News - Archives
2001 - May
'QAFolk Has Catapulted Gale Harold to Stardom'
May 2001 issue
Gale Harold wasn't what the producers expected when he showed up on the final day of casting for the Americanized version of "Queer As Folk" On the other hand he was better than what they had anticipated. Co-producer Dan Lipman probably said it best; 'Gale had it all!"
To think that three years before Harold considered acting a viable career option, he ran a motorcycle shop in East Oakland. As of late, the handsome Mr. Harold is making his New York theatre debut in Austin Pendleton's "Uncle Bob" at The SoHo Playhouse. He studied at American UnivesJty in Washington, DC and the San Francisco Art Institute. Suzy Landau, a producer for the Francis Ford Coppola films "Dracula" and "Tucker", encouraged him to pursue a career in the theatre. And although he played 'Bunny' in Gillian Plowman's "Me And My Friend", with a feature film debut as 'Booker" in Paul Scheuring's "36K", before returning to the stage in productions of "The Misanthrope", and "Cymbeline", Harold remained by his own admission "massively unknown" until being cast as Brian Kinney in Showtime's "Queer As Folk".
At 28-years-old, Gale Harold has embraced stardom by playing a gay hero who is unapologetically promiscuous. All at once it became giant step for gay rights and cable television. For Gale it was a bit much.
"While this guy is a blast to play because he holds nothing back, the sex scenes were kind of mindblowing. It was intense because we are talking television here. You've got this cavalier predator having his way with a 17-year-old, who looks maybe 10, and the visual implications are unbelievable."
Not only were there visual implications with Gale's characterization of Brian as an archetypal gay Don Juan, there were social ones too. Heterosexuals resented having to see the gay lifestyle played-out in their living rooms, while gays charged that the promiscuity represented in the series was overstated. Yet something clicked and Gale Harold became a sex symbol for the millennium.
Austin Pendleton's macabre, yet sometimes witty story of a man and his nephew, who in spite of their glaring differences, share a common desire for human connection, seems like the next big step for Harold to make in his career. The young actor takes it beyond the melodrama about a fractured relationship between a self-loathing victim of AIDS facing a meaningless death, and a disturbed young man facing a meaningless life. Gale Harold makes his portrayal real. "I think my character, Josh, is more fleshed-out than any other I've played. Austin has written a great play with stimulating social significance."
"Uncle Bob", directed by Courtney Moorehead is terrific theatre with a charismatic cast, Screen veteran George Morfogen plays the lead, Uncle Bob, and the chemistry between the older and younger actors is superb.
Gale is an incredible new talent with a raw and unbridled quality. He stuns, he smolders and he sets the stage for a new era of leading man. Catch this rising star at the SoHo Playhouse.