Back in August 90210 hottie Trevor Donovan spilled the beans that his character on the show, Teddy, would be coming out as gay this season. Late last season it was reported that one of the main 90210 male characters would emerge as a questioning gay character whose storyline will unfold over time revealing his homosexuality … and about 4 eps into the new season, that storyline is beginning to take shape. Trevor Donovan spoke with The New York Post about his role on 90210 and expressed pride that he is able to portray the story of a young gay man coming out … especially in light of all of the bullying and suicides of GLBT youth here in the US in recent weeks:
PopWrap: Were you excited to be the actor chosen to bring this storyline to life?
Trevor Donovan: I am so proud to be the one given this storyline — especially once I really had a conversation with the executive producer about where the story was going and the concerns I had. I’m very impressed with how this is being written. It’s exactly how I hoped it would turn out.
PW: It also feels like a great time to be telling this kind of story.
Trevor: Exactly. And it is a horrible situation, but I’m given the opportunity not only shed light with my storyline, but celebrities are bringing attention to the issue with The Trevor Project and It Gets Better. I’m glad it’s so publicized. It’s a good opportunity to remind people of what’s going on.
PW: As a straight man, did you turn to anyone in particular to get more insight into Teddy’s struggle?
Trevor: Oh, most definitely. I talked to acting coaches and friends who are gay, which helps a lot. I grew up in a small town, totally sheltered from any kind of alternative lifestyle, so this has been new to me also.
PW: I know it’s in the early days, but what kind of reaction have you been getting from fans?
Trevor: I’ve been getting Tweets and Facebook messages that run the gamut from heart-warming to inspiring to tear jerking – I really feel like we’re doing something positive here, and it just adds another layer to why I love acting: it lets me help people.
PW: Last week Teddy called Ian the F-word and fought with him. How do they interact moving forward?
Trevor: The thing with Teddy, and I think it’s very true to real life, is that he is so confused. So much in denial and not knowing how to deal with these emotions. So he acts out. Teddy will continue to struggle before he comes to the realization of who he is and Ian will be very supportive of that.
PW: So is their relationship on the DL?
Trevor: Teddy and Ian’s “friendship” isn’t even displayed in public. He forgives me for using the F-word and that’s kind of it. Any interaction we have is in private, any conversation we have is in private — so yes, our friendship is on the down low. Teddy’s not ready – and he won’t be for a while – to come out.
PW: Have you filmed any “love scenes?”
Trevor: I haven’t yet, but one is coming up – very soon in our shooting schedule. The writers are handling it very delicately. It won’t be gratuitous, which I think is very true to real life as well. Teddy’s not just going to jump in and be all for it right away. He’s going to tip-toe into it. It’s a very sweet storyline. It’s gonna be a PG thing: very subtle, very sweet, very real.
It’s interesting that much is being made of how Teddy‘s same-sex love scenes will be handled “delicately” so that it comes across on TV as a “PG thing” because on the episode that aired last night, Teddy was seen in bed with a girl and it was made very clear that he was naked and unable to get aroused when she grabbed his penis. To me, that love scene didn’t feel delicate or PG. BUT … I do get that 90210 is trying to ease into the gay storyline which, IMHO, is better than not doing a gay storyline at all. If anything, maybe this storyline on the show will enlighten young people who are questioning that they are not alone in what they’re feeling … it may also enlighten other young people who like to bully others. Again, it may not be perfect but this storyline being prominently featured on popular TV series is a positive step in the right direction. I am really looking forward to the day when storylines like this don’t need to be such a big deal.