The only out actor on Here! TV’s “Dante’s Cove,” sexy Charlie David, is very pleased to be part of the first gay and lesbian channel’s supernatural series.
Sinful and skinful, “Dante’s Cove,” which premiered in early October, is, David said, “soapy, dishy, sexy fun,” which he hopes will become appointment TV like other trailblazing series, including “Sex in the City” and “Queer as Folk.” “ Dante’s Cove” is about a young group of gay, lesbian, straight, and bisexual friends living in a haunted hotel on the beach, and there is copious nudity and sweaty sex.
In his first ten minutes of screen time, David’s Toby gives his boyfriend Kevin (Gregory Michael) a blowjob in the back of a cab, before they end up naked and in bed together.
David laughed and paused before discussing the gay sex scenes, which require him to be bare-assed, and in various embarrassing poses.
“I used to be a dancer,” he explained, flashing a smile, “and flexibility is key when you are having sex in all types of positions. I think we experimented with a few that are shown. The hardest one was in the taxicab—that was very much out of my comfort zone!”
Still, the handsome actor manages to make these erotic clinches sexy. His character’s passionate relationship with Kevin forms the core “Dante’s Cove,” and it certainly helps that the actor finds his good-looking co-star appealing.
“He’s such a cutie,” David said enthusiastically about Michael, before launching in to the difficulties of being naked and coated in castor oil.
“Those [love] scenes are not the most comfortable to do,” he insisted. “They are not sexy while you are shooting. It is all about ‘where is the light? Is this flattering for the camera, or not?’ I think [director] Sam Irvin did a good job of making it look sexy even if in the moment, it was the most awkward thing in the world.”
As for the “glistening” effect, the actor audibly groaned and explained, “Makeup decided that since we are in this resort place, and it’s hot, we should look a little moist. At the end of the day you feel like you’ve taken a swim in a big jar of Vaseline. It was disgusting. But it was one of the obstacles of the job.”
So having hot gay sex on a hot beach in Turks and Caicos with a hot co-star was an occupational hazard, David maintained, before adding that he was keen to play Toby because of the character’s monogamous gay relationship with Kevin.
“What was attractive [about the role] was for me to portray a gay relationship, in which it’s not always a different guy every night,” David said. “Many [gays and lesbians] do pursue—and have—loving relationships in which we are very committed to each other. I think that is what Toby brings to the show. He is kind of a voice of reason, and has a definite dedication to his boyfriend.”
David, who for the record is single, believes that it is very important to tell LGBT stories, as the community has been underrepresented in the past.
“Whether it is through Here! TV, or hopefully the mainstream networks, it is important to keep putting our [stories] out there and keep putting a face on gays and lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered [people],” he explained.
To do his part, David not only took a lead role in a gay show on a queer network, he also made the critical decision this year to come out as a gay actor. It was a “struggle,” he said, but the importance of being open about his life overruled staying in the closet as a performer.
“I think it is very difficult to be honest with characters when you are already holding a mask up as a gay man trying to be straight,” David said. “It is like you are playing three roles at once, which can be muddled and confusing to the camera and the audience.”
While David, who came out to his family when he was 16, made what many think is a potentially damaging career move, the actor is extremely happy about being out. He spoke passionately about why he chose to live openly and honestly as a gay actor.
“I thought about [the decision] for a long time, and discussed with many different people in the industry who overall [were] negative,” David recalled. “I just came to the point where personally it was suffocating to be in the closet. And I think politically, where we are at, it is very important that members of the community do stand out, regardless if they are a dentist, librarian, actor, or whatever. Profession doesn’t matter. It is who you are as a person that you stand up and say, ‘This is who I am! I ask for respect and equality.’ I think it is crucial.”
So far, being out has had no backlash for David’s career. The actor is next off to Europe and Africa to host “BUMP!,” a gay and lesbian travel show. And while a second season of “Dante’s Cove” is being planned by the writers—giving him more exposure—the actor’s website, charliedavid.com reveals that the 24-year-old Canadian-born actor is also a writer, former member of a boy band, and business owner. Apparently should his acting career stall, David has other options for staying in the spotlight.