Star Trek Discovery's Wilson Cruz

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Actor & activist Wilson Cruz started acting as a youngin’ and toured the US as part of the Young Americans. He has made television history as the first openly gay actor to play an openly gay character in a leading role in a major TV series in, of course, My So Called Life...AND as part of the first featured gay couple in the Star Trek franchise in Star Trek Discovery as Dr. Hugh Culbert with co-star Anthony Rapp. 

Wilson appeared in the Broadway production of RENT and his list of TV/film credits goes on and on with roles in Oliver Stone’s Nixon, Johns, He’s Just Not That Into You (story of my life), Party of Five, 13 Reasons Why and my personal favorite, Party Monster. Compelling guest spots include roles in ER, Ally McBeal, The West Wing, Noah's Arc, Pushing Daisies, Shameless, and Grey's Anatomy. He has been a tireless activist for LGBTQ equality especially for at-risk youth, Wilson himself being displaced by his family for coming out. We featured Wilson on the cover of Metrsource’s October/November issue.

We chatted with Wilson on his day off from filming Season 4 of Discovery and had a very intimate chat about LGBTQ representation in the media, love and dating, ageism in entertainment, how awesome Michelle Yoeh is, Wilson's first steps on the Star Trek set, how tight his uniform is, and overcoming loneliness during COVID. We also found out what his worst date was - hint, it was at a drive-thru.  

Wilson is donating his proceeds from Cameo (personalized video shoutouts) until the end of the year to GLSEN, the non-profit working to end discrimination, harassment, and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and to prompt LGBT cultural inclusion and awareness in K-12 schools. 

This is Metrosourcemenni the officialpodcast to metroscourte magazine and home of short form interviews with yourfavorite personalities from the lgbtq world and Beon Quick Fun andinformative. It's metal source on the go out in cousinse Mae Nice, hello, hell, hello. This is metrosorseMinis, im or host Alexandar Rodrigas lead rider from Metrosorse magazine andSansy podcaster during Covid, lgbt q representation and actors coming out,as Lgbtq have been out of this world wank wink. We are talking to actor andactivist Wilson Crewse, who started acting as a young en and Tord the US, apart of the young Americans, and he has made television history as a firstopenly gay actor to play openly gay character in a leading role in a majorTV series, of course, in my so called life and made history again as part ofthe first feature, gay couple in a star treck franchise, Star, treck discoverywith Costar Anthony Wrap. He hasappeared in Broadway production ofrent and his list of TV film cridits goes on and on with rolls and OliverStones, Nixon Johns he's just not that into you. It. The story of my lifeparty, of five thirteen reasons why and my personal favorite party monster,along with compelling guest pots, including roles ind, er, Alli, mcbeel,the West Wing noas, are pushing daisy, shameless and grates anatomy, and hehas been a tireless activist for the Lgvtq community, especially for at riskyouth himself having been displaced by his family for coming out. We featuredWilson and talked about his story on the cover of metrosources OctoberNovember issue. Please welcome Mr Wilson Cruise WC, my God thatintroduction I'm like do. We have anytime left for the well mean this is this? Is such alongstanding career with so many pinpoints in in our in our televisionand LGBT history, and you are sharing your time with us, you're actuallyfilming season for of Discovery, so your Inner Hotel Room in Canada. Sothank you for beaming in. Thank you. Am I supposed to be able to see you not yet, because this is just yourframe because you're, the Star E, wants to see me yet this is. This is not my.This is my actual Toronto home. I you know. So it's not my hotel o! So yourOh to my my Toronto Abov, Oh my God that is like so fancy. That's likemodel home quality! That's why I thought it was outalrom, because if itwas my house, Itbil Abo, please don'ton'get twisted this. Isn't myfurniture! It's a furnished department that I yeah!Okay, it's because you fancy now! Is it me or is your star fleet uniform,getting tighter and tighter every season?...

I have to say I didn't realize Cuati. It was forseason three until ITSD streaming. I was like there was a moment where I came up onthe bridge and I was like. Oh pretty sure I know his religion. Yeah hit's,like Dr Hugh, is clearly not Jewish, who needs GRAC swet pants. When we havewhite star fleet uniforms, I was like wow that's coming at you warp speedwell,we love it. We have seen this huge explosion of lgbtq characters on screen.Hallmart came out with their first gay couple, featured you ow holiday film,and now there's like fifteen hundred gay romance Christmas Films Year Treckand star check, featured you and Anthony as the first gay couple inspace and now discovery as feature trans non binary characters, majorbrands. This holiday season are featuring a lot of gay couples in theircommercials. Is this too much too fast? Is it sincereis at over exposure? Doyou think it's just the hot topic Gimmick of this year? I don't think it's a hot topic GEARMIC.I do think that you know when people experience inexistential crisis which our culture has people make decisions about their lives andhow they lead them, and I think that people are looking at this at theirlives during this time and going hey wait a minute. I actually am grateful for this life,and perhaps I should show up and show up in it more authentically and I thinkwe're seeing people do that. Well, I definitely think that's rightand covid is making us kind of self reflective we're spending more timewith ourselves without outside noise, and so we don't have to well. I meanyou're filming, but you know the rest of us: Don't have to wear certainoutfits if we don't want to, because we're not out doing our thing. You knowwe don't have to shave or you know, we're kind of rediscovering what wewant to do for ourselves without any outside pressure. I've had two friendscome out as trands in the last two weeks, and they said it's because ofcovid. Yes, I think, there's you know when we allow ourselves to get quietand listen to our Voto, our innervoice, without the noise from the outsideworld, and there has been so much of it and I think, because there's been somuch of it, we have been more willing to turn it off yeah when it gets quiet,you're left with you and you alone and your truth, and when you figure thatout, you want to yell it from the rooftops. Well, you know listening tomyself, I wish my voice was not so annoying agirl, so I want. I want tohear your ordhis every time you interview me Iam not going to allow youto make to beat yourself up, I'm not...

...going to do it. You're fantastic. Ilove you. Oh thank you. You know I could call in sick for me at school asmy mom and nobody even was the Wifer I oul listen. I talked to the thing todayand I was Mam all the way through and I was like Yetheyre Saing we're seeing alot of charges from Victoria's secret. Yes, Jdmeno God. No now tell me the storyabout getting cast on Star Trek because you thought you were part of it andthen not, but then you were tell me because I love the story. I mean so so yeah. So I wanted to be on starttick. Discover like I knew that Wurd Doi a rebampe star treck for this newage, and so I reached out to Brian Fuller, who I had worked with in thepast. Who was developing the new version and I was like hey if you knowI'd like to do this? If you think it's a good idea, why don't wely like makeit happen? He was like Sur sor sure so anyway, they they six months past. I heard they werelooking for this. This gay o w officer on the ship and that's allI knew and the next thing I've heard it was anthony, wrap, and I was likeamazing because I love Anthony Honestly right after I wanted to kill myself. Mynext thought was at least e Tampeny, Rad yeah, and so I call th Anthony andrealized. He had never met Aaron and Gretchen. Who would hired him, and so Ikind of connected them just so they can say hi and all it and then like, and soI let it go. You know it's like another one of those heartbreak stories thatactors have about the part that they, you know wanted, and you know didn't get. And three months later I get a phone callfor my manager like you're, going to be on Star Trek discovery they're notgoing to Havee one gate. They're going to the GAES are coming to star check,discovery and a pair, but then a just as, as is you know, a theme inmy career. It got snatched back because the network se CBS was like we're, not sure we don't. We don'tthink he's formidable enough. Clearly they had' met me Wel. They didn't thinkI duded formidability, Oh my God. They wanted to see me on camera, and soAroni Gretchen just brought me into the office and put me on camera, and I reada scene with Erin. They sent the tape over and then you know I got the offer.So it was just you know they wanted to make sure. Well and thank God you know, I have totell you you know as Yeah Hen, I got the job and you know nine epise tenepisodes later well. As we know in star Trak, no one'sreally gone, and you know, as we've seen, you've come back with a vengeancewith an expanded role and we get to see more of your relationship, which Ireally love, because we had that Scifi...

...drama going on between you and stamas.But now we get to see you living the life of a couple going to bed at nightin the same bed and kind of sharing relationship struggles. You know how do you workwith somebody that you're in a relationship and we're getting to thatpart of the relationship which I enjoy so much we're seeing stamants and dotorhugh as a family in space, and it's so important, especially as we had newcharacters now this season were in season three of discovery. The crew isdisplaced almost nine hundred years ar over nine hundred years into the mutureyeah yeah, leaving everything that they have known behind. It is such weirdtiming, because we're all kind of in this weird displacement right now withcovid and we know depression- is running rampant in the nation andespecially within our lgbt community. What advice do you have for somebodyfrom our community? That's feeling alone, that's kind of feeling isolated,because you've had some lonely points in in your in your life behind behindthe scenes as well. I you know, if you want me to be well,I'm Goingno be who I am y'u'all sorry. Yes, I have had a very hard time withaccelation and IAM. I am up here in Toronto and working, but the way that the schedule has workedout. I spend a lot of time alone here in this apartment and I struggle with it a lot and the onlything that, because you know I'm a tacilperson, I am A. I am a social creature. Yes and I grow from it. I need it. It's fuelfor me, people and- and I love my alone time as much as anybody else to refuel for that. But this has been alot and so for me, it's been about reaching out making myself vulnerable enough to sayI need to talk to somebody. I you know, will you get on facetime with me? Willyou go for a walk with me or just saying you know, just pickingup the phone and saying I'm having a rough time today. So there's that andthen for me, it's been about sting physically activein some way, and so I created a little bit of a routine because all the gymshere are closed and I'm as much as I am a social creature. I am also a physicalone. I need that. It's the it's the gift. Itry to give myself every day before I give to anying so that I can give toanybody else, and so you know making a commitment tothat and creating a a schedule. You know that that I can astructure that I can...

...exist within that doesn't that doesn't that that'schallenging but doesn't feel overwhelming, because I have a lot ofelse a lot of other things going on you now me yeah. We have. We have twoSenate races in Georgia. There's a whole Serie Thei whole season ofstartrick discovery. You know, there's the the you know, I'm on the board ofGlison, so you know being of service right now. Also keepsme less in my own head, you know what Imean like, so I'm not picking myself apart, I'm concentrating on someoneelse's means and how I can be of service to them, which is sometimesit's kind of a thin line. You know, we've talked a lot of activists thislast season through the election through prideseason. A lot of actorshave given so much of their time towards activism, and a lot of theheadlines are based on that, and you know the interviews are going to focuson what's happening with the LGBT community, which sometimes can even bemore isolating because we're focusing on that and we're talking about thegood that the community is doing and, like you said it's, it's we're nottalking about what you are going through or you as a person. It's, Ihave to say these things for the community and I'm sticking up for thecommunity and I'm donating my time and I have to say all the right politicallycorrect things, especially right now, which sometimes can be exhausting. Icall it activist fatigue and then also that attention is not put on who youare as a person like. If you want to crack a silly joke or you know be in abad mood or talk about, you know somebody's bulge, it's like it doesn'tfit like just you know it's not dealing with your personality. Yes, but I will say this that, in thesemoments of you know isolation of insecurity of the unknown. This this this era, in which you know politically and culturally. Weare adrift that in these moments there is nothing more revolutionarythan joy. Then the willingness to act out and appreciate and create joy for yourself and the peoplearound you that in you do that, in spite of what we're experiencing, that the act of joy of being joyful is themost hopeful thing that we can do and when we do that, we say Ewe areexpressing the fact that we believe...

...that we're going to be okay eventually-and at this moment like every moment, good or bad, is a temporary one and we have to endure it and work throughit and be responsible to each other through it. But also hang on to the hope that one day wewill see our way out and we'll have each other to hold on to again. I love that message and it's so great,going into the holidays with a message like that and heading in to the newyear, because it doesn't look like we're going to be heading into the newyear. Much changed. I'M gonna call Covid Wi, artmen hthe holidays bymyself, because we're on a break that start- and I will be here that pointsedia plant that I usually kill at some point. I'll be refreshing, it you know,and new years and my birthday, so all of you out there who are who arefeeling the holiday, Blus and afraid of doing it alone. Please know that you'renot you're doing it with me. I love that you know and he's sing alsoslipping his DMS on New Year's E. I want to talk about before I've beensing for ten years, and that's so and let's be real, I haven't seen a personnaked in at least the year. I find that so hard to believe, but we know that you're, a good boyyou're a good boy, you're a responsible boy. I'm not want to talk about that.You gave up alcohol by working on Star Trek discovery and thirteen reasons why?What what brought you to the point of that decision- and we know lgbt sociallife- is full of alcohol. How do you handle your sober journey as part ofthe community? So you know for me: It's not so much that I'm sober it'sthat I have realized that alcohol is not the drug formu and you know I think we, I think many people needsomething to alleviate the stresses of the day. Yeas some people, you know, have a ave, adependency on alcohol that that wasn't my issue. My issue wasthat I had a very problematic chemicalreaction to it, and- and so you know once I owninto that-and my friends were honest with me- theywere like you know, you are not your best self yeah. I I was like okay. Well, that's somethingto consider and I never loved it that much anyway, so naw I smoke my lige when I need a minute and or I'll have a gummy andeverybody's happier.

I also want to talk about agesm andentertainment. What I love about scar, creck, discoverieis, that we see such awide variety of characters and actors. We see strong female characters likeMichelle, yes, Georgio, Jame, Brooksis, Vice Amiral Katrina and take notarocourse alongside the young ends like Michael Burnam and Tilly, even Sero,you know played by Dug Jones who just celebrated his sixty fifth birthday ageis not even talked about. These are just strong characters all workingtogether, and I love that there's not this kind of focus of what we have theolder characters and the younger characters, especially for the femalecharacters, because you know, after a certain point, female characters, kind of become the older figure. YetShean connery was playing elove interest O he was like eighty two did.You ever feel the pressure, because you came in to your career success, so you and you know- you've come to the set ofStar creck discovery with decades of work and experience behind you. But didyou ever feel the pressure from the industry to kind of stay young staythat that young figure in in my so called life? No, I didn't feel that pressure. I am you know. I went through a period where, for whatever reason you know like in my late S, early s where nobody knew whatto were to put me like I was to. I was too old for this Iam way too young forthat. So it was this now man's land. For me- and I was okay with it, I meanI was broke, but what I did what I was what I was excited about. The was thatyou know you know this as we're part of the same generation. We we didn't get to see game an age Hm yesand I always felt a void of that and I I looked to and I hade men towards likeDarrell Cummings who's, the chief of staff at the center in La who's, likeloved erol, older brother, to me an, but you know he was one of the fewthat I could look to to see how how do we, how do gay men age gracefully,because there was a whole generation of f us? Who would have been that model for me who were taken from us because of AIDS,and so when I started to noticeably age, you know I I have been approached about,like you know, doing something about the the crows feet around my eyes, andyou know I have a very expressive forehead and,...

...and and you know it has creases and allof that, and so you n w a friend who's like cosintologist or whatever. WhoDoes the? We call that the photox Lotox and I gyes, and I made a consciousdecision at when we were talking about to say you know no, I'm going to do this. I'm Gona seewhat happens because this is my like. This is what Ithis is my whole job right and I use this to express everything and- and I don't want to mess with that- Ithink that my I think I want to age as gracefully as possible and to show that,like a letty Kravits, you know there's no one way to ait up yeah I'm going todo everything I can to be your Lenny Kravits Awell. I love it and hey I mean youlook amazing, so whof. I think it's important for us to alowourselves to age, gracefully and O, and those of us who are whop the privilegenow to be able to age to model that for this new generationthat there's a certain way that you k o you have choices, you don't have toalways look twenty five we're! No all you know I was a twit believe it or not.Back in to day. I know I had your poster on my Walkdondyou know and wecan allow ourelves to evolve and change, and you know give yourself that thatfreedom, you know, I love that. I think it's soimportant, especially know we were talking with covid. You know, there's okind of smoking mirrors with social media, and you can't keep putting allof these. You know well posted picks, ept traveling and all that, becausewe're all stuck at home and so filters look kind of ridiculous now, and so Ithink it's really important to have honest representation of what it's liketo age, gracefully and you're, one of the healthiest friends and actors. Iknow, and so that's such a great way to express that it's yeah, you can age,but you can get healthier and yes, look amazing and I have to you know, behonest, like I'm aging, my body's changing this experience of not having access toa gym, you know every it's changing and I have to I'm I'll beforty seven in lessmen month and I damn girl. You look good. Is that o? Thank you, but my point is:Is that I'm not always going to look like thisright and I and I think, being gentle with ourselves dirt while we age youknow? Yes, I feel good about how how I how it's happening, but I have to be okay with the the factthat things are going to change and and and be grateful for what I had thatyouthful. You Know Torso, but that you know part of life is becoming and aging and changing andletting that happen. How was that change kind of your attraction and whatyou're looking for in dating? I know...

...over the last like three years who I'mattracted to is so different, because there's all these different factors nowthat I'm older has that changed for you or are you still looking for that Ensinon you know? No, I goo TAT. I've never been. I mean, even when I was a Twik, Iwasn't dating people in their twenties. I just wasn't. That was never my thing.Well, you ind O had a mature faster too. I did and you know my partners, which I don't really speakabout publicly. A lot have been at least slightly older than me. It'sthat true, except for one spell the tea girl. I see your teapot,but you know yeah. I mean these days these days, I'm not we're going to be friendsunless you're, thirty five or over, like at that's just where that's justwhere I'm at. I don't need you to call me Daddy. Ireally don't I hate what TEU say daddy or Poppy O. Ijust can't. I can't Ooh so Wilson, I just have to say, as as atracky, you know I was a Checki from the womb because being part of theStar Trek family was such an out. For me, my family was just my mom and me Iwas Latino in an all white school I was Chubby. Talking are dealing with mysexuality and Star Trek taught me that you can find a family in any group ofpeople and that no matter what you look like or what species you are so tospeak, you have a place in this universe and that's what star Trecktaught me and knowing knew and the legacy that youstarted with being an out actor and taking that that leap of faith in yourcommunity. When I saw you take the screen and star check discovery whichwas so anticipated, I couldn't help it burst into tears for so many differentreasons as a trecky as a Latino as as a gay man with all of that, I want to know whatit was like setting foot in costume, ready to film on the soundstage. What was that moment like for you as an actor as well as you a did,have an appreciation for the startekuniverse. You know it was overwhelming it was. It was a big day like here's. What Iknow that I was grateful for. I was grateful to have anthony wrap by my side because he enjoyed watching my my my being overwhelmed. You know- andI've talked about this publicly, but what's overwhelming for me, and what's really...

Cathartic and altering for me about playing this rule,is I get to imagine what our lives aregoing to be when we don't have to deal with homophobia and racism that I get to imagine and create a Puerto Rican, gay man who was allowedto live up to his ultimate potential, not held back by anything or anyone whothought less of him based on his sexuality or his race that he all hehad to to do with just be as perfect and genius as he was made, and so for me itwas. It was incredibly freein because and ina full circle moment can I just I've never actually made this connection.But you know when I playe, when I did' when I played rickie in my so calledlife, I was imagining reimagining my past, reliving it and in startrick discovery I get toimagine and create a future that I imagine for a generation of people thatI'll never know in meet, but that I get to imagine and step intheir shoes for a minute and both of those things are incrediblyhealing yeah. On a personal I just got the chills. If I was ever cast in anything starTreck, I would steal every uniform every prop, because I have them anyway.I've just paid out the nose for them atcan. I just tell you good luck finding a prop now, becauseeverything in the future- yes, it's you know we're all workingwith hollows now- and you know this stuff yeah my last scenein season to was me saving my husband's life with every you know, medical startrick tool ever invented, I'm not kidding like I had to coybotit and it'going into season three and four where I'm like. I all I have to. I don't evenhave pockets for my hands. It's crazy. What girlthose pants are so tight. Theycould they couldn't add pockets. Okay, Hey! Is it true that you play thesaxophone yeah it was. It was the first instrument I played o. Did you bring asaxophone to Canada? I did not. I actually had to auction off my last Saxopone, oh Wellpaye, one year, oin, ineeen, Niety, nine or something well. Okay,...

...maybe in the future you can get a little saxy. I Etha, O stupid. Okay. Are you ready to play a littlerapid fire? Yes, okay, what would the name of your own starship be the USS?What Bodiqua? Oh? Ah, that's God that isgood, Hey! You should just text hone, Ofe the writers and be like hey this.This is what's happening. What is the strangest DM you received spell the tea. I'm always shocked that people justsend it picks. I'm always like, like with no context. I mean it's small talk. I mean I don't know eshats ver clean sir. Have you ever responded? Have you everbeen like wow? I need Oh ohokay. I don't know, we know your go it. Okay.Now we know you're very into fitness. You can't really go crazy in betweenseasons. But what is your bent food on cheep fat? Oh, you know. I have a cheap day at least once a week. You know my my cryptonit is Mac andcheese. Oh, I did not know that yeah. I can't I can't be in a restaurant. Ican't know that it's being served, I can't and im not sharing. What would your American idol auditionsongbe one moment in time? Okay, yeah! That'sso many meanings! Now. Are you guys just singing rent songs? You know onset all the time. No, IT'S COVID! WE DON'T SING! Oh, oh! That's right!HMMLIKE! Looking at a hospital, noweverybody's WORINGB works. Fine forme. Worse date, you've ever had the waywhate state you ever had worst date. I ever had. I mean, Oh God, Oh God, Oh God, Wa Oder Man. He was, I think he was twenty and he came and picked me up and wewent for like a ride. Hen Wea it was it was. You know whatI'm Goingoo, I'm not going to tell Thi stuf! Oh No! You can't do that. Youliterally can't do that now. Did he take you to chucky cheese or what no hetook me to like? I'm, not keeding like like a drive through, and then it like...

...wanted to like make out in the car, andI was like I'no making out with you in this carfert oall we're going to getkilled same Yo know California, I don't know if somebody took me to nthe drive through and got me McDonald's fries. I might do more than just kiss.You know what would you do Avto ar that was Tegodi Daot of bad dates. So I meanI'm sure if I thought long and hard enough. You know because, like you knowlike like musical numbers from shows that I'm no longer in bad dates, Ithink my brain just like the hard jibes like we don't need any of that ineedroom for other stuff, Wilson O. where do you want everybodyto find you and follow? You come here to my parten outside right, just at your window withplates of Mac and cheese. Yes, Maybe Inn Central Park, I'm on twitter and Instagram at wcruise, seventy three and I'm on facebook. You know like our Bo, I I'mnot doing Tik tack, I think I'm too old. I just can't. I tried- and I justliterally I'm like that- I'm like that. I don't need all that young guff. Youknow I'm thrilled, I'm not looking down on it. I'm just saying I don't needanother thing. I don't yet Muh, there's too much to do Wilson. You know you know that I couldliterally talk to you for hours and hours and hours. Thank you so much forjoining us and to our audience season. Three ofdiscovery is now streaming on. CBS All access, and you can read my indepthinterview with Wilson crews in our last issue of Metrostores, get in onnewstanceor go to metrotourscom and that's our episode, I'm your hostedyeah. I just I just wanted to say you know thank you to you for all of theways that you have supported and showin up for me and what you wrote at the end of thatarticle in Metrosource. I will hold deer to my heart for therest of my life, because it is literally the reason why I do what I doso it means everything to me. I I appreciate you. I appreciate what youdo for the community and I appreciate our friendship when Covid's over we'regoing to go shopping for old men together, yeah all right that ive been another episodeof Mato Source Miis on that note, stay healthy, stay sexy and do YoubooBu. That has been another metrof horse.Many like share subscribe on your favorite podcast player and check outthe latest issue. Metrocorse magazine on new stands or online atNettascortscom, follow us on Facebook, Instagramat, Nese fort and on twinteren.That's a course: Man Utell next time, ta a.

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