Setting the Record Straight with Actor Shaun Melady

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Gay playing gay, straight playing gay...is this talk of who is playing a role overshadowing how good someone is playing the role? On this episode we are setting the record straight…so to speak.

Actor and model Shaun Melady is no stranger to the public eye and continues to focus his attention on the screen in his most recent project, the Amazon Prime short film called “The Disturbance Call.” Recently named a New York City celebrity model through his work in various New York Fashion Week shows, Melady has continued his film work with Unit 11 Pictures on this 20-minute thriller. Early in his career, Melady hit the ground in full stride by landing three Off-Broadway plays, has walked in both Fall and Spring New York Fashion Week and also worked with a myriad of other designers. Off the runway and into print and commercial industries, Melady has worked with Fortune 500 clients and men’s wear brands including: Michelob Ultra, U.S. Navy, Tricots St. Raphael, Kane 11 and a variety of other brands.

We chat with Shaun about his career, playing straight characters, coming out at a Christian college, and the future of casting in the LGBTQ community...with host Alexander Rodriguez.  

This is metrosource Meny, the officialpodcast to Metrosource magazine and home of short form interviews with yourfavorite personalities, an the lgbt world and Beo Quick Fun and Informatis.It's metal, sor somthing, to go out in pouince Mae Nie. Well, hello, hello, Hello! This isMETROHORSE MINIS! I'm your host, Alexandar Rodrigez, lead rider formetrosourte magazine and Avid podcaster Hollywood's big discussions are, shouldgay actors be the only ones to play gay? We see the headlines out gay afterstars and new films. James Cordon in the Prom, is proof why straightmenshouldn't play gay rolls but then cut to Stanley to Jam Collin Firsh, gettingamazing reviews as playing a gay couple in Supernova and its all of this talkof who is playing a role overshadowing how good someon is in actually playingthe row today we are setting the record straight, get it okay, that after andmodel Ceanroledi, is no stranger to the public eye and continues to focus hisattention on the screen. In his most recent project, the Amazon Prime Shortfilm called the disturbance, calm and he was recently named. A New York Citycelebrity model through his work in various New York fashion, weak showsand he continued his filmwork with unit eleven pictures. While making thistwenty minute a horror, film and early in his career, he hit the groundrunning and fullstride by landing. Three off Broadway plays, has walked inboth fall and spring New York fashion week and also work with a myriad ofother designers and off the runway. He has doneprint and commercial forfortune five hundred companies a wide variety anything you cund think of he's,probably modeled. Please welcome from NYC. Please welcome Sean Milai everyonethanks for Ha Elexander, of course, of course, okay. So when I first heardabout the disturbance call, I'm a huge Hor buff. So of course I went went toAmazon prime and I watched it and then, of course I was like Oh ma. I look atSean in that uniform, so I had to like stock you on social media. I scouredthrough everything- and I was like oh well. You must be straight, I don't seeany ANDREC Christian underwear picks, I don't see any gay motivational quotes.I don't see any golden girls quotes. Is your outward social media, not overtlygay on purpose or that's just happened to happen. I think that just happens tohappen like when you're saying that I'm like wait, I even gay Noyeah. I thinkthat's just like how I portray myself listen. I am an out and proud man, and I just I love the Lgbtq communityand being a part of it, but I I don't think that's the only part of me thatneeds to be out there. You know what I mean like there's so much so many otherthings like so many different quotes. Besides Gon Gar live, laugh, love, yeah, you know, and but it's funny shon,because without being this overtly pride activist, you are actually, in myopinion, progressing the representation of the gate community in the filmindustry by showing that a gay after can play straight without bells andwhistles. You know the headline saying: Oh, a gay acter playing straight kindof assumes that number one being gay is some supernatural occurrence or that a gay actor who can play a role is itshard to come by. I mean, I think, that's what we're saying when, like wowgay after play straight, it's you're saying that gay actors can't be a goodactor, and so the focus is really on youracting and the way you present yourself is kind ofsaying yeah. It's just casual that it's a part of you, but it's not the part ofyou that you're an actor you're, not this gay gay actor. You know. Do youget pushed back from the gay community for not being more overt and and outton flat, fline, not directly, but I have hadconversations with people where they...

...are on the opposite side, where theythink you know only gay care ar gay actors should play gay characters or vice versa. You know and that they'revery offended if straight actors are playing gaycharacters but like in my in my personal opinion and my view, which I fully expressed to people that maythink the other way like I'll, listen to them and I'll accept their opinions,because they have every right to feel what they feel you know, but I think it's important as an actorto be able to portray other characters. Other roles you know like, for example, like waking, Phoenix he'snot a clown like in real life, but he's portrying to clown it. Well, he kind ofis he's a weird ope. You know what I mean where it's like.You know: That's not your actual personality, that's not yourpersona and so being able to act. You get to create that and like portraythat, so I think that's a beauty of acting. You know. I was talking thisweek to Academy awardwinner George Scirris, who played Bernardo in thefilm of Wesside Story and he's Greek, but he portrayed a perdorican he's alsoplayed a Myan. Indian he's played Norwegian, and so I asked him you knowwe're talking about films. He made in the S and s where ethnic representationis not what it is now we know Stephen Spielberg is doing the new westsidestory and casting only Pratoricans in those roles, and I kind of asked him.You know he wouldn't have had all of these roles in the past. If we were so fixated on who's playing what and thenhe brought up, you know Anthony Quinn, who's, one of the you know the bestactors, you know he's a Mexican actor. He played Zor bit the Greek who thatrole became iconic for him and he wouldn't have been able to play thatrole and it was jus. Just this conversation is like we're talkingabout great actors and we're talking about the great roles that they'veplayed, and those conversations you know arenot led by. It was just a different time, but butthe idea is still kind of the same where the focus is really on the acting,and you know I'm not one to kind of hide what I'm feeling or what I'mactually thinking and I'm just going to be really really honest. You know, there's activists in ourcommunity like Wilson, Creis, like Nelpatrick Harris Ruby rose that theyare so forefront, fighting for our community fighting for representationfighting for social causes that when you do see them play a straight actor,I'm sorry, I'm always like. Oh yeah look they're doing a really good jobplaying straight. That's always in my mind, which is not right, but that'sjust I'm just being honest, because I always think of them as this this astaunch activist. But then I look at an actress like Sarah Pulsim, I love SarahPalson MM and she b. She reminds me of you. You know she doesn't hide hersexuality. Of course you know her relationship with Allen Taylor, butit's not something that she's always leading with, and I tend to be more enraptured by her performance, becauseI can sit back and just really be consumed by the character, because Idon't have all of this connotation that that's kind of given to me. It's reallya double edged sword, wouldn't you say yeah. It definitely can be, and I knowlike we've chatted about it previously. It's it's very interesting because in the end, it's up to the audience. So if, if somebody's being a hugeactivist in the community, amazing, that's great work and so needed, youknow and when they put themselves into acharacter like on screen or on stage they DROPP, the the activism part tofocus on this part of them, the acting part, and if, if the audience, member onlysees them as this activist, then the actor can't change their mind. Onthat front. You know right yeah, which,...

...which is fine but like it's really not up to theactor when it comes down to the Nedecrity, but I also think like being a part of the community and not being so vocal about being a partof the community on like social media or different things like that, likethat, can that can also look to an audience or to followers that like? Oh,he might not care, but that's not the case at all. You know hat I mean like Icare like Itall. It all depends on. You know it's so interesting and the rolethat social media has has come to play in an entertainer's life. You know backin the days like again, you know going back to thes conversation ahead withthis actor back in the days you just had to show up. Do Your job be a greatactor? Now you have to worry about social media. You have to worry aboutkeeping that up, but then you also have to worry about social media. Haterssuch as you know, did you post this? Did you not post this? Did you use theright Hashtag? Did you did you? You know ignore something: It's you knowyou're going to lose either way and it's just so damaging that that'sbecome such a big part of being a successful actor in the business. It'slike! Well, I'm acting. I like I'm, not a social media GAROO. You know, I knowsome people that are terrible at posting, like with Blm, I didn't post ablackout square on my social media right away, because I wasn't on socialmedia the day that everybody was doing it. So I got all of these messages.Saying: Hey, you didn't do it so then I was like. Oh my God, you know you know.Of course I support the movement, but maybe it's not that obvious. So then Iposted and then I apparently used a wrong hashtag or something, and so Igot hate for that and it's like you know. Well what do you want me to do? Yeah?No, that that's that's a very interesting point and itit's a delicate subject like it's sodelicate and like because people are so quick to hear one thing and CI mean cancel. Culture is a real thing, but like they're so quick to hear onething and not see the full picture. I guess because just because, likesomebody might not post on social media, they have no. The those people have noidea, what's happening behind the SEGENSwhatis, exactly right and what what things are in the works. You know whatorganizations you might be like contributing to or like donating to solike it's so important, don't be wrong like influencers and social media likegoers, like you said they have such a strong place like in the community anddifferent organizations and they're amazing, and it takes a lot of work. SoI'm not negating that, but it's not the only place. Well, that's that's exactly exactlyright and just because I post something is not going to change somebody's mindon the other side of the fence. They're not going to be like. Oh well,elexander posted this and use this Hashtag. I'm going to change my mindabout everything. I've ever thought it doesn't work that way. You know prettymuch we're kind of preaching to our own choir now. What kind of conversations are youhaving with your agent or your manager, or you know, on the issue of being agat or doesn even come up and there's also this kind of buzz word around you?That's like oh well, seans passable. You know you and the disturbance call.I never once was taken a side. You know you played a straight cop and it waslike yeah, okay, but there's this also this word that has a negative kind ofconnotation like possible. You know it's like well he's not flamboyant, he kind of butches it up, and it's justthis whole other conversation too, as passable and and what kind ofconversations are you having with your team yeah? Those conversations actuallyhaven't really come up, thankfully, like with my representation like with mymanager and agent, but they do know like I'm an ALU actorthey've met my partner, they they've Castlat, wait, wait, wait, wait!You have a partner, I do. I do ste and...

...of this interview by no again- Oh, that's so funny, but yeah they've.Actually, it's funny because e there have been castings where, like peopleare looking for gay couples, and so like some sometimes my representation.Knowing that you know we live together and like we're together, they're likehey, would you and Craig be interested in doing this nd, I'm like yeah, ofcourse, of course, so, like they know a D, andthankfully it's been so accepting and I feel like, for the most part, the industry, the entertainmentindustry, as far as like the gay community is pretty accepting from from what I've experienced. I'msure there are tons of other stories, but just from a personal experience nowapproaching your role for the disturbance called. Did you feel likeyou had to butch it up, or were you more aware of your mannerisms thatmight come naturally, not necessarily like I just got into the character like Ijust got into the roll of a cop, I'm like what would this rookie cop do youknow and the my partner in the in the disturbancecall he actually in real life is like a former cop or a com, and so like.I was like taking notes from him being like Hey. What would I do like justtrying to learn that character and really become that character? There are times where, like mefully admit, you know like in s, sounds very, very linteresting, yeah and so I'll be like okay. Maybe I needto work on that and kind of just like cut it short. Like I don't know, Oh godsee t hearing that it. You know it has all these like red alerts as a gayperson, but then you're also thinking as the character such as, if you weredoing an accent, so the speak, if you're playing Australian you'd be veryaware of how your voice and speech came across, so that makes sense, but as agay man, it's like, Oh God, having a curtail you know like a sascys or, likeyou know, like Gir. You know that just sounds so wrong, but that is part ofplaying the character when we take it out of the context of being an activistabsolutely and like you'll, see you'll see different like it's. A part ofacting you'll see different movies, like bomb shel with Shris therong like she. She had to play somebody, so she had to change hervoice. You know, because, as she's trying to hide who she is, it's justshe's trying interesting, yeah so and Yoa voice acting is it's a huge part of the industry. It'sactually becoming more and more present, becausecovid yeahbe like different castings or different auditions or reakdowns orwhatever you want to look at and like it's like voiceactors or differentthings like that. So it's like it's a whole different world. You know now and all of the energy that you'vebeen doing for the dissurbants call your sexualityis always brought up.Does it get tiring when an interview becomes like a part of that, like it'skind of led with that? That's that's part of every inrview that I've readwith you for this film has kind of dealt with your sexuaality. Does it geta little tiring as an actor, not not tiring? No, it's! It is interesting that you bring thatup because, like kind of like what we started at, I don't I', don't lead withmy sexuality. So if it comes up sure, I'm glad to talk about it, but that'snot the only part of me. You know like the movie itself, like I'm really proudof the movie and like it just on, was it the New Jersey, InternationalShort Film Festival by congratulations by the way? Thank you so much and likeand like those topics will come up to you know, so it's not just...

...about being a gay actor which, ifpeople want to talk about it great I'm happy to like I'm, definitely notashamed about it. Well, it's very funny how an actor isnow packaged in terms of ifpress in terms O of getting attention such asyou know, the film deals with what our biggest fears are, and you know there'skind of this horror, film, Esk type of underlining to it, but you're seen withyour partner where it's like you're talking about you know huge, like earth,devastations like earthquakes and hurricanes and the unknown, and I thinkyour partner says you know the biggest thing to fear or the scariest thing inthe world could be other people which is a huge statement, especially withwhat we've been through in the last year. The hate that we'reseeing that's happening. You know even this week you know towards towards theasinal culture. You know it's just it's this big kind of monumental theme of this, but then we're seeing likeI've seen. You know. Some of your articles show you with, like you, knowyour muscles hanging out or like here's, here's my model pick or you know that ethat he's this out actor and it's like well, it's kind of we're not discussingwhat the film is about and how mony mental. That is, if that's a really good point too, like there as a big part in that in that bigpart in that short film, that really talks about the fears. Likeyou said, it's so accurate because yeah you could be,you can be afraid of like heights. You can be afraid of snakes. You can belike. I don't know what, like the common phobias out there, but like people really, you have no idea what'sgoing through somebody's mind and you have no idea how deep rooted like hateis in certain people or or like judgments and like this ideology thatthey may have. You have no idea until it's like shown, you know what I meanlike the tried and true saying. Is Action Speak Louder than words you knowand like when you see people acting out and doing horrific things? It's likethat's terrifying because, like yeah know those peope, you might know thosepeople that might be somebody that Youre neighbors with you know like they can be really scary. People can bereally scary Sean this this last week the CatholicChurch was under a lot of heat because they they kind of published their denial,which is nothing new. By the way I was raised in the Catholic Church, it'snothing new, but they said you know that they would not be able to blesssame sex relationships. Your kind of public coming out was in your opedpiece, I'm a gay guy at a Christian college that went viral. What are yourthoughts on religion, faith and same sex relationships today, keeping inmind that religion does not mean faith by the way? So I I don't consider myself likereligious anymore, like I still, you know, have faith, but I like I don't go to church anymore, but anyway, all that all that said islike hearing what came from the Vatican, I'mlike okay, yes, the world probably wanted itto go a different way that conversation to go a different way, but when itcomes down to it, like the Catholic faith, I'm assuming I'm like, I didn't grow upCatholic, I'm assuming like the Catholic base, have has been likereally really strong for a very long time. So it's not really a surprise that theydidn't bless same sex unions. It's not okay, like in my opinion, butlike I wasn't really shocked by it. You knowlike that Ma yeah now going to school at aChristian College, when you kind of came out with this article, how wis?How is that response? Did people try to tell you that Jesus was going to cureyou of your sin or or how was that...

...received and that kind of duality of religion and sexuality yeah? That'sthat's an interesting one. When I did when I did come out like friends thatI've known for my entire life, like who I consideredlike best friends and everything of thatwhen it came out like they're like hey, we really want you to think about whatyou're doing, because we don't want you to go to hell and I'm like okay, think of fine butbut, like the thing is like, afterthat, they stopped talking to me and like people like when I posted thearticle like on facebook or like instagram or something I had commentsfrom people that I've known like that. I went to church with and everythingthat they're, like your ways, are wrong: They're against God and like Okain likeyou're, going to hell and I'm like well. If this is the type of thing thatyou guys are preachaing, then I definitely know that I don'twant to be a part of it. You know what I mean like well and it's so funny,because Christianity is pretty much well. It is based on the New Testamentand the New Testament is all about love. Love Love, it's the Old Testament that,since in sin and when we talk about Oh, the Catholic Church says that you knowhomosexuality is, is sin, it also says premarital, sexis ISCEN. It also saysmasturbation Isizen. It also says divorceisiin. It also says you knowtouching certain kind of foods as a sin, there's just so much sin, and so it'slike it's interesting. What a certain faith can narrow down on and it's like. Nobody is without sin. Imean that's an actual phrase from the Bible. You know what I mean right andthen the whole message of Christianity should be based on love. That's whatthe message of the New Testament was. Absolutely that's. So right, like thethe part that I think is so interesting is like people forget that or theydon't even bout it like you tau. You mentioned the Prom earlier, like withJames Cordon, but like Andrew Raynols, he tings the song, love thy neighbor. Ithink in the pro yes yeah. It is such a good, accurate song. I'm like it'sfunny one, but to it's like you know. If people actually listen to the wordsof the song, they would have a whole different opinion. I think like in my personal pition, but also ifI were to have a religion, it would be like the religion of love. I'm likejust everybody, accept each other love each other, like you have no idea whatsomebody's background is. You know people can be scary as mentioned, butalso that, like fear, can stemp from notbeing shown love. You know like it'll just solve so many things yeah. You know it's just interestinghow how somebody could be angry towards somebody for their ethnicity or theirsexuality, things that they cannot change some in a way that God has madethem, but yet they're still using faith and religion is a way to attack thesepeople. It's, like so you're, saying God made a mistake, then, because hemade these kind of people that you cannot stand h. We could talk foreverand ever about that, I want to talk about your transition from modling toacting. You know sometimes, when we see models on screen, we're like oh howcute they want to be an actor and somethings that works out amazing, andsometimes it's like yeah when you made the transition to acting. Did you getany pushback as to like? Oh, you know: okay, here's this cute model. Now hewants to be an actor. Did you run into any of that? Actually, I've heard people say it.I've heard people saying they're like like yeah people, don't really like tosee like casting diriectors, don't really like to see on your like resumeor something that yeah your model, because it's like, oh, they can standthere and look nit to more and like I've definitely heard thatbefore. But thankfully I try to let you know the work speak on its own and like really give one hundred percent to eachand every roll so like. Thankfully, I...

...hadn't had like much negative criticism about that. I think part of it to is you just putout this, this positive vibe about you and in the many times that we'vechatted? It's just this positive optimistic view on life. Where do youwant to see yourself in the scope of things as both an actor but as also agay man in the LGBT community? I love being like a part of the aldbgqcould AA. You know, there's too many letters, there's too many letters, ilove being a part of the community and like being here in New York likeI'll play on a gay volleyball league and be a part of that or I'll go topride events and like I would like to be more involved in print events and,like you know, help be involved in the parade and, like all that, like I think,that's so amazing, and so just like, freeing because you're just surroundedby this community, but as far as like acting, I definitely want to you know,keep progressing, keep doing movies and like TV Broadway is that's a whole differentanimal like I would love Broud right, but that is brod actors I'll tell you what they are animals in the best way, because thattakes some a shows a week, IC as a weak. Your Voice, like it's amazing, so maybe eventually shot do. Do you sing?I do don't ask you: Do don't ask you to Sig Right now? Okay, so like what Broadway musical?Would you cast yourself in actually before the shutdown Iauditioned for a broader musical, which one O Seyou and Wickan book a Mormon?Yes, I now. I could totally see you in that people when what I said Yeah Wen in you,know, sawcasting for that they're like elder price. I was like that's the way well, and I have to tell heur audienceif you've ever dated a Broadway actor, I mean from doing eight shows a weekand those dances. Let me just say the body is tight. Okay, we're GOINGTO play a little rapidfire. Are you ready, I'm so ready, okay, you're going to star as the next JamesBond? What is the movie called? Oh Gosh dobelow. Oh my God doublo heaven how about thatOneoh! That's good! Stick with their religious stuff right! Yeah! That'sreally good! DOUBE, O Heaven! Oh God! I really like that. Okay, what celebritywould you most want to film a love scene with Oh man or woman? It doesn't matter if we went with a woman. I Love Demi Lavato, I think Dimi Lavadois incredible, so it have to be her manestin right,random right, but as far as a man, I can't say, because I get in trouble,you don't have like a Hawpass. You have to have a celebrity hall. Pat, Oh, no,like you'll, see me cut I'll, be cut right. Okay, what is a horrible fashion trendthat you have fallen victim to so I love like oversize things. So I'llwear like gigantic, like just shirts and then like wear like atank top underneath, like a soin goodand, just like wear like this giantshirt with the buttons open and it like flies everywhere, and I'm like what areyou doing? Sean ieto tell you, as as a curving girl with a Skinny Person Wearsoversize club makes peg want to tear their eyes out because it's like whatare you doing. You have this body and...

...you're going to put oversize? No, no!No! That's like my biggest thing is like now: okay, Sean, what has beenyour worst date worst day, O, oh so it was actually in New York. We were like walking around CentralPark. You know it was fine, it was cute, but then, like you, know, Wenin for akiss and like it was honestly like just like kissing,like a bird that had just a Oh philly, rap EEK, and it was like there's nothing worse than a bad kisser.It was like like if, if I took my knuckle and just started kissing myknuckle, like that's kind of what Kil dry, okay, even though you're amodel, what is your binge junk? Food Pizza? Oh my God, Butwe has to be likewhat I can eat. Literally every day is pop corners. Have you had what acorners? What is that Gthey look like Doridos, but like they're made ofpopcorn and like they're? Incredible? Oh Sean, you just given me another junkfood Te. I do not need. No, you do need it. YOUI'M gonna go check it out, likeliterally I'm going to do that. LEAS O. It's so good. All right, Sha 'm tell everybody whereyou want them to find you and follow you. Yes, please follow me on instagram.I know we're just talking about it, but it's at Sean Miladi. If you want tofollow me on twitter, it's Atonmaladi as well. Facebook feel free to followme on there. I don't post too much but yeah and then watch the disturbance call onAmazon. Prime, thank you so much. I always love talking to you when youcome visit the west coast. It's on it is so on, like I'm beyond ready, I'mabout to look at flightsflights good, hey, they're, cheap for now, but in amonth they will not be but weres. Thank you. Thank you. Somuch on. Thank you! Elexindrer I'll talk to you again soon. Yes, all right!That has been my chat with Shanmoledi. You can read my indepth interview withhim at Netrasportzscom and again also watch the horror short film, thedisturbance, Colinam Wason prime and that's our episode. INM, your host,Alexandr Radrigez, you can find me on Instagram at Alexander, is on air andI'm Super Gay in my social media until next time stay true and do youboo. That has been another metrosource. Manylike sharein, subscribe on your favorite podcast player and check outthe latest issue of Metro Corse magazine on new stands or online atMetroscortscom, follow us on Faceboom instagram at natrasourt and on twinereMeta, Corse Man. Until next time, TAK PASSES.

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