What a thrill it is to catch up with Michael Urie, known to millions as "Marc St. James" on Ugly Betty and "Gavin Sinclair" on Modern Family. A genius comedic actor, Michael can make me laugh in a second. His dramatic roles always make my jaw drop. But what makes Michael the award winning actor he is, is when he combines his comedic chops with his dramatic side and that is just one reason I LOVED seeing him in Homos or Everyone in America, a new play by Jordan Seavey presented by LABryinth Theater Company. This show will make you laugh, cry, think, and be glad you spent a night at the theatre!
Starring Michael Urie and Robin De Jesús, Homos or Everyone in America is about two young men who traverse the ups and down of being gay in the 21st Century, where progress is always just around the corner – but so is hate. This timely, hilarious and heartbreaking play believes love is love, and that while we may sometimes lose a battle, we will never stop fighting the war for what is right.
Homos or Everyone in America plays at The Bank Street Theater (155 Bank Street) in New York City through December 11. Click here for tickets!
1. You are currently starring in LABryinth Theater Company's production of Homos, or Everyone in America, a bitingly tender new play about trying to live and love in New York. What made you want to be in this show? Jordan Seavey is a brave new voice in American theater - I’ve been working with him on this play for a few years and have been dying to put it on a stage. He tells a modern New York gay love story, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.
2. What has been the best part about working with Robin De Jesús? What are some common interests you have found out you share and what are some things, you were like, "Oh, that's so cool you like that. I want to learn more about that."? I knew I’d adore Robin and I was right. His spirit is infectious and his heart is enormous. I love working with him and look forward to seeing him at the theater every night. We have a lot of mutual friends and he’s got a huge musical theater brain, which I love.
3. What do you relate to most about your character? What is one characteristic of your character you wish you had and one you are glad you don’t have? My character and I both have a short fuse, we’re easily set off. I think I’m better about keeping a lid on it when necessary than my character, but alas sometimes I get ragey…"The Writer" is extremely intellectual, likely more than me… :)
4. Since Homos, or Everyone in America is about trying to live & love in New York, what has been the most rewarding part of living in New York and what are the challenging parts for you? From the moment I stepped foot in New York, I knew I needed to live here. The pulse, the energy, the character of New York are exactly my speed and I can’t really imagine being based anywhere else. It’s not easy though, in addition to the huge expense of living here, we all regularly have to endure what I call "FU NY days" where you get caught in a downpour, or stuck on a train, or step in garbage, or gag from a smell. But, it’s worth it.
5. What has it been like trying to find love in New York? Do you find it more complicated today then say, 5 or 10 years ago? What do you think has made it more complicated? I was lucky enough to find love 8 years ago, so I can’t really speak to modern dating in NY, but I never remember it being all that hard to find other lonely hearts when I was one…. :)
6. What are some of your favorite places do go on a date in New York? What would you be or what was (if you are dating someone already) your ideal first date? I am a dinner and a movie guy. Always.
7. What are you thoughts on monogamy? Have you ever considered being in an open relationship? I’ve been in a monogamous relationship for 8 years, let’s leave it at that!
8. Homos, or Everyone in America gives a glimpse into the life of an everyday couple who's unexpectedly confronted by a vicious crime. What event has happened to you that you never thought would happen to you, catching you off-guard? I’ve been lucky and never faced any violence, but have certainly had close calls or wondered if something could turn. It’s a scary prospect, I knock on wood whenever I think of it.
9. Homos, or Everyone in America is also described as a fearless, funny, heart-on-its-sleeve examination of the moments that can bring two people together – or pull them apart. While dating or in a relationship, what is something you've done that was fearless? What have done that was funny? How do you wear your heart on your sleeve? I find devotion pretty fearless - I would do anything for my other half, and that’s pretty fearless. Our dog is a constant source of comedy. My partner and I often ask each other if we like each other and almost always say yes.
10. On "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent every day. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better every day? I try to smile at anyone who makes eye contact with me. It’s not always easy and not always reciprocated, but when it is, it’s very satisfying.
For originating the role of "Alex More" in Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer & Cellar Off-Broadway, on tour, and in London, Michael received the Drama Desk Award, Clarence Derwent Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, LA Drama Critics Award, and nominations for the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Michael recently reprised Buyer & Cellar at Westport Country Playhouse where WNET recorded it and will air it on PBS as part of their Theatre CloseUp series in the fall of 2016. New York theater credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Broadway), Shows for Days (Lincoln Center Theater, Drama League nomination), The Cherry Orchard (Classic Stage Company), Angels in America (Signature Theatre), The Temperamentals (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Theatre World awards, Drama League nomination), The Revenger’s Tragedy (Red Bull Theater), Another Vermeer (HB Playwrights). Regionally, Michael has worked for Two River Theater, The Old Globe, Vineyard Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Folger Shakespeare, Barrington Stage, Hyde Park (Austin), and The Blank (L.A.) Film: He’s Way More Famous Than You (also directed), Thank You for Judging (co-director/exec. producer), Beverly Hills Chihuahua, WTC View, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, The Decoy Bride, Petunia, Such Good People, The Hyperglot (director), and Grantham & Rose (exec. producer). TV: "Gavin Sinclair" on Modern Family, Younger, Workaholics, The Good Wife, Hot in Cleveland, Partners and "Marc St. James" on Ugly Betty. Web series: What’s Your Emergency (director). Training: Juilliard.