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, theofficial podcast to Metro source magazine and home of short form interviews with your favoritepersonalities from the lgbtq world and beyond. Quick, Fun and informative. It'smetro source on the go, out in proud since one thousand nine hundred andninety. Well, hello, hello, hello, this is metro source minis. I'm your host, Alexander Rodriguez, lead writer for Metro Source Magazine andAvid podcaster. Hollywood's big discussions are should gay actors be the only ones toplay gay we see the headlines out gay after stars and new films. JamesCordon in the prom is proof why straight men shouldn't play gay roles. Butthen cut to Stanley Tucci and Colin firth getting amazing reviews as playing a gaycouple in Supernova, and as all of this talk of who is playing arole overshadowing how good someone is in actually playing the role. Today we aresetting the record straight. Get it okay that, after her and model ShanRere, lady is no stranger to the public eye and continues to focus hisattention on the screen in his most recent project, the Amazon Prime Short filmcalled the disturbance call and he was recently named in New York City celebrity modelthrough his work in various New York fashion week shows and he continued his filmwork with you and eleven pictures while making this twenty minute horror film. Andearly in his career he hit the ground running in full stride by land needthree off Broadway plays. Has Walked in both fall and spring New York fashionweek and also work with a myriad of other designers and off the runway hehas 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 disturbancecall, I'm a huge hore above so of course I went went to Amazonprime and I watched it and then of course I was like, oh mylook at Sean in that uniform. So I had to like stock you onsocial media. I scoured through everything and I was like, oh well,he must be straight. I don't see any angrew Christian underwear picks. Idon'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 tohappen? I think that just happens to happen. Like, when you're sayingthat, I'm like wait, even gay? No, check, yeah, Ithink that's just like how I portrayed myself. Listen, I am anout and proud man and I just I love the Lgbtq community and being apart of it, but I don't think that's the only part of me thatneeds to be out there. You know what I mean? Like there's somuch, so many other things, like so many different quotes besides golden girl, live, laugh, love you. Yeah, you know. And butit's funny, Sewan, because without being this overtly pride activist, you areactually, in my opinion, progressing the representation of the gay community in thefilm 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 ofassumes that number one being gay is some supernatural occurrence or that a gayactor 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 playstraight it's you're saying that gay actors can't be a good actor. And sothe focus is really on your acting and the way you present yourself is kindof 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 notthis gay gay actor. You know, do you get pushed back from thegay 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 theopposite side or they think, you know, only gaycare or gay actors should playgay characters or vice versa, you know, and that they're very offendedif straight actors are playing gay characters. But like, in my and mypersonal opinion and my view, which I fully expressed to people that may thinkthe 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 clownit. Well, he kind of is. He's a Weirdo, you know whatI mean, where it's like, you know, that's not your actualpersonality, that's not your persona, and so being able to act, youget to create that and like portray that. So I think that's a beauty ofacting. You know, I was talking this week to Academy Award winnerGeorge Quiras, who played Bernardo in the film of West side story, andhe'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 representationis not what it is now. We know Steven Spielberg is doing the newwest side story and casting only Puerto Ricans in those roles, and I kindof asked him, you know, he wouldn't have had all of these rolesin 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 youknow the best actors. You know, he's a Mexican actor. He playedORB of the Greek who that role became iconic for him and he wouldn't havebeen able to play that role and it was just just this call. Conversationis like we're talking about great actors and we're talking about the great roles thatthey've played and those conversations, you know, are not led by it. Itwas just a different time, but but the idea is still kind ofthe 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 actuallythinking, 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, fightingfor representation, fighting for social causes that when you do see them play astraight 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, whichis not right, but that's just I'm just being honest, because Ialways think of them as this this is staunch activist, but then I lookat 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 somethingthat she's always leading with, and I tend to be more enraptured by herperformance because I can sit back and just really be consumed by the character becauseI 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 definitelycan be, and I know, like we've chatted about it previously, it'sit's very interesting because in the end it's up to the audience. So ifif somebody's being a huge activist in the community, amazing, that's great workand so needed, you know, and when they put themselves into a character, like on screen or on stage, they drop the the activism part tofocus on this part of them, the acting part, and if if theaudience member only sees them as this activist, then the actor can't change their mindon that front. You know. Right, yeah, which, whichis fine, but like it's really not...

...up to the actor when it comesout to the nitty gritty. But I also think like being a part ofthe community and not being so vocal about being a part of the community onlike social media or different things like that. Like that. Get that can alsolook to an audience or two followers that like, oh, he mightnot care, but that's not the case at all. You know what Imean, like I care, like it all. It all depends on youknow, it's so interesting and the role that social media has has come toplay 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 worryabout social media haters, such as you know. Did you post this? Did you not post this? Did you use the right Hashtag? Didyou did you, you know, ignore something? It's you know you're goingto lose either way and it's just so damaging that that's become such a bigpart 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, Ididn't post a blackout square on my social media right away because I wasn't onsocial media the day that everybody was doing it. So I got all ofthese messages saying, Hey, you didn't do it. So then I waslike, Oh my God, you know, you know, of course I supportthe movement, but maybe it's not that obvious. So then I postedand then I apparently used a wrong hashtag or something, and so I gothate for that and it's like, you know, well, what do youwant 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 peopleare so quick to hear one thing and can't I mean cancel. Culture isa real thing. But like they're so quick to hear one thing and notsee the full picture. I guess because just because, like, somebody mightnot post on social media, they have no the those people have no ideawhat's happening behind the scenes, what come exactly right and what what things arein the works? You know what organizations you might be like contributing to orlike donating to. So, like it's so important. Don't get me wrong, like influencers and social media, like Grus, like you said, theyhave such a strong place, like in the community and different organizations and they'reamazing and it takes a lot of work. So I'm not negating that, butit'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 onthe other side of the fence. They're not going to be like, ohwell, Alexander posted this and use this Hashtag, I'm going to change mymind 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, whatkind of conversations are you having with your agent or your manager or you knowon the issue of being a gay actor? Doesn't even come up, and there'salso 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 wastaken aside. You know, you played a straight cup and it was likeyeah, okay, but there's is also this word that has a negative kindof te connotation, like passable. You know, it's like well, he'snot flamboyant, he kind of butches it up and it's just this whole otherconversation to as passable. And what kind of conversations are you having with yourteam? Yeah, those coversations actually haven't really come up, thankfully, likewith 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 becausethey're there have been castings where like people are looking for gay couples andso like some sometimes my representation, knowing that, you know, we livetogether and like we're together. The like Hey, would you and Craig beinterested 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 likefor the most part the industry, the entertainment industry, as far as likethe gay community is pretty accepting. From from what I've experienced I'm sure thereare 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 tobutch it up or were you more aware of your mannerisms that might comenaturally, not necessarily, like I just got into the character, like Ijust got into the roll of a cop. I'm like, what would this rookiecop do? You know, and the my partner in the in thedisturbance call, he actually in real life is like a former cop or acop, 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 andreally become that character. There are times where, like willfully admit, youknow, like an s sounds very, very interesting. Yeah, and soI'll be like, okay, maybe I need to work on that and kindof just like cut it short, like I don't know, Oh God,see to the hearing that it. You know, it has all these likered 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, ofyour playing Australian, you'd be very aware of how your voice and speech cameacross. So that makes sense. But as a gay man, it's like, Oh God, having a curtail, you know, like a Sassy sor like, you know, like girl. You know, that just sounds sowrong, but that is part of playing the character. When we takeit out of the context of being an activist, absolutely, and like you'llsee. You'll see different like it's a part of acting. You'll see differentmovies 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 tryingto 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 castingsor different auditions or breakdowns or whatever you want to look at, and likeit's like voice actors or different things like that. So it's like it's awhole different world. You know now and all of the interview that you've beendoing for the disturbance call, your sexuality is always brought up. Does itget tiring when an interview becomes like a part of that like it's kind oflad 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 geta little tiring as an actor? Um, not, not tiring. No,it's it is interesting that you bring that up because like kind of likewhat we started at. I don't I don't lead with my sexuality. Soif 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 proud of the movie and like it. Just one was itthe New Jersey International Short Film Festival, like congratulations, by the way.Thank you so much. And like and like those topics will come up toyou 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 definitelynot ashamed about it. Well, it's very funny how an actor is nowpackaged in terms of if press, in terms of getting attention such as youknow, 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'reseeing with your partner where it's like you're talking about you know, huge likeearth devastations, like earthquakes and hurricanes and the unknown, and I think yourpartner says, you know, the the biggest thing to fear or the scariestthing in the world could be other people, which is a huge statement, especiallywith what we've been through in the last year, the hate that we'reseeing that's happening, you know, even this week, you know, towardstowards the Asian culture. You know, it's this it's this big, kindof 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 knowthat he that he's this out actor, and it's like well, it's kindof 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 thefears. Like you said, it's so accurate because, yeah, you couldbe 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 outthere, but like people. Really, you have no idea what's going throughsomebody's mind and you have no idea how deep rooted, like hate is incertain 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. Likethe 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'slike that's terrifying because, like, yeah, you know those people, you mightknow those people, that might be somebody that your neighbors with. Youknow, like they can be really scary. People can be really scary. Seanthis this last week, the Catholic Church was under a lot of heatbecause they they kind of published their denial, which is nothing new, by theway. I was raised in the Catholic Church. It's nothing 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 op Edpiece, 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 inmind that religion does not mean faith, by the way. So I don'tconsider myself like religious anymore, like I still, you know, have faith, but I like I don't go to church anymore. But anyway, allthat, all that said, is like hearing what came from the Vatican,I'm like, okay, yes, the world probably wanted it to go adifferent way, that conversation to go a different way, but when it comesdown to it, like the Catholic faith, I'm assuming. I'm like, Ididn't grow up Catholic. I'm assuming, like the Catholic fase have has beenlike really, really strong for a very long time. So it's notreally 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, youknow, like that makes yeah. Now, going to school at a Christian College, when you kind of came out with this article, how is howis that response to people try to tell you that Jesus was gonna cure youof your sin, or or how is...

...that received? And that kind ofduality of religion and sexuality. Yeah, that's that's an interesting one. WhenI did, when I did come out, like friends that I've known for myentire life, like who I considered like best friends and everything of that, when I came out, like they're like hey, we really want youto think about what you're doing, because we don't want you to go tohell, 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 likeinstagram or something, I had comments from people that I've known like that Iwent 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, andI'm like well, if this is the type of thing that you guysare preaching, then I definitely know that I don't want to be a partof it. You know what I mean. But well, and it's so funnybecause Christianity is pretty much well, it is based on the New Testament, and the New Testament is all about love, love, love. It'sthe Old Testament that sin, Sin, Sin, and when we talk aboutof the Catholic Church says that you know, homosexuality is a sin. It alsosays 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 onand it's like nobody is without sin. I mean that's an actual phrase fromthe Bible. You know what I mean? Right? And then the whole messageof Christianity should be based on love. That's what the message of the NewTestament was. Absolutely, that's so right. Like the the part thatI think is so interesting is like people forget that or they don't even aboutit, like you taught. You mentioned the Prom earlier, like what JamesGordon, 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'slike, you know, if people actually listen to the words of the song, they would have a whole different opinion. I think, like in my personalopinion, but also if I were to have a religion, it wouldbe like the religion of love. I'm like, just everybody, accept eachother, love each other, like you have no idea what somebody's background is. You know, people can be scary, as mentioned, but also that likefear can stem from not being shown love. You know, like itjust solve so many things. Yeah, you know, it's just interesting howhow somebody could be angry towards somebody for their ethnicity or their sexuality, thingsthat 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 hemade these kind of people that you cannot stand. Oh, we could talkforever and ever about that. I want to talk about your transition from modelingto acting. You know, sometimes when we see models on screen, we'relike, oh, how cute, they want to be an actor. Ifsometimes that works out amazing and sometimes it's like what? When you made thetransition 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'veheard 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 seeon your like resume or something that, yeah, you're a model, becauseit's like, oh, they can stand there and look at you more andlike I've definitely heard that before, but thankfully I try to let you knowthe works speak on its own and like really give one hundred percent to eachand every role. So like, thankfully...

I hadn't had like much negative criticismabout that. I'm I think part of it too, is you just putout this this positive vibe about you and in the many times that we've chattedit's just this positive, optimistic view on life. Where do you want tosee yourself in the scope of things, as both an actor but as alsoa gay man in the LGBT community? I love being like a part ofthe LGBTQ. Could you know? There's too many letters. There's too manyletters. 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 moreinvolved in pride events and like, you know, help be involved in theparade and like all that. Like I think that's so amazing and so justlike freeing, because you're just surrounded by this community. But as far aslike acting, I definitely want to, you know, keep progressing, keepdoing movies and like TV, Broadway is that's a whole different animal. LikeI 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 aweek, 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, likewhat Broadway musical would you cast yourself in? Actually, before the shutdown, Iauditioned for a Broadway musical. Which one books you and wicked book aMormon. 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'sthe one. Well, and I have to tell her audience if you've everdated a Broadway actor, I mean from doing eight shows a week and thosedances, let me just say the body is tight. Okay, we're goingto 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 themovie 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 tofilm a love scene with? Oh, man or woman, doesn't matter.If we went with a woman, I love Demilovado. I think Demilovado isincredible. So it have to be her MANESTIN, right, random, right. But as far as a man, I can't say because I'd get introuble. You don't have like a hall pass, you have to have acelebrity hall pass. Oh No, no, like, you'll see me cut.I'll be cut right. Okay. What is a horrible fashion trend thatyou have fallen victim to? So I love like oversize things. So I'llwear 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 buttonsopen and that like flies everywhere. I'm like, what are you doing,Sean? I have to tell you, as as a curvy girl, whena skinny person wears oversize clocks, they want to tear their eyes out becauseit's like, what are you doing?...

You have this body and you're goingto put oversize no, no, that's like my biggest thing. Is likenow, okay, Sean, what has been your worst date? Worst Day? Oh Oh, so it was actually in New York. We were likewalking around Central Park. You know, was fine, it was cute,but then, like, you know, went in for a kiss and likeit 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 badkisser. It was like like I if I took my knuckle and just startedkissing my nunckle, like that's kind of what killed druid. Okay, eventhough you're a model, what is your binge junk food? Oh, Pizza, oh my God, but we has to be like what I can eatliterally every day is pop corners. Have you had what corners. What isthat? They look like Derito's, but like they're made of popcorn and likethey're incredible. Oh, Sean, you just given me another junk food andI do not need know you do need it. You, I'M gonna gocheck it out, like literally, I'm gonna do that. Please do it'sso good. All right, Sean, tell everybody where you want them tofind you and follow you. Yes, please follow me on instagram. Iknow we're just talking about it, but it's at Sean Malady. If youwant 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, butyeah, and then watch the disturbance call on Amazon prime. Thank youso much. I always love talking to you when you come visit the westcoast. 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 talkto you again soon. Yes, all right, that has been my chatwith Seawan. Mi Lady. You can read my indepth interview with him atNatur 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 canfind me on Instagram at Alexander is on air and I'm Super Gay on mysocial media. Until next time, stay true and do you boom? Thathas been another metro source mini like share, subscribe on your favorite podcast player andcheck out the latest issue of Metro Sports magazine on newstands or online atMetro sportscom. Follow us on Facebook, instagram at natural source and on twitterat Metro Sports Man. Until next time, Hey, fast.

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