As if ABC’s hit show Ugly Betty wasn’t already gay-friendly enough, the dramedy recently added a boyfriend for Marc St. James (Michael Urie), Wilehmina Slater’s unctuous, yet lovable assistant. Proving opposites attract, Marc fell for fashion photographer Cliff, an overweight, fashion-impaired gay man, Marc’s opposite in almost every way. We recently had the chance to chat with David Blue, the actor who imbues Cliff with a refreshingly different gay sensibility.
AE: Would you say Ugly Betty is the biggest break of your career so far? DB: Absolutely, absolutely. Not only is it a great role – the character is warm and fun and friendly – but I don’t think he falls into any ridiculous stereotypes. He’s allowed to just be human; he’s allowed to just be. Because of that, and because he’s just the average, everyday guy, people can relate to him or see parts of themselves in Cliff.
AE: What was the casting and audition like for the role? DB: It was really typical, actually. A lot of people think I just called and was offered the role, which would be nice. No, I auditioned through my agent, through my manager and was called back a few weeks later and then did a screen test with Michael Urie, which was great, and booked a role. So a typical movie or TV audition process.
AE: How was the part described, or what did it call for? DB: It was something along the lines of, a photographer at Mode magazine, fun … Male, mid- to late twenties, overweight, average-looking photographer who has a crush on Marc.
AE: Did you see the other actors you were up against for the role? DB: Yeah, I met one of them at the actual audition and the other one is a friend of mine. We studied together at an acting school a while ago so it was kind of odd to know each other and to be testing for the same role.
AE: Were they pretty similar or were you guys very different? DB: No, we were very different. One was larger than me, taller and more built and the other one was thinner and dark hair. Very different. I think all of us, we’re all on the larger side, I wouldn’t say huge, but I think when we were all up for the role, we wanted to make sure that we were right for it, so I know that I, personally, started eating like a mad man.