Champagna, show co-creator and star of Womb Envy talks to Daniel F.K. Fernandez the actor portraying Max in an insightful interview.
Champagna: What was it like as an actor, exploring being a teenager again?
Dan: I hated it! But like in a good way. I looked terrible with my pimple covered face, overgrown hair and outdated wardrobe... Actually the wardrobe was pretty good (for me). Jake really wanted us to play with our voice and body language. It was very squirmy and awkward and I loved it. I also loved seeing how uncomfortable Storm (Maggie) was and how unhappy she was about her wardrobe. It was a crazy experience reliving my closeted teen years.
Champagna: Did it bring you back to your own experiences at all?
Dan: Yeah, for sure. I was never out until I was 22 and living in Toronto, so very much that feeling of living a lie, and having a beard, and feeling the need to escape.
Champagna: The character of MAX chooses to closet himself to help his friend, but it’s still a VERY GAY SHOW. In an industry where queer erasure is still an issue creators are facing, what’s it like playing such an OUT character on TV?
Dan: I loved every moment of it. I’m not going to lie, I rarely get to see POC gay characters lead a show, and for them to have hired me (who is not your stereotypical Adonis of a white gay man) I was truly honoured to play such a character. I think it’s important to remember that there are so many more gays out there that want to see themselves on camera.
Champagna: Who were your queer media representations growing up?
Dan: I honestly didn’t have much. The only one I can remember is Elton John... But like I lived in the middle east for the first 9 years of my childhood so not surprised that I didn’t get a lot of gay exposure.
Champagna: You’re also a writer in your own regard, what is the absolute most authentically gay shit you’d like to see on the screen?
Dan: Well I definitely know what I don’t want to see and its more gay trauma stories. I know its not an exciting answer, but I just want to see gay shit sprinkled everywhere. Gay James Bond?Yes Please! Gay Batman? Hot! Gay The Help? Sure, why not!
Champgana: Where can folks find you on social?
Dan: @danfurd and @queenrosedior
Champagna: What’s a surprising fact your cast mates may not know about you?
Dan: I hated the babies. I hated finding them. I hated the way they looked. I hated the game. They were the worst!
Champagna: This is a series that is heavily dependent on the two of you as the backbones of the entire piece, did you two get along on set?
Dan: Not at all. ;) JOKING! Absolutely. Something just clicked on the first day on set and we really connected. Since the days were so long, and we were both there the majority of the time, we had no choice hahaha. But it was also just so easy to get along with her. She’s an amazing human and really happy to call her a friend now. So funny, and caring, and like a fucking amazing actor. I was intimidated to act beside her because she’s so damn good, but as soon as we started filming, I felt safe and comfortable. Also people would get mad at us in between takes for having too much fun. Fuck em!
Champagna: Episode 6 is a really big turning point for the characters, and we really get to see how their friendship has evolved emotionally since they were younger, but also how they’re repeating some of the same patterns. What is it like having to share so many emotional moments with someone you’ve only known for a few weeks?
Dan: Bloody difficult! Especially having to do it over and over again. It's hard going to those places, especially when having done that to some of my friends irl. But I will also say that Storm made it easy, because just being in the scene with her, and seeing how my words impact her, and the emotions she’s going through really got me going too.
Champagna: Moving onto episode 7, which is one of my favourite episodes for obvious reasons, it’s THE CHRISTMAS CAROL EPISODE! What were your favourite moments to film, but also watch?
Dan: Okay, well one of my favourite moments of filming period was you as fucking ghost of Christmas future. I’m pretty sure I broke the camera so many times because of it. But I honestly loved that episode. It was a chance that a lot of us were able to be on set together, and was a fun concept, and we got to dig deeper into the lives of a couple characters. I particularly loved watching the scene between Storm and Helen. It was such a powerful and emotional scene, and both those women nailed it. Also who doesn’t love a Christmas Carol Episode.
Champagna: And of course, I have to ask...what were your favourite Divine looks of the episode?
Dan: UGH! There’s so many great looks in the entire show. If we are talking about just that episode, then I would have to say its a tie between that expensive gold one and the ghost of Christmas future. If you’re talking about the whole thing, I would add the drag king look into the mix!
Champagna: If you could meet any of the Christmas Ghosts, who would it be and why?
Dan: The future for sure. I want to see what hunk of a man I end up with. It better be me living in a mansion with my husband Jonathan Bailey, our two and a half biracial kids, and a couple dogs thrown in there.
To learn more about Womb Envy visit the showpage: https://www.border2border.ca/womb-envy