Charlie David gets cozy with Jensen Atwood

Jensen Atwood
Jenson Atwood tease
Jensen Atwood

Charlie David gets the dirt from his Dante’s Cove co-star Jensen Atwood on poker habits, Halle Barry and playing bisexual.  

Jensen Atwood was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles.  After time in the military he caught the acting bug and was featured in music videos for Destiny’s Child, Toni Braxton, Ashanti, Lil Mo, Heather Headley and Chante Moore-Kenny Latimore.   

People started to sit up and take notice of the impossibly handsome Atwood.  He played opposite Halle Berry, in Oprah Winfrey Presents Their Eyes Were Watching God and has become an audience favorite for his role of Wade on Noah’s Arc.  Fans of the supernatural soap, Dante’s Cove can look forward to the temperature getting even hotter at the Cove when Jensen joined the cast for the third season.

Charlie David: You joined the cast of Dante’s Cove for season III in Hawaii.  Tell us about your character.

Jensen Atwood:  I play the role of Griffen, the bisexual warlock who is a representative of the Tresum Council and has come to Dante’s Cove to set things straight.  No pun intended.

Charlie David:  This is your second role on a “gay” show and this time you play a bisexual role. Do you have any concerns about being typecast?

Jensen Atwood:  As long as I don’t play the same role I’m happy. The roles of Wade and Griffen are very different. As well as Johnny Taylor and Snoop.  I’ve been blessed to have a pretty diverse career.

Charlie David:  How would you describe Dante’s Cove?

Jensen Atwood:  Dante’s Cove is like a gay Charmed but pushes the boundaries of what you’re used to seeing on television.

Charlie David:  Your character, Griffen, has a very generous attitude when it comes to sex.  Basically the world is his convenience store.  Was it strange to move to such a promiscuous ‘flower-child’ role after the monogamy of Noah’s Arc?

Jensen Atwood:  What was strange was creating meaning for things that have been created. I know that may sound a little confusing. Like Tresum Magic for example. I know this will be a shock to some… But I can’t really do magic.  So to make it as real as possible was a fun challenge.

Jenson Atwood is still king of the beard.
Jensen Atwood is still king of the beard.

Charlie David:  The cast has exploded with new and familiar faces like Jenny Shimizu, Jill Bennett, Reichen Lehmkuhl, and yourself.  Now all the boys and girls liked to toss around the football except for you and Reichen… Care to explain yourself??

Jensen Atwood:  I had a great time with all of the cast. It was torture to watch you guys toss the football around. I love football. But as you know I chose to keep my finger nails long for the character. So playing catch would have jeopardized the continuity. 

Ok, ok, so BASICALLY I didn’t want to break a nail. The first description sounded better though.

Charlie David:  What’s it like to act alongside the infamous Diva, Tracey Scoggins?

Jensen Atwood:  A pleasure. She makes really interesting choices.  And I feel I’m a better actor from working with her.

Charlie David:  You’re most well known for your role as Wade on Logo’s Noah’s Arc.  The show was a landmark showcasing the lives of gay African American men. What was it like to work on the show?

Jensen Atwood:  Working on the show felt like being with family at times. Together we started a project we believed in.  No money involved.  Just a love for the art and a belief in each other.

Charlie David:  I thought Noah’s Arc was so hot.  I begged Patrick Ian Polk to create a role for a skinny white boy… ‘Let me be a pizza delivery boy or Dude playing checkers #2!’  I didn’t care!  And now there’s a movie!!  Will it be like Rachel and Ross on Friends?  Will Noah and Wade get hitched? Will ‘Dude playing checkers #2’ finally get a date with Wade? (fingers crossed!)

Jensen Atwood:  I wish I knew. I am so out of the loop. From what I understand the there’s a happy ever after…. but I’m not sure if Dude playing checkers #2 is part of it.

Charlie David:  In Noah’s Arc, Wade goes through a coming out process which starts with a gay guy and straight guy as friends.  Then curiosity takes over… Do you think it’s common for straight guys to consider having an encounter with another guy, especially in light of gay and alternative culture being so chic right now?

Jensen Atwood:  No I don’t think that’s common for a straight guy at all. But because of the gay and alternative culture becoming more mainstream I think it leaves room for those that aren’t sure of there sexuality. Or for those whose sexuality isn’t as simple as gay or straight.

Charlie David:  There’s a whole DL or Down Low phenomenon that is sometimes relegated to the Black and Hispanic community.  Do you think with shows like Noah’s Arc and the DL Chronicles there will be a change in the community?  Will more men just cut the middle ground and come out?

Jensen Atwood:  I think some people feel comfortable in the middle ground. It’s a trip how DL has been demonized. I think the question is, why would a man have to pretend to be something that he is not? I think it could be easily answered knowing the history of our society.

Charlie David:  For some it’s becoming common for both straight and gay couples – either married or living together – to seek out extracurricular activities on the side.  How much does our generation need to adhere to society’s traditions or are we at a place where it’s suitable to set our own rules?

Jensen Atwood:  I would like to think living in America I have the right to be free.  And any union between consenting adults is between them two, them three, or however many you can manage to have a productive positive and loving relationship with.

Jensen Atwood chill and skip the Netflix.
Jensen Atwood chill and skip the Netflix.

Charlie David:  Is it hard being one of the most beautiful men in the world?

Jensen Atwood:  Thanks Charlie. It is difficult becoming a success in Hollywood. But it’s easy to maintain my roots. I love my family. And they love me enough to not allow me to get lost on Planet Hollywood.

Charlie David:  Who’s a better kisser – Tracey Scoggins, Darryl Stephens, Gregory Michael or Halle Barry?

Jensen Atwood:  Tough competition but Halle takes it!

Charlie David:  We played a lot of poker when not shooting.  You’re such a sweet guy I can’t imagine you bluffing… Which is probably why you beat me. You smile and I fold – here, just take my chips!  Since we’re almost done, fill me in on your most common play – fold, check, or bet?

Jensen Atwood:  You know me Charlie, I’m ALL IN!!!!

Charlie David:  Die hard fans will know you don’t only act and possess dimples to rival Antonio Sabato Jr. but you also sing.  Where can we take a listen?

Jensen Atwood:  I’m still at the very early stages of my music project. And I feel like things are moving in slow motion sometimes.  But I’ll be sure to keep you shoulder to shoulder with progress on my Instagram.

Be sure to check out Jensen Atwood’s band Dreamkillaz on iTunes and Spotify.

Please follow and share our stories.

Avocado Toast series

Two millennial women eat avocado toast against a white backdrop.

The Avocado Toast series is an intergenerational sex-comedy.  Have you ever wondered about your parents’ sex life?

Neither did Molly and Elle until coming out and divorce forced them to learn about their parents’ new sexcapades. Now, these 30-something best friends cling to each other as they navigate their parents’ sex lives alongside their own. 

Border2Border Entertainment is producing the Avocado Toast series and producer Charlie David recently sat down with co-creators Heidi Lynch and Perrie Voss to discover how they came to create this new show.


Were there any personal experiences that inspired the characters or storylines in the Avocado Toast series?

Heidi:  YES! Originally the show was based on the tumultuous time in our lives when we met. I had just ended things with first female partner.

Perrie: And I had received a sudden phone call that my parents were breaking up after over 30 years of marriage. Sadly it wasn’t an amicable split, which made it even harder. 

Heidi:  We both felt totally discombobulated and leaned on each other – hard.

Perrie: Heidi and I had a bond before those things in our lives escalated, but that bond really deepened through these experiences. There were a ton of tears, a ton of laughter and a ton of wine hahaha. That experience really informed the base of our protagonists.  

Heidi: Through drafts, the show has now morphed into an amalgamation of truth, imagination and research.

What hole does this fill in the current TV/web landscape?  

Heidi: MEN & WOMEN AGE 23-69 😋 If you type “avocado toast, millennials” into google you will find a litany of articles written on how millennials are ruining their lives and the world that baby boomers created. This way of thinking is toxic and divides the two generations.

The Avocado Toast series aims to bridge the gap between millennials and baby boomers by talking about something both groups will always have in common… sex! We explore the intricacies of platonic female relationships, which is rarely truthfully depicted. ALSO… Bisexual representation needs to happen! It has started happening slowly with recent stars coming out as bi. So if there is anything we can do to help that and to create bisexual representation by telling our story we will! 

The Avocado Toast series explores sex and all the awkward interactions that can happen in a conversation about sex between a millennial and a baby boomer parent.  It’s weird for parents to think about their kids having sex and it’s weird for kids to think their parents have a sex life.  How can we get over this cultural minefield and have meaningful conversations about relationships between the generations?

Heidi: This is such a great question and hard to answer because the entire thing is awkward. I want for everyone to have full rich sex lives and to never feel embarrassed about them.

I don’t think any parent or child needs to “get over” that awkward feeling. BUT I do think a parent and a child need to respect each other and support each other’s happiness. EVERYONE DOES IT. hahaha. We want to explore society’s desexualization of women over 40.

Perrie: And along that line – why we as a society tend to have double standards for men dating younger women (which, let’s be honest, you can’t swing a cat without running into hahaha), but we can be flabbergasted at a middle aged woman dating a man 30 years her junior. There can be more judgment. But obviously women have vibrant sex drives throughout their lives, and there’s still this left-over stigma pre-sexual revolution that they need to be prim and proper and not publicly show desire. I mean – go get it girl! I personally want to explore this and I think we will both learn a lot from this exploration. We don’t necessarily have the answers, but we have a viewpoint on it and we’re excited to learn as the show develops. Sex is so subjective. So let’s start that conversation!

Heidi: We also want to question why SOME parents of LGBTQ people take issue with who their children choose to be with romantically.  It really should never matter who your parent/child is having sex with as long as they are happy and feel safe. But some really funny and awkward conversations might need to happen en route to getting there. 

The Avocado Toast series is written, starring, directed, and created by women.  That’s kick-ass!  

Heidi: It is really fun and incredible to get to work on a set that is female heavy. I feel that way especially because I have created a character that is exploring her sexuality. Molly is bisexual so that means some girl on girl action will be required. With Sam Coyle directing I have full confidence that any scene we shoot will be shot with a female eye. The set will feel professional and I will be taken care of. That is not to say that couldn’t happen with a male director but as an actress I have a laundry list of moments where that wasn’t  the case, even on “closed” sets. That being said, we absolutely have some incredible men behind the scenes on Avocado Toast which make it clear that gender shouldn’t be the determining factor in why you work with someone. The best human for the job is what we want and is what creates harmony and a cohesive vision. 
 

Perrie: I could talk about this for days, but that’s exactly it. I was a little baby feminist as a little girl even before I knew what that meant. I didn’t comprehend or see that there was an integrated division until I hit puberty. I used to win track races and swimming races over the boys and not even bat an eye about it. So I think I carried this “I can kick your butt in anything” aka “we’re equal” mindset with me and had a hard time adjusting to the idea that women can be considered “less-than” (and I think sadly all women have endless histories of these micro and macro moments that we’ve had to deal with). 

Although I didn’t set out to systematically create a woman-heavy project, Heidi and I found these powerhouse humans (who also happened to be women) who fit our project perfectly. Then it got exciting – this industry can be tough for women, and there is something SO empowering about giving other women job opportunities when they perhaps were overlooked in previous years and projects. Women are amazing! Heidi and I have set up collaborative environments and it is super inspiring to be around that energy. And like Heidi said – I LOVE the men that are a part of our project. They have each been handpicked as well. Each of them are hugely kind, understanding, and massively talented humans. They trust us and believe in the project. There’s no tolerance for “mansplaining” on our sets! hahahaha. 

Thanks so much Heidi and Perrie! To follow the adventures of the Avocado Toast series and follow along with production, join us on our Facebook page.

For a deeper dive into gender, try the Border2Border Entertainment documentary, Dude for a Day.

Please follow and share our stories.

Polyamory – PolyLove documentary

men and women explore polyamory in Polylove documentary

PolyLove is a new investigative documentary that explores polyamory, non-monogamy and the journey to redefine a ‘relationship’.  Brace yourself, because we are going to a place where bravery and honesty are essential.  A place where loving someone enough to set them free isn’t just a trite metaphor – it’s essential to your personal and relationship growth.  

Single    Married    It’s Complicated

In North America, 48% of marriages end in divorce.*  In business, if your product is failing for half of your customers, then you need to fix it or offer something better.    * SOURCE  ‘Divorce demography’ Stats Canada 2013

Non-monogamy and polyamory demand radical rethinking of our societal constructs.  It’s not about breaking what’s unbroken.  It’s about examining why ‘cheating’ is more socially forgivable than discussing the option of non-monogamy or polyamory with those we love. 

More and more people are experimenting with monogamish and polyamorous relationships. We commit to each other, but have a porous boundary around our relationship, meaning we’ve agreed that it’s OK for either of us to express romantic feelings toward other people or to be physically intimate with other people, so long as we’re honest and transparent about our intentions with one another.

Men and women in relationship groupings.  Three sets of feet stick out from the end of a bed depicting polyamory.

The thought is that these things don’t diminish the integrity of a relationship. Rather, they may deepen the understanding of each other’s wants and desires, and give us the space to grow independently, without growing apart.  There’s even a new word for the emotion of feeling happy for a loved one’s bliss in another relationship.  Goodbye jealousy, hello ‘compersion’. 

So why non-monogamy and polyamory now?

Well, people haven’t changed much, but their environment has. Just think: Monogamy established itself thousands of years ago, when society was ruled by scarcity of resources and potential mates were in limited supply.

We’re now living in a period of great (though unequally distributed) abundance where our basic needs are sufficiently met, and reproduction is a choice. As a result, the reasons to be with a single mate for life are less urgent.  With the rising ambivalence toward commitment, statistically most millennials will put off marriage indefinitely. In place of monogamous pairings, hookup culture flourishes and “open relationships” are commonplace. These are merely rational economic responses to excess inventory and changing expectations of romance. Viewed in this context, conventional monogamy is getting long in the tooth.

But just because more young people are choosing to say, “I don’t” than “I do” doesn’t mean monogamy is irrelevant.  It just means that there’s now more than one option for building meaningful and satisfying relationships. 

DIVE DEEPER:   If you’re interested to learn more about polyamory, watch the PolyLove documentary and check out the Mating Season episode of Shadowlands where three men explore an unconventional relationship in the 1950s.  

shadows of three men against a tent in the TV series Shadowlands where polyamory is explored.
The threesome scene in the Mating Season episode of Shadowlands

Some great reading materials include the non-monogamy intro reader classic, The Ethical Slut by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton.  For my personal favourite on the topic try What Love Is: And What It Could Be by Carrie Jenkins.  

If you enjoy audiobooks you may wish to try USA Today Bestselling author Ella Frank’s four audiobook series that explores polyamory in Confessions. 
Please follow and share our stories.