How's life for Robert Gant--who plays Ben, Michael's hunky boyfriend on Queer as Folk--since he publicly came out last summer? "Not to sound like Pollyanna," the actor tells TV Guide Online, "but it's pretty terrific. I have a lot more energy to live my life; it takes so much to hide and conceal." With Folk's third season in full swing, we asked this outspoken 34-year-old the very silliest (and spiciest!) questions we could get away with.--Daniel R. Coleridge
TV Guide Online: Who's done the most damage to the gay rights movement in recent years: Anne Heche, Rosie O'Donnell or Richard Simmons?
Gant: Probably Anne Heche. It becomes precarious when your personal journey involves the lives of others. I can't [say] how cavalier her breakup with Ellen was, or how much she knew and didn't know ahead of time, with respect to her interest in women, as opposed to men. But it seemed sketchy. So she may've done the most damage.
TVGO: During Season One, Hal Sparks compared kissing men to kissing dogs on The Tonight Show. Has your hetero TV beau grown any more comfortable lip-locking guys?
Gant: I wasn't around for Season One, but Hal's a pro. He may get nervous, but that's probably because we're gettin' naked, and there's a bunch of crew standing around. Also, he may be a little bit more comfortable interacting romantically with a woman. All that said, we had a phenomenal love scene this morning! I left him a voice mail to congratulate him on it. He had to be really vocal; he had to tell me he wanted wild sex--and there were lots of moans. He just went for it!
TVGO: But how painful is it to look at Hal naked all the time?
Gant: Are you saying you don't want to see Hal naked? (Laughs) Honestly, that surprises me. I think Hal has a hot little body. Yeah, I really do. Hal's quite the athlete. He's majorly into martial arts. The only thing I've had some guys say is that they wish he would shave the hair in the middle of his chest. But Hal feels that's a very Michael thing, as a character choice.
TVGO: If you could do love scenes with any other guy on Folk, who would you choose?
Gant: Gale Harold, who plays Brian. His character--in terms of the emotional walls he has up--is a lot like guys I've been drawn to in the past. That's stuff I've really moved beyond, for the most part. But I find Brian intriguing because there are a lot of layers to him, besides just his promiscuity.
TVGO: Er, but based on Ben and Brian's obvious preferences in the boudoir...Are they compatible that way?
Gant: They hooked up at the White Party in South Beach years ago! We showed that in a flashback. Ben was tied up to the bed, and they were having sex! It was their very own little private party in a hotel room. I can't tell you how many people ask me, 'Why they don't show more of that flashback?'
TVGO: Who's your same-sex celebrity dream date?
Gant: I was talking to Peter Paige [who plays Emmett] about this, and it ticks me off that there's virtually no one to choose from who's openly gay. It sucks that I basically have to pick a straight guy, unless it's Rupert Everett, Nathan Lane or Ian McKellen. From a sheer physical looks standpoint, I'd pick Antonio Sabato Jr. But I doubt we'd have much in common!
TVGO: Our big-muscled Ben has a steroid-abuse storyline coming up. Are scary mood swings in store?
Gant: Oh, you'll see a very un-Zen Ben, especially around Episode Six or Seven. I think this whole season's very real, and the show's found its legs. I hope those idiot naysayers--who maybe watched one drugs 'n disco episode early on, and decided it's not for them--will come back and take a look. These characters are growing up.