—was named Outstanding Daytime Drama on June 24 while The Kelly Clarkson Show took home the prize for Outstanding Talk Show at the 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. ...


Gay News

COMEDY Hannah Einbinder to perform additional show July 16 2022-06-25
- Due to popular demand, The Den Theatre announced a third stand-up performance for comedian/actress Hannah Einbinder (the TV show Hacks) on Saturday, July 16, at 7 p.m. on The Heath Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. The ...


Gay News

'Hacks,' 'Euphoria' lead LGBTQ+ critics' Dorian TV nominations 2022-06-23
-- From a press release - JUNE 22, 2022 - The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics—now composed of 385 professional critics and journalists covering film and television—announced its 14th Dorian TV Awards nominations for the best in all of TV, mainstream to ...


Gay News

TELEVISION John Early and Kate Berlant discuss 'Would It Kill You to Laugh?' 2022-06-21
- Peacock is releasing a new sketch comedy show called Would It Kill You to Laugh? Starring Kate Berlant and John Early, the show debuts Friday, June 24. This one-hour special features a comedy duo who have ...


Gay News

TELEVISION 'Rutherford Falls' returns for season two with double the diversity 2022-06-19
- Peacock's hit comedy Rutherford Falls is back with season two. (It started June 16.) The story follows two lifelong friends—Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms) and Reagan Wells (Jana Schmieding)—as they navigate ...


Gay News

TELEVISION 'Queer as Folk' defines a new generation on Peacock 2022-06-15
- An all-new version of Queer as Folk is currently streaming on Peacock, with some big differences from the two past incarnations. This 2022 production is a reimagining of the two previous series—one with a British cast ...


Gay News

Reality-TV couple convicted of committing fraud 2022-06-08
- A jury found reality-TV couple Todd and Julie Chrisley guilty of fraud, including charges related to a tax evasion scheme that went on for years, according to NBC News. The couple, known for their USA Network ...


Gay News

WTTW celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month with special content 2022-06-08
- WTTW recently released its schedule of special programming in celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month. Highlights include: True Colors: LGBTQ+ Our Stories, Our Songs (NEW) Wed., June 8 at 9:30 pm Offering a unique look at the ...


Gay News

2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards & Movie & TV Awards unveiled 2022-06-06
-- From a press release - New York, New York: (June 5, 2022) - The 2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards, hosted by Vanessa Hudgens, honored the biggest and brightest stars in movies and television with an epic, one-night only global event ...


Gay News

Local writer from Hillman Grad Productions Mentorship Lab to tell stories about immigrant experiences 2022-06-04
- Growing up on the South Side of Chicago without any sort of U.S. citizenship, Ruben Mendive said he started developing his identity as a writer while he was sitting in front of the TV, devouring "every ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.