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 metro source minis, the official podcast to Metro source magazine and home of short form interviews with your favorite personalities from the lgbtq world and beyond. Quick, Fun and informative. It's metro source on the go, out in proud since one thousand nine hundred and ninety. Well, hello, hello, hello, this is metro source minis. I'm your host, Alexander Rodriguez, lead writer for Metro Source Magazine and Avid podcaster. Hollywood's big discussions are should gay actors be the only ones to play gay we see the headlines out gay after stars and new films. James Cordon in the prom is proof why straight men shouldn't play gay roles. But then cut to Stanley Tucci and Colin firth getting amazing reviews as playing a gay couple in Supernova, and as all of this talk of who is playing a role overshadowing how good someone is in actually playing the role. Today we are setting the record straight. Get it okay that, after her and model Shan Rere, lady 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 and he was recently named in New York City celebrity model through his work in various New York fashion week shows and he continued his film work with you and eleven pictures while making this twenty minute horror film. And early in his career he hit the ground running in full stride by land need three off Broadway plays. Has Walked in both fall and spring New York fashion week and also work with a myriad of other designers and off the runway he has done print and commercial for fortune five hundred companies, a wide variety. Anything you can think of he's probably modeled. Please welcome from N Y see. Please welcome Sean Millety. Hey everyone, thanks for hap Alexander. Of course, of course. Okay. So when I first heard about the disturbance call, I'm a huge hore above so of course I went went to Amazon prime and I watched it and then of course I was like, oh my look at Sean in that uniform. So I had to like stock you on social media. I scoured through everything and I was like, oh well, he must be straight. I don't see any angrew Christian underwear picks. I don't see any gay motivational quote. I don't see any golden girls quotes. Is your outward social media not overtly gay on purpose or that's just happened to happen? I think that just happens to happen. Like, when you're saying that, I'm like wait, even gay? No, check, yeah, I think that's just like how I portrayed myself. Listen, I am an out and proud man and I just I love the Lgbtq community and being a part of it, but I don't think that's the only part of me that needs to be out there. You know what I mean? Like there's so much, so many other things, like so many different quotes besides golden girl, live, laugh, love you. Yeah, you know. And but it's funny, Sewan, because without being this overtly pride activist, you are actually, in my opinion, progressing the representation of the gay community in the film industry by showing that a gay actor can play straight without bells and whistles. You know, the headline saying Oh, a gay actor playing straight kind of assumes that number one being gay is some supernatural occurrence or that a gay actor who can play a role is it's hard to come by. I mean, I think that's what we're saying when like, wow, gay actor play straight it's you're saying that gay actors can't be a good actor. And so the focus is really on your acting and the way you present yourself is kind of saying, yeah, it's just casual, that it's a part of you, but it's not the part of you, that you're an actor, you're not this gay gay actor. You know, do you get pushed back from the gay community for not being more overt and and out and flat cline? Not Directly, but I have had conversations...

...with people where they are on the opposite side or they think, you know, only gaycare or gay actors should play gay characters or vice versa, you know, and that they're very offended if straight actors are playing gay characters. But like, in my and my personal opinion and my view, which I fully expressed to people that may think the other way, like I'll listen to them and I'll accept up their opinions, because they have every right to feel with a feel, you know, but I think it's important as an actor to be able to portray other characters, other roles, you know, like, for example, like Joaquin Phoenix. He's not a clown like in real life, but he's portraying to clown it. Well, he kind of is. He's a Weirdo, you know what I mean, where it's like, you know, that's not your actual personality, that's not your persona, and so being able to act, you get to create that and like portray that. So I think that's a beauty of acting. You know, I was talking this week to Academy Award winner George Quiras, who played Bernardo in the film of West side story, and he's Greek but he portrayed a Puerto Rican. He's also played a Mayan, Indian, he's played Norwegian, and so I asked him, you know, we're talking about films he made in the s and S, where ethnic representation is not what it is now. We know Steven Spielberg is doing the new west side story and casting only Puerto Ricans 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 then he brought up, you know, Anthony Quinn, who's one of the you know the best actors. You know, he's a Mexican actor. He played ORB of the Greek who that role became iconic for him and he wouldn't have been able to play that role and it was just just this call. Conversation is like we're talking about great actors and we're talking about the great roles that they've played and those conversations, you know, are not led by it. It was just a different time, but but the 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'm actually thinking, and I'm just going to be really, really honest. You know, there's activists in our community like Wilson crews, like Neil Patrick, Harris, Ruby rose, that they are so forefront fighting for our community, fighting for representation, fighting 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 job playing straight. That's always in my mind, which is not right, but that's just I'm just being honest, because I always think of them as this this is staunch activist, but then I look at an actress like Sarah Paulson. I Love Sarah Paulson M and she, I'm she reminds me of you. You know, she doesn't hide her sexuality. Of course you know her relationship with Allen Taylor, but it's not something that she's always leading with, and I tend to be more enraptured by her performance because I can sit back and just really be consumed by the character because I don't have all of this connotation that's that's kind of given to me. It's really a double edge sword, wouldn't you say? Yeah, it definitely can be, and I know, like 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 huge activist in the community, amazing, that's great work and so needed, you know, and when they put themselves into a character, like on screen or on stage, they drop the the activism part to focus on this part of them, the acting part, and if if the audience member only sees them as this activist, then the actor can't change their mind on that front. You know. Right, yeah, which, which is fine, but like it's really not...

...up to the actor when it comes out to the nitty gritty. But I also think like being a part of the community and not being so vocal about being a part of the community on like social media or different things like that. Like that. Get that can also look to an audience or two followers that like, oh, he might not care, but that's not the case at all. You know what I mean, like I care, like it all. It all depends on you know, it's so interesting and the role that social media has has come to play in an entertainer's life. You know, back in the days, like again, you know, going back to the conversation I had with this actor, back in the days you just had to show up, do your job, be a great actor. Now you have to worry about social media, you have to worry about keeping that up, but then you also have to worry about social media haters, such as you know. Did you post this? Did you not post this? Did you use the right Hashtag? Did you did you, you know, ignore something? It's you know you're going to lose either way and it's just so damaging that that's become such a big part of being a successful actor in the business. It's like, well, I'm acting I like, I'm not a Social Media Guru. You know, I know some people that are terrible a posting. Like with Blm, I didn't post a blackout square on my social media right away because I wasn't on social media 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 I posted and then I apparently used a wrong hashtag or something, and so I got hate for that and it's like, you know, well, what do you want me to do? Yeah, now that that's that's a very interesting point, and it's a delicate subject. Like it's so delicate and like because people are so quick to hear one thing and can't I mean cancel. Culture is a real thing. But like they're so quick to hear one thing and not see the full picture. I guess because just because, like, somebody might not post on social media, they have no the those people have no idea what's happening behind the scenes, what come exactly right and what what things are in the works? You know what organizations you might be like contributing to or like donating to. So, like it's so important. Don't get me wrong, like influencers and social media, like Grus, like you said, they have such a strong place, like in the community and different organizations and they're amazing and it takes a lot of work. So I'm not negating that, but it's not the only place. Well, that's that's exactly, exactly right. And just because I post something is not going to change somebody's mind on the other side of the fence. They're not going to be like, oh well, Alexander posted this and use this Hashtag, I'm going to change my mind about everything I've ever thought. It doesn't work that way. You know, pretty much we're kind of preaching to our own choir. Now, what kind of conversations are you having with your agent or your manager or you know on the issue of being a gay actor? Doesn't even come up, and there's also this kind of buzz word around you that's like, oh well, sewan's passable. You know you and the disturbance call. I never once was taken aside. You know, you played a straight cup and it was like yeah, okay, but there's is also this word that has a negative kind of te connotation, like passable. You know, it's like well, he's not flamboyant, he kind of butches it up and it's just this whole other conversation to as passable. And what kind of conversations are you having with your team? Yeah, those coversations actually haven't really come up, thankfully, like with my representation, like with my manager and agent. But they do know, like I'm an out actor. They've met my partner, they they've castle. Wait, wait, wait, wait, you have a partner. I do, I do. That's the end...

...of this interview. By no again. Oh that's so funny. But yeah, they they've. Actually it's funny because they're there have been castings where like people are looking for gay couples and so like some sometimes my representation, knowing that, you know, we live together and like we're together. The like Hey, would you and Craig be interested in doing this? I'm like yeah, of course, of course. So, like they know and thankfully it's been so accepting and I feel like for the most part the industry, the entertainment industry, as far as like the gay community is pretty accepting. From from what I've experienced I'm sure there are tons of other stories, but just from a personal experience now in it, approaching your role for the disturbance called, did you feel like you had to butch it up or were you more aware of your mannerisms that might come naturally, not necessarily, like I just got into the character, like I just got into the roll of a cop. I'm like, what would this rookie cop do? You know, and the my partner in the in the disturbance call, he actually in real life is like a former cop or a cop, and so like I was like taking notes from him be like Hey, what what would I do? Like just trying to learn that character and really become that character. There are times where, like willfully admit, you know, like an s sounds very, very interesting. Yeah, and so I'll be like, okay, maybe I need to work on that and kind of just like cut it short, like I don't know, Oh God, see to the hearing that it. You know, it has all these like red alerts as a gay person. But then you're also thinking as the character, such as if you were doing an accent, so to speak, of your playing Australian, you'd be very aware of how your voice and speech came across. So that makes sense. But as a gay man, it's like, Oh God, having a curtail, you know, like a Sassy s or like, you know, like girl. You know, that just sounds so wrong, but that is part of playing the character. When we take it out of the context of being an activist, absolutely, and like you'll see. You'll see different like it's a part of acting. You'll see different movies like bombshell with shre he's throne, like she she had to play somebody, so she had to change her voice. You know, not because she's trying to hide who she is, it's just she's trying interesting. Yeah, so and yeah, voice acting is it's a huge part of the industry. It's actually becoming more and more present because covid yeah, be like different castings or different auditions or breakdowns or whatever you want to look at, and like it's like voice actors or different things like that. So it's like it's a whole different world. You know now and all of the interview that you've been doing for the disturbance call, your sexuality is always brought up. Does it get tiring when an interview becomes like a part of that like it's kind of lad with that. That's that's part of every interview that I've read with you, for this film has kind of dealt with your sexuality. Does it get a little tiring as an actor? Um, not, not tiring. No, it's it is interesting that you bring that up because like kind of like what we started at. I don't I don't lead with my sexuality. So if it comes up, sure I'm glad to talk about it, but that's not the only part of me. You know, like the movie itself, like I'm really proud of the movie and like it. Just one was it the New Jersey International Short Film Festival, like congratulations, by the way. Thank you so much. And like and like those topics will come up to you know. So it's not just about...

...being a gay actor, which, if people want to talk about it, great, I'm happy to like definitely not ashamed about it. Well, it's very funny how an actor is now packaged in terms of if press, in terms of getting attention such as you know, the film deals with what our biggest fears are and you know, there's kind of this horror film esque type of underlining to it. But you're seeing with your partner where it's like you're talking about you know, huge like earth devastations, like earthquakes and hurricanes and the unknown, and I think your partner says, you know, the the biggest thing to fear or the scariest thing in the world could be other people, which is a huge statement, especially with what we've been through in the last year, the hate that we're seeing that's happening, you know, even this week, you know, towards towards the Asian culture. You know, it's this it's this big, kind of monumental theme of this, but then we're seeing, like I've seen, you know, some of your article show you with like, you know, your muscles hanging out or like here's here's my model pick, or you know that he that he's this out actor, and it's like well, it's kind of we're not discussing what the film is is about and how monumental that is. That that's a really good point too, like there's a big part in that, in that big part in that short film that really talks about the fears. Like you said, it's so accurate because, yeah, you could be you could be afraid of like heights. You can be afraid of snakes. You can be like I don't know what, like the common phobias out there, but like people. Really, you have no idea what's going through somebody's mind and you have no idea how deep rooted, like hate is in certain people or or like judgments and like this ideology that they may have. You have no idea until it's like shown, you know what I mean. Like the tried and true saying is actions speak louder than words, you know, and like when you see people acting out and doing horrific things, it's like that's terrifying because, like, yeah, you know those people, you might know those people, that might be somebody that your neighbors with. You know, like they can be really scary. People can be really scary. Sean this this last week, the Catholic Church 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's nothing new. But they said, you know, that they would not be able to bless same sex relationships. Your kind of public coming out was in your op Ed piece, I'm a gay guy at a Christian College. That went viral. What are your thoughts on religion faith in same sex relationships today, keeping in mind that religion does not mean faith, by the way. So I don't consider myself like religious 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, is like hearing what came from the Vatican, I'm like, okay, yes, the world probably wanted it to go a different way, that conversation to go a different way, but when it comes down to it, like the Catholic faith, I'm assuming. I'm like, I didn't grow up Catholic. I'm assuming, like the Catholic fase have has been like really, really strong for a very long time. So it's not really a surprise that they didn't bless same sex unions. It's not okay, like in my opinion, but like I wasn't really shocked by it, you know, like that makes yeah. Now, going to school at a Christian College, when you kind of came out with this article, how is how is that response to people try to tell you that Jesus was gonna cure you of your sin, or or how is...

...that received? And that kind of duality of religion and sexuality. Yeah, that's that's an interesting one. When I did, when I did come out, like friends that I've known for my entire life, like who I considered like best friends and everything of that, when I came out, like they're like hey, we really want you to think about what you're doing, because we don't want you to go to hell, and I'm like Hey, I think I'm fine, but but, like, the thing is, like after that they stopped talking to me. And like people, like when I posted the article like on facebook or like instagram or something, I had comments from people that I've known like that I went to church with and everything that. They're like, your ways are wrong, they're against God, and like again, like you're going to hell, and I'm like well, if this is the type of thing that you guys are preaching, then I definitely know that I don't want to be a part of it. You know what I mean. But well, and it's so funny because Christianity is pretty much well, it is based on the New Testament, and the New Testament is all about love, love, love. It's the Old Testament that sin, Sin, Sin, and when we talk about of the Catholic Church says that you know, homosexuality is a sin. It also says premarital sex is a sin. It also says masturbation is it sin. It also says divorce is a sin. It also says, you know, touching certain kind of foods is a sin. There's just so much sin, and so it's like it's interesting what a certain faith can narrow down on and it's like nobody is without sin. I mean that's an actual phrase from the Bible. You know what I mean? Right? And then the whole message of Christianity should be based on love. That's what the message of the New Testament was. Absolutely, that's so right. Like the the part that I think is so interesting is like people forget that or they don't even about it, like you taught. You mentioned the Prom earlier, like what James Gordon, but like Andrew Reynolds, he sings the song love thy neighbor, I think, in the prom. Yes, yeah, it is such a good, accurate song. I'm like, it's funny one, but to it's like, you know, if people actually listen to the words of the song, they would have a whole different opinion. I think, like in my personal opinion, but also if I were to have a religion, it would be like the religion of love. I'm like, just everybody, accept each other, love each other, like you have no idea what somebody's background is. You know, people can be scary, as mentioned, but also that like fear can stem from not being shown love. You know, like it just solve so many things. Yeah, you know, it's just interesting how how somebody could be angry towards somebody for their ethnicity or their sexuality, things that they cannot change, some in a way that God has made them, but yet they're still using faith and religion as a way to attack these people. It's like, so you're saying God made a mistake then, because he made these kind of people that you cannot stand. Oh, we could talk forever and ever about that. I want to talk about your transition from modeling to acting. You know, sometimes when we see models on screen, we're like, oh, how cute, they want to be an actor. If sometimes that works out amazing and sometimes it's like what? When you made the transition to acting, did you get any pushbacks to like Oh, you know, okay, here's this cute model, now he wants to be an actor. Did you run into end any of them. Um. Actually, I've heard people say it. I've heard people say and they're like like yeah, people don't really like to see, like casting directors don't really like to see on your like resume or something that, yeah, you're a model, because it's like, oh, they can stand there and look at you more and like I've definitely heard that before, but thankfully I try to let you know the works speak on its own and like really give one hundred percent to each and every role. So like, thankfully...

I hadn't had like much negative criticism about that. I'm I think part of it too, is you just put out this this positive vibe about you and in the many times that we've chatted it's just this positive, optimistic view on life. Where do you want to see yourself in the scope of things, as both an actor but as also a gay man in the LGBT community? I love being like a part of the LGBTQ. Could you know? There's too many letters. There's too many letters. Love being part of the community and like being here in New York. Like I'll play on a gay volleyball league and be a part of that, or I'll go to pride events and like I would like to be more involved in pride 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 surrounded by 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 different animal. Like I would love Broadway, but that is Broadway actors. I'll tell you what. They are animals in the best way, because that takes some stamp shows a week, eight shows a week. Your Voice, like it's amazing, so maybe eventually shot. Do you sing? I do. Don't ask you do. Don't ask me to sing right now. Okay. So, like what Broadway musical would you cast yourself in? Actually, before the shutdown, I auditioned for a Broadway musical. Which one books you and wicked book a Mormon. Yes, I oh, I could totally see you in that. People when I what I said. Yeah, I when in, you know, saw casting for that. They're like elder price, I was like that's the one. Well, and I have to tell her audience if you've ever dated a Broadway actor, I mean from doing eight shows a week and those dances, let me just say the body is tight. Okay, we're going to play a little rapid fire. Are you ready? I'm so ready. Okay, you're going to start as the next James Bond. What is the movie called? Oh Gosh, doub below. Oh my God, a doublow heaven. How about that one? Oh, that's goods stick with the religious stuff, right, yeah, that's really good. Doublow heaven. Oh God, I really like that. Okay, what celebrity would you most want to film a love scene with? Oh, man or woman, doesn't matter. If we went with a woman, I love Demilovado. I think Demilovado is incredible. So it have to be her MANESTIN, right, random, right. But as far as a man, I can't say because I'd get in trouble. You don't have like a hall pass, you have to have a celebrity hall pass. Oh No, no, like, you'll see me cut. I'll be cut right. Okay. What is a horrible fashion trend that you have fallen victim to? So I love like oversize things. So I'll wear like gigantic like just shirts and then like we're like a tank top underneath, like a sod and just like we're like this giant shirt with a buttons open and that like flies everywhere. I'm like, what are you doing, Sean? I have to tell you, as as a curvy girl, when a skinny person wears oversize clocks, they want to tear their eyes out because it's like, what are you doing?...

You have this body and you're going to put oversize no, no, that's like my biggest thing. Is like now, okay, Sean, what has been your worst date? Worst Day? Oh Oh, so it was actually in New York. We were like walking around Central Park. You know, was fine, it was cute, but then, like, you know, went in for a kiss and like it was honestly like just like kissing like a bird that had just the Oh, really rapid peak, and it was like there's nothing worse than a bad kisser. It was like like I if I took my knuckle and just started kissing my nunckle, like that's kind of what killed druid. Okay, even though you're a model, what is your binge junk food? Oh, Pizza, oh my God, but we has to be like what I can eat literally every day is pop corners. Have you had what corners. What is that? They look like Derito's, but like they're made of popcorn and like they're incredible. Oh, Sean, you just given me another junk food and I do not need know you do need it. You, I'M gonna go check it out, like literally, I'm gonna do that. Please do it's so good. All right, Sean, tell everybody where you 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 Malady. If you want to follow me on twitter, it's a shawn malady as well. facebook. Feel free to follow me on there. I don't post too much, but yeah, and then watch the disturbance call on Amazon prime. Thank you so much. I always love talking to you when you come visit the west coast. It's on. It is so on, like I'm beyond ready. I'm about to look at flights. Good, Hey, they're cheap for now, but in a month they will not be, but we're almost thank you. Thank you so much. On. Thank you, Alexander. I'll talk to you again soon. Yes, all right, that has been my chat with Seawan. Mi Lady. You can read my indepth interview with him at Natur Sportscom and again also watch the horry short film the Disturbance Calling Amazon Prime. And that's our episode. I'm your host, Alexander Rodriguez. You can find me on Instagram at Alexander is on air and I'm Super Gay on my social media. Until next time, stay true and do you boom? That has been another metro source mini like share, subscribe on your favorite podcast player and check out the latest issue of Metro Sports magazine on newstands or online at Metro sportscom. Follow us on Facebook, instagram at natural source and on twitter at Metro Sports Man. Until next time, Hey, fast.

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