The Say Uncle Interview
Los Angeles – It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Peter Paige filling the underwear of Emmett Honeycutt of "Queer As Folk," the wildly successful gay drama that ran on Showtime for five seasons.
The openly gay Paige, a graduate of Boston University School of Theater, (summa cum laude), who currently lives near West Hollywood, (but has "lived everywhere, just name it"), starred as the flamboyant Southern boy Emmett for five years, and won over the hearts of gay boys and men of all ages.
But we may have never seen him as Emmett. We may have seen him as another gay character on television.
"I walked into audition for the role of Jack [on ‘Will & Grace’]," says Paige, "five minutes after Sean Hayes had finished auditioning. But, everything happens for a reason."
While Paige lost out to Hayes for the role that Hayes won an Emmy for (and was nominated for six times), he isn’t crying.
"I am very proud to have been a part of ‘Queer As Folk,’ and am glad it had five great seasons," Paige exclaims, who acquired the role by chance.
"I was at the gym and the casting director of ‘Queer As Folk’ and I were talking. He told me that Showtime had just bought the rights to the US version of the British show and that casting would start soon."
The first thing Paige did was set up an audition, but the producers wanted him for Ted.
"I walked in and read for Ted, but told everyone there to just trust me. I wanted to read for Emmett. After the first couple of lines, they were convinced and it was Emmett for the next five years – shooting a show that supposedly took place in Pittsburgh, in Toronto," laughs Paige.
"I am not one to sit around in my trailer on the set of a show or movie, though, so during the many breaks while filming ‘Queer As Folk,’ I would pull out a script I was working on. And in 2004 I finally finished writing it."
That script, "Say Uncle," is now a feature film, on its way to a theater near you, if it isn’t already.
In addition to having written the movie, Paige also stars in and directed it.
"I had the confidence in being able to direct. I knew I could do it. It was my story, and who better than myself to be able to bring it to life?"
In "Say Uncle," A young artist (Peter Paige), desperate to replace the relationship he had with his recently relocated godson, is targeted by a neighborhood mom (Kathy Najimy) as a potential threat to the community – as a sexual predator.
"But it’s really a comedy, when all is said and done," Paige says.
"Say Uncle" took two years to get from page to screen. "Small films, independents like this, are not easy to get made or released. First you need to raise the money," Paige explains, (who produced the film with his Best Little Boy Productions), "and then find a cast or the other way around. And then you need to film it. And once that’s done you need to go the film festival route and shop it around."
Fortunately for Paige, "Say Uncle" was picked up by the gay distribution company, TLA Releasing, at the very first festival it which it was featured, and was a hit at every festival in which it played.
In addition to Kathy Najimy, Anthony Clark and Gabrielle Union co-star.
Will there be a "Queer As Folk" reunion?
"Do you really want to check in with those guys five years down the line?" asks Paige. "It would be depressing to go down that road and see them in the same place but it would also be depressing to see them not as we saw them when we left them. I think it ended at just the right time and can’t envision a reunion."
But Paige is working on something else, now that "Say Uncle" is ready for release.
" I just started working on MTV’s upcoming animated show, ‘Rick & Steve.’ It’s a gay animated show. I play Steve and he’s the top," Paige says. "Wilson Cruz is also one of the voices on the show. I think it’s going to be a fun time."