Interview With “The Lair”‘s Lead Vamp, Peter Stickles

Actor Peter Stickles is most likely familiar to gay filmgoers from his role as vaguely creepy stalker Caleb in John Cameron Mitchell‘s ode to sexual intimacy and dysfunction, Shortbus. The rather adorable and brooding young man was one of the few leads in the film to not have an explicit sex scene — something that disappointed many fans (we heard a lot about it, trust me) and lent an air of mystery to the young actor.

So when the horror vet had landed the lead role of Damian in the new here! TV gay vampire series The Lair, it wasn’t a surprise. recently talked with the actor, whose intensity and tendency to straddle genres of horror and gay film set him apart from the pack. Hey, Peter. As you know, I’m a horror nut, so when I saw that you had the lead in this series, I said, "We have to talk to this guy!"
Peter Stickles
: Yeah, I remember we met at the Hellbent screening at the Chelsea theater and I got your card and checked out CampBlood and thought it was the most awesome website I’d seen in a long time.

AE: Aw … thanks! So what is it like to be playing the villainous head of a gay vampire sex club?
You don’t know for how long I’ve wanted to be asked that question! [Laughs.] It was a blast. It was crazy because I was thrown into it. They offered me the part on a Friday and they wanted me up there on, like, Saturday, in L.A., for two weeks. So it was kind of this crazed, "Do you want it or not, we need to know right now!"

I sort of met everyone my very first day. I had a sex scene my very first day. I had hair and makeup and fangs and these things sort of thrown on me like at a day’s notice. So when I think about what it was like, I think it was crazed and a lot of fun. And a lot of hard work.

AE: How so? What was the hardest part?
From a production standpoint, we shot the whole first season in, I think, 11 days? So we’d shoot 15, 16 scenes a day, which is a lot. But I can’t pretend it’s not a thrill to play a bad guy, because when you play a bad guy you get to go to that weird place in your psyche where you can sort of be a monster, which is every little boy’s dream.

AE: And you generally play good guys, from what I’ve seen.
I do play good guys. I also did another film called 2 Minutes Later which is also premiering at NewFest, and I play the killer in that one too.

AE: Wasn’t that the one being described as "an episode of Silk Stalkings directed by Robert Mapplethorpe"?
It’s actually really good. I gut a couple of people with a knife.

AE: You’re in The Lair and were also in the gay vampire movie Dead Serious and played a gay stalker in Shortbus — are you gay yourself?
I am.

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