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 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

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

This article shared 5762 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 5762 times since Thu Oct 1, 2009
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jerrod Carmichael, '9-1-1' actor, Kayne the Lovechild, STARZ shows, Cynthia Erivo 2024-04-12
- Gay comedian/filmmaker Jerrod Carmichael criticized Dave Chappelle, opening up about the pair's ongoing feud and calling out Chappelle's opinions on the LGBTQ+ community, PinkNews noted, citing an Esquire article. Carmichael ...


Gay News

WORLD Uganda items, HIV report, Mandela, Liechtenstein, foreign minister weds 2024-03-21
- It turned out that U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Senior LGBTQI+ Coordinator Jay Gilliam traveled to Uganda on Feb. 19-27, per The Washington Blade. He visited the capital of Kampala and the nearby city of ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer musicians, Marvel situation, Elliot Page, Nicole Kidman 2024-03-21
- Queer musician Joy Oladokun released the single "I Wished on the Moon," from Jack Antonoff's official soundtrack for the new Apple TV+ series The New Look, per a press release. The soundtrack, ...


Gay News

RuPaul finds 'Hidden Meanings' in new memoir 2024-03-18
- RuPaul Andre Charles made a rare Chicago appearance for a book tour on March 12 at The Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave. Presented by National Public Radio station WBEZ 91.5 FM, the talk coincided with ...


Gay News

Oprah, Niecy Nash-Betts honored at GLAAD Media Awards 2024-03-15
- Oprah Winfrey and Niecy Nash-Betts were honored at the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards that took place in Los Angeles at The Beverly Hilton on March 14. Winfrey received the Vanguard Award, introduced by iconic Chicago ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jinkx Monsoon, Xavier Dolan, 'Frida,' Lena Waithe, out singer 2024-03-08
- Two-time RuPaul's Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon is headed back to the New York stage, joining off-Broadway's Little Shop of Horrors as Audrey beginning April 2, according to Playbill. The casting makes Monsoon the first drag ...


Gay News

Queer Eye's Jai Rodriguez is set to slay at The Big Gay Cabaret 2024-03-05
- Out and proud performer Jai Rodriguez is set to play at The Big Gay Cabaret this March for three days. Presented by RuPaul Drag Racer Ginger Minj, this monthly series highlights the wide world of cabaret ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer actors, icons duet, Hunter Schafer, Oscars, Elizabeth Taylor 2024-03-01
- Queer actor Kal Penn is set to star in Trust Me, I'm a Doctor—a film that chronicles the final days of actress/model Anna Nicole Smith, whose overdose death in 2007 at age 39 sparked a tabloid ...


Gay News

SAG Awards honor Streisand, few LGBTQ+ actors 2024-02-25
- Queer entertainers made their mark—although not a major one—at the 2024 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, held Feb. 24 in Los Angeles. The event was live-streamed on Netflix for the first time. Indigenous and Two-Spirit actor ...


Gay News

THEATER Dot-Marie Jones talks Goodman production, 'Glee,' 'Bros' 2024-02-12
- Running through Feb. 18 at the the Goodman Theatre, the production Highway Patrol works with a script conceived entirely from Emmy-winning actor Dana Delany's (TV's China Beach) digital archive of hundreds of tweets and direct messages ...


Gay News

GLAAD finds missed chances for LGBTQ+ inclusion in Super Bowl ads 2024-02-12
--From a press release - Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024 — GLAAD is reacting to a lack of LGBTQ storytelling in ads that aired duringSuper Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11 and is reminding brands, corporations and advertising agencies why including the LGBTQ ...


Gay News

SAVOR 'The Bear,' new pizza lounge, Chicago Black Restaurant Week 2024-02-11
- "Bear" necessities: The third season of the Chicago-set series The Bear will debut in June, per Variety. FX chairman John Landgraf made the announcement during the network's presentation at the Television Critics Association's winter 2024 press ...


Gay News

Quantum Leap reboot springs into LGBTQ+ representation 2024-02-09
- Through the magic of television, Quantum Leap is once again jumping into the past to bounce back into the future—and in a recent episode, "The Family Trasure," non-binary artist and performer Wilder Yuri and writer Shakina ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Raven-Symone, women's sports, Wayne Brady, Jinkx Monsoon, British Vogue 2024-02-09
- In celebration of Black History Month, the LA LGBT Center announced that lesbian entertainer Raven-Symone will be presented with the Center's Bayard Rustin Award at its new event, Highly Favored, per a press release. She joins ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, Tom Holland, Bowen Yang, Pet Shop Boys, Mariah Carey 2024-02-02
- In the wake of Nigel Lythgoe exiting So You Think You Can Dance, queer personality JoJo Siwa is returning to the series, per Deadline. Siwa, who was a judge on season 17 of the Fox show, will replace Lythgoe, who left ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

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 Transgender 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.