‘Sense8’ Star Brian J. Smith Comes Out “It’s Not As Dangerous As I Thought It Was”

Brian J. Smith as ‘Will Gorski’ in SENSE8 (image via Netflix)

Actor Brian J. Smith, who most of us discovered in the Netflix series Sense8, comes out in the new issue of Attitude Magazine and shares that he found refuge in acting during a rough childhood in Texas.

In a candid and revealing interview, Smith says that he felt – like many young LGBTQ kids – that he “could never be who I was.”

“I was constantly having to check myself and make sure I wasn’t looking at someone too long or making someone feel uncomfortable,” says the 38-year-old actor. “I had to be very, very careful about telling the people the truth about myself.”

Back in 1980s rural Texas, Smith didn’t feel there were any support systems for him as a young gay.

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I was 16 once.

A post shared by Brian J. Smith (@smithespis) on

“Forget about any LGBTQ union or groups – there was absolutely nothing,” said Smith, adding that he “heard all the names: p*ssy, f*ggot.”

But once he discovered acting, the stage became a refuge where he could “disappear” and become someone else.

Smith explains that most of his classmates in school “probably thought I was an absolute idiot, a nerd,” but when he was on stage “they paid attention to me, and they saw that I had something.”

“And that’s when I didn’t feel alone.”

Acting would take center stage in Smith’s life leading him to make his Broadway debut in 2008 in Come Back, Little Sheba. He scored Tony and Drama Desk nominations for his performance as ‘The Gentleman Caller’ in the acclaimed 2013 revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie starring out actors Zachary Quinto and Cherry Jones.

But it was his role as Chicago police officer ‘Will Gorski’ in the LGBTQ-inclusive Netflix series Sense8 that really put Smith in the global spotlight.

Even though the show only lasted two seasons, it developed a loyal following that embraced all of the series’ stars including Smith.

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Migs and me. Positano, Italy.

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The show also became his introduction to leading-man action roles.

He recently premiered in the new USA Network series, Treadstone, an action-packed spin-off of the Jason Bourne franchise. And is also currently featured in the BBC One series World On Fire in the UK.

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😎 @treadstone

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He didn’t come out to his parents until he was 30, but describes their reaction as “wonderful.” It turned out that, like many kids coming out to their parents, mom and dad knew already and “were just waiting for me to say something.”

On reflection, Smith admits, “They were a lot more advanced than I gave them credit for.”

“I think that’s when I became OK with it, too,” says Smith. “Just in terms of being, ‘Oh that’s the world, it’s not as dangerous as I thought it was.’”

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😎 🌈

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In hindsight, thinking back to his early years in small-town Texas, Smith realizes he was fine all the time. He just needed to hear it.

“There weren’t enough people there to say to me: ‘You don’t need to be someone different, you don’t need to change who you are,’” he tells Attitude. “What that kid needed was somebody to pick him up and say, ‘You’re perfect as you are, it’s OK.’”

Check out more of Smith’s interview plus his ‘revealing’ photoshoot with Attitude here.

Smith shared the news of his Attitude cover story via Instagram writing, “Good morning, world. The folks at @attitudemag reached out and I knew it was time. Hoping there’s other people out there like me (and not like me!) who can relate. Nothin but love! Now let’s go party.”

Trailer: Series Finale Of Netflix’ SENSE8

Netflix serves up the final trailer for the final episode (sniff) of the beloved sci-fi series, Sense8.

For one final mission, our sensates will gather for the beginning of the end and it’s sure to have evoke plenty of feelings.

The sci-fi drama, created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, chronicles the adventures a diverse group of people who become psychically intertwined, known as sensates. Linked emotionally and mentally linked to one another, the group finds they can access each others’ strengths and abilities in times of crisis.

But the sensates quickly found themselves hunted by dark forces. And with that, we were off to the races.

Have I mentioned I loved the series?

Critics and fans alike heaped the praise on the series for its wide-ranging diversity: gender, sexuality, politics, religion… Two same-sex couples, transgender folks, everyone was represented here.

On June 8, we get to see our heroes assemble for good one last time.

Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here crying as I watch the trailer on repeat.

Netflix’s “Sense8” Finale To Premiere On June 8

Fans of the Netflix sci-fi series Sense8 will get our long-awaited finale movie on June 8!

Squee!!!!!

In making the announcement for the two-hour wrap-up movie, Netflix also unveiled the above graphic for the event.

According to press materials, in the series finale “personal lives are pushed aside as the cluster, their sidekicks and some unexpected allies band together for a rescue mission and BPO take-down in order to protect the future of all Sensates.”

The LGBT-inclusive series (two gay couples plus a transgender principal character) got its closing notice last year after only two seasons. Netflix blamed high costs – apparently $9 million per episode – for the cancellation.

But a fan-driven letter writing campaign swayed the streaming network to give fans a conclusion to the story which saw 8 individuals across the planet suddenly psychically bound to each other.

Check out the newly-released teaser below. See you all on June 8!

Netflix Announces Two Hour “Sense8” Finale Movie

After cancelling fan-favorite sci-fi series, Sense8, in early June, an outpouring of support from around the world has moved the the streaming service to announce a 2-hour finale movie.

Variety reports:

In a video posted on social media, the characters from the series reunite and sing along to the song “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes. Midway through the video, the following words appear onscreen: “It’s happening. Two-hour finale episode. Tell your cluster.”

In addition, series co-creator Lana Wachowski posted a statement online that reads in part, “The passionate letters, the petitions, the collective voice that rose up like the fist of Sun to fight for this show was beyond what anyone was expecting.”

“It is my great pleasure as well as Netflix’s (believe me, they love the show as much as we do but the numbers have always been challenging) to announce that there will be another two-hour special released next year,” she continued. “After that…if this experience has taught me anything, you NEVER know.” You can read the full statement below.

The streaming service canceled the series after two seasons at the beginning of June, making it one of the few Netflix originals to get cancelled.

The series had been especially embraced by the LGBT community for not only it’s message of connectedness, but also the inclusiveness of the diverse casting and storyline which included both an openly gay couple and a lesbian/transgender couple.

A post shared by Sense8 (@sense8) on Jun 29, 2017 at 11:47am PDT

Netflix Cancels Sci-Fi Series “Sense8”

Dang it.

Netflix has announce there will be no third season of sci-fi drama, “Sense8.”

Via Variety:

“After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the Sense8 cluster is coming to an end,”,” said Cindy Holland, VP of Netflix original content. “It is everything we and the fans dreamed it would be: bold, emotional, stunning, kick ass, and outright unforgettable. Never has there been a more truly global show with an equally diverse and international cast and crew, which is only mirrored by the connected community of deeply passionate fans all around the world. We thank Lana, Lilly, Joe and Grant for their vision, and the entire cast and crew for their craftsmanship and commitment.”

“Sense8” starred Tuppence Middleton, Brian J. Smith, Doona Bae, Aml Ameen, Max Riemelt, Tina Desai, Miguel Ángel Silvestre and Jamie Clayton as eight strangers who become mentally and emotionally linked. Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski, and J. Michael Straczynski created the show for Netflix and executive produced with Grant Hill.

Featuring two same-sex couple storylines with four LGBT characters, a cast of great diversity and created by transgender Wachowski sisters, I loved the show. It was smart, thoughtful and had a terrific message that we are “more” when we work together.

Thank you for being a part of our journey. Sensates forever.A post shared by Sense8 (@sense8) on Jun 1, 2017 at 11:22am PDT

News Round-Up: May 22, 2017

• Brazil in the 323! Rodiney Santiago & Hugo La Falcci are proof there’s something fabulous in the water down Brazil-way.

• A hideous TV host in France connected with gay men on dating apps with a fake online profile, called them up while on air, and asked them to describe their sexual fantasies without revealing over a million viewers were watching.

• Southwest Airlines denied these gay dads and their three kids ‘Family Boarding’ privileges.

• President Trump’s upcoming budget proposal will include a request to cut 25% of the budget for food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

• Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn apparently lied during his security clearance interview regarding payments he received for traveling to Russia.

• You have watched Season 2 of Netflix’s sci-fi series SENSE8, right?

Sense8 Season 2 Delivers Spectacular Coming Out Kiss At São Paulo Pride

Alfonso Herrera and Miguel Ángel Silvestre share a kiss in a scene from Sense8

Love, love, loving season 2 of Netflix’s sci-fi-fi series, Sense8.

On top  of the complex, sophisticated story-telling, the gay and transgender storylines are front and center, and handled well with sensitivity and authenticity.

One of the highlights of the 11 new episodes occurs as newly out action movie star “Lito Rodriguez” (played by hunky Miguel Ángel Silvestre) is invited to be grand marshal of São Paulo Pride in Brazil.

In his speech at Pride (actually filmed at São Paulo Pride last year), Rodriguez cautiously shares the fears that lead to actors staying in the closet.

“All of my life, I’ve had to pretend to be something I wasn’t. I couldn’t be what I am. I am a gay man. I’ve never said those words in public before. I am a gay man! I am a gay man!”

“Why did I have to be so afraid to say that? Because I know that people are afraid of people that are different than them. And admitting that I’m different, and refusing to be something that I am not, may cost me a career of pretending to be things that I am not, which is kind of crazy when you think about it. But I did. I did.

“For years, I was living inside the fake world of movies, never to imagine that one day, I might be brave enough to do something like this.”

“This is Hernando. He is the love of my life. I am a better and braver person because of him. And whatever it cost for me to be able to do this, I know in my heart that it is worth it.”

The entire season lives up to and exceeds my expectations. Not only regarding LGBT characters but the storytelling as a whole.

I can’t recommend season 2 of Sense8 enough. Check it out now on Netflix.

Watch “Lito’s” speech below.

Podcast: Season 2 Of Netflix’s Sense8 , Trump & Religious Liberty, Anti-LGBT Army Secretary Nominee Withdraws & More

On this week’s  The Randy Report podcast:

• A Mississippi funeral home refuses to cremate a gay man

• The Equality Act reintroduced in Congress

• Donald Trump signed his Religious Liberty executive order without specific LGBT animus, but don’t exhale just yet

• Trump’s anti-LGBT Army Secretary nominee withdrew from consideration due to his past homophobic, transphobic and Islamophobic comments

• Netflix releases Season 2 of the LGBT inclusive sci-fi series, SENSE8 – #LoveIt

Listen below. And don’t forget to subscribe to The Randy Report podcast on iTunes here.

Trailer: Season 2 Of “Sense8” On Netflix

I know what I’m doing this weekend 🙂

Here’s the official synopsis:

Netflix’s hit series, Sense8, is centered around eight characters, from different parts of the world, who experience a violent vision, and soon find themselves mentally connected by the experience. They become connected, able to see and talk to each other as though they were in the same place, with access to each other’s deepest secrets. Not only must the eight adapt to this new ability and to each other, they must figure out why their lives are now in jeopardy.

In Season 2, dark forces continue to track the cluster of eight connected characters. The sensates will learn more about BPO, the secret organization searching for their cluster and others like them, and will work to protect themselves from this organization that is out to hunt and kill them.

Netflix releases the full season 2 tomorrow.

As I’ve written about Sense8 before, I think it’s terrific – smart, thoughtful, complex and often quite sexy. The also show features gay and transgender storylines without pandering to those audiences.

Sexy Miguel Ángel Silvestre kisses Sense8 bf Alfonso Herrera

Miguel Ángel Silvestre – Lito Rodriguez

Trailer: Netflix’s “Sense8” Season 2

The first trailer for the Netflix original series Sense8 has arrived. Squeee!!!

While getting through the first few episodes of the debut season took a bit of concentration to understand the premise, I quickly became a big fan of the show.

Very interesting story-telling, plus there’s a transgender plot line as well as hunky, handsome Miguel Ángel Silvestre as openly gay movie star “Lito Rodríguez.”

Clip description:

Sense8 is centered around eight characters, from different parts of the world, who experience a violent vision, and soon find themselves mentally connected by the experience.

They become connected, able to see and talk to each other as though they were in the same place, with access to each other’s deepest secrets.

Not only must the eight adapt to this new ability and to each other, they must figure out why their lives are now in jeopardy.

In Season 2, dark forces continue to track the cluster of eight connected characters. The sensates will learn more about BPO, the secret organization searching for their cluster and others like them, and will work to protect themselves from this organization that is out to hunt and kill them.

The new season drops May 5th on Netflix. Watch the trailer below: