Scene and Heard: Chad Allen
This fall, actor Chad Allen, best known
for his roles in St. Elsewhere and Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, debuts on
here! as gay detective Donald Strachey. Although the seven planned
films, which are inspired by the novels of Richard Stevenson, are set in
upstate New York, filming began earlier this year in Vancouver, B.C.,
Canada. For Allen, 31, who's been publicly out for quite some, it is
amazingly his first opportunity to play a gay character on television or
How would you describe the Donald Strachey films?
Chad Allen: Very classic noire style of
mystery. They have a bit of that dime store detective. Donald and his
boyfriend, Timmy, are like Nick and Nora of The Thin Man.
S: How do you feel about playing a gay
character on film for the first time?
CA: My experiences so far have been fun. I
have to admit candidly that I was very excited about the prospect of
doing a love scene.
I want to be responsible for putting a
committed loving fun gay relationship on TV so that those who are
watching if they're young or old or in a relationship or not want to
look up to this couple.
S: How do you like being part of
programming for a gay network?
CA: It's really exciting. I have to admit,
when they called me about doing this project I was skeptical at first
because after 25 years in the business you learn to be skeptical. But I
went and l met with them. I was really impressed with the reasons why
Paul Colichman and his team put together here! The heart and soul that
has gone into it are incredible. I was extremely impressed.
S: What do you think of reality
CA: As someone who's lived his life on
television, I don't enjoy reality programming at all. But I have a
number of friends who love it. I like watching one-hour dramas.
S : You have your own production company,
Mythgarden. What sorts of projects are you developing?
CA: For television, we have a biography
series of gay and lesbian heroes throughout history We also I have a
wonderful series that takes classic fairy tales both familiar and lesser
known and makes them gay. There's a fantastic book we optioned called
Fairy Tales for Gay Men.
When I read the it
for the first time, I found myself in a really nasty situation with my
boyfriend at the time We were breaking up and I turned to him and
blurted out, "What
you want is not my idea of happily ever."
S: Will you continue to do theater as
CA: I had a I t-shirt I used to wear that
read, "Theater is life, film is art, TV is furniture." While I am quick
to add that I think It TV is an medium amazing getting the message out
to more people than anywhere else, the fact is that theater is life in
motion. When we start the ball rolling it does not stop until we're
done. The audience and myself, as the performer, go on a journey
In the theater, the actor's experience
can't be separated from the audience's experience. We create it for