Oscar Moreno star of Shadowlands series

Shadowlands series starring Oscar Moreno

The second episode in the Shadowlands series is titled Mating Season.  In the early 1950s, a couple explore the idea of opening their relationship while on a remote camping trip when they encounter a mysterious stranger.

Colombian born actor Oscar Moreno stars as Matteo opposite Nicolas James Wilson in the Shadowlands series.

Shadowlands is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.

Tell us about your story in the Shadowlands series.  What were the main challenges and fears you had in your role?

Oscar Moreno: In our episode , Will and Matteo negotiate the terms of their relationship while on a camping trip. This was my first leading role in a TV production. So initially I was concerned with the filming process.

As for the role, I was very excited to be exploring a gay character that was dealing with complex issues. For a long time mainstream gay media has focused on coming out stories. I’m glad to be a part of a story that brings to light issues that arise in relationships through a gay perspective.

Oscar Moreno in Shadowlands series

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Oscar Moreno: I think that in order to create a meaningful performance, part of yourself has to go into every character that you play. For me, it was about about exploring my own emotions and thoughts with regards to open relationships. I believe that powerful performances comes when an actor is able to find the emotional truth of each moment.

How much were you able to relate your own experiences to create your character in the Shadowlands series?  And how much did you have to research or imagine?

Oscar Moreno:  Philosophically I relate more with Nicolas James Wilson’s character of Will. Since I believe that open relationships are usually more progressive. This however was a conclusion that took me some time to come to.

So in order to give life to Matteo, I had to think back to how I felt before the idea ever entered my field of view. Ultimately the experiences and emotions Matteo goes through are betrayal, self doubt, reconciliation and love. These emotions can be very visceral to most so allowing myself to connect to these emotions and apply them to Matteo’s circumstances was a wonderful challenge to tackle. 

I also enjoyed learning about artists like Tom of Finland. I was familiar with some of his work but really enjoyed learning about his life and what drove him to draw such magnificent men in a time where homosexuality was condemned.

Shadowlands series Mating Season episode
Nicolas James Wilson and Oscar Moreno in the Mating Season episode of the Shadowlands TV series

What aspects of the Shadowlands series are you excited for an audience to experience or discover?

Oscar Moreno:  The Shadowlands series offers a unique twist to conversations around sexuality and identity. I hope that the audience will get a chance to reflect on their own experiences and learn something new about themselves in the process.

The themes brought up can sometimes be challenging but ultimately it’s all about humans in different sorts of relationships. Allowing the audience to get a peak at how others live, we can hope to continue the conversation around sexuality and identity.

Each story or episode in the Shadowlands series is unique and has its own world of characters, time and place.  And yet there are connections between them. Were you aware of these connections while filming or was it a surprise to learn later?

Oscar Moreno:  During filming i was only aware that we were matching the lying down shot from Pygmalion Revisited but now I’m happy to be learning more though here.

Shadowlands series
Matteo (Oscar Moreno) and Will (Nicolas James Wilson) in Shadowlands ‘Mating Season’
Shadowlands series
Xavier (Marc Devigne) and Rudy (Charlie David) in the Pygmalion Revisited episode of the Shadowlands TV series.

Romance between men and between women was common place and written about in Greek and Roman mythology.  Why is it important to continue sharing these types of stories today?

Oscar Moreno: Romance, sexuality and identity aren’t just for the Greeks and Romans. These are universal themes that should continue being explored. But the exploration is only beneficial if we take different perspectives from our own. As humans we tend to fear what we don’t know.

So it is up to each and every one of us to share our stories so that others may learn from it and thus fear it no more.

What was the hardest scene for you in the Shadowlands series to do and why?

Oscar Moreno: The most nervous I got during filming was when we were doing my monologue. Not only was it a lot of text to recall, but the subject matter of meeting Will through means of getting the shit beat out of me was really difficult for me to justify.

Who is a major influence for you and on your creativity?  

Oscar Moreno: I have been a fan of musical theatre since high school, so I take major influence from that.  I admire other actors that are able to seamlessly create captivating performances on stage and screen.

Is there a type of role you dream of playing but haven’t had the opportunity yet?  

Oscar Moreno: I would like to continue to explore queer characters dealing with their lives.  I’ve watched enough gay films to say that it’s about time we go beyond the unrequited love story of a suicidal gay teen.

Queer people have some of the most fascinating and unique stories. I look forward to being a voice for those stories that are told less often.

In addition to acting, tell me about the other areas of entertainment you’re pursuing.

Oscar Moreno: Stay tuned for the launch of my Youtube Channels Totesom and Cuddleom. Totesom will focus on fun entertaining videos that will give you feel for how musical the world is through my eyes.

Cuddleom is a channel that is be devoted to spreading love and exploring the benefits of touch.   These channels will uplift and empower viewers to take full advantage of their lives while having some laughs along the way.

With so much going on in the world today, what’s your motivation to be a performer? Do you act to explain?  To get away?  To move past? To widen our knowledge? To incite a conversation?

Oscar Moreno: Originally I started acting to find a safe community where all my quirks would be accepted. Now it has developed into an exploration of what it is to be human.

With the works that I’m part of I always look for the opportunity to give the audience a reflection of themselves while at the same time challenging their conventions. It is only through discomfort that we can truly grow.

What’s next for you as a creator/actor/performer?

Oscar Moreno: This summer in Toronto, I will be making my Drag Queen debut in this years Fringe Festival in a new musical called The Ding Dong Girls. Come check it out July 4- 15 at the Factory Theatre.

I am also a Professional Cuddling Practitioner in Toronto. If you are a career driven individual who notices they are lacking affection in their lives, take the initiative and reduce feeling of stress and isolation by contacting me for a consultation and cuddle.

Learn more about Oscar Moreno’s professional cuddling company:

cuddleom.com

Originally born in Bogota, Colombia Oscar Moreno moved to London, Ontario (A.K.A Londombia) with his family in 2003 after having lived in New Orleans for three years. While in London, he participated in the prestigious High School Project at The Grand Theatre where his passion for the performing arts was awakened and fostered.

This lead him to Ryerson University in Toronto to study Theatre Production. After graduating in 2013, he was cast as Ritchie Valens in a production of The Buddy Holly Story at Theatre Northwest which started his professional theatrical career. (He later reprised the role in his home town at The Grand Theatre).

Since then he has been cast in leading roles in short films and will be making his feature debut with the Shadowlands series. You will also see Oscar in the upcoming season of Second Jen as Diego.

Shadowlands is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.

If you enjoyed this interview, explore other chats with cast members of the Shadowlands series.

Marc Devigne (Xavier in episode 3 ‘Pygmalion Revisited’ of the Shadowlands series.

Charlie David (director of the Shadowlands series)

Sean C. Dwyer (Alex in episode 1 ‘Narcissus’ of the Shadowlands miniseries)

Nicolas James Wilson (Will in episode 2 ‘Mating Season’ of the Shadowlands gay series)

Vasilios Filippakis (Daniel in episode 2 ‘Mating Season’ of Shadowlands)

Brian Woodford (Drew in episode 1 ‘Narcissus’ of Shadowlands gay series)

Natasha Balakrishnan (Thalia in episode 1 ‘Narcissus’ of Shadowlands

Learn about the hidden ‘Easter Eggs’ in the Shadowlands gay series

 

Please follow and share our stories.

Sean C. Dwyer stars as Narcissus in Shadowlands

Shadowlands TV show

In the Narcissus episode of Shadowlands the story circles around Alex, a plastic surgeon hell bent on perfection, hosting a house party with an assortment of colorful guests. Amid romantic misfires it becomes apparent that the only person Alex is interested in is himself.

Shadowlands miniseries is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.

Charlie David: Tell us about the Narcissus story in Shadowlands.  What were the main challenges and fears you had in creating the role of Alex?

Sean C. Dwyer:  In the first episode of Shadowlands, ‘Narcissus’, my character is self-obsessed, perfection-obsessed and pursuit-obsessed; a constant search for the ideal in himself, his creation and his work.

My main challenges were creating a realistic character who is already nearly at the peak of his insanity; we see him for one evening, the last evening of his life, and everything that he has been and has become must be present in his current being. I wouldn’t say I had any particular fears- I was far too excited, stimulated and jonesing!

Narcissus episode 1 of Shadowlands TV series
Kato Alexander and Basil Hendy as the Bunny Boys with Alex (Sean C. Dwyer) in the Narcissus episode of the gay TV series Shadowlands

Charlie David: How much of yourself goes into a character when it’s as unhinged as your role of Alex in ‘Narcissus’?

Sean C. Dwyer: Certainly a lot; as an actor – you yourself are the clay, the canvas and even the array of tools used to create the character. Even any kind of influences or inspirations used to develop the character are filtered through your own perspective.

At the same time, the interactions with other characters, the thoughts of the director… and then a lot of the technical aspects in production do a lot to create the character, the editing, the sound… all determine how the audience receives the character and that, ultimately, is what the character will be!

Charlie David: How much were you able to relate your own experiences to create the character of Alex in Narcissus?  And how much did you have to research or imagine?

Sean C. Dwyer: This character is particularly insane, particularly driven and particularly fatal; he is ready to draw blood, ready to draw his own blood in his pursuit… I actually do have a lot of all of those things in me on some level; I have drawn my own blood in strange pursuits; like a wart I had for a good long while that just got too irritating and I literally cut it out of me… losing blood made me feel like “why are we putting things in ourselves to get high when we could take things out of ourselves…”

I didn’t really follow that thought up with consistent practice, ha. I also feel pretty crazy sometimes, and I’m not the only one, and I drive forward with my goals and pursuits rather relentlessly… at the same time, there was most definitely a need to imagine what cutting oneself would literally be like, where someone’s mental state would fully have to go to get there… would he be happy, sad, angry doing it…. the most important connection ultimately, was that there is a lot going on in our minds and it comes out sometimes smooth in precise speech and action, and sometimes very rough.

Narcissus episode 1 of Shadowlands TV series
Alex (Sean C. Dwyer) and Fly Fisherman (Jim Garrow) in Shadowlands ‘Narcissus’

Charlie David: The stories in the Shadowlands TV show were inspired by the Shadowlands book which was inspired by Greek mythology.  What was your experience in creating a remix of an ancient classical tale like Narcissus? 

Sean C. Dwyer: I am familiar with the old stories, and I looked at Narcissus specifically for this project, and strangely enough I had a few projects with this character and concept going on in the last little while, so research overlapped and even performances fed each other.

And then the Berlin 1920s context gave a lot of space for exploration of course. Acting is all about building up a big pile of knowledge and experience and then throwing it carelessly up into the air, hoping that some of it sticks, but ultimately striding through the aftermath like you own the place.

Charlie David: What aspects of the Shadowlands TV show are you excited for an audience to experience or discover?

Sean C. Dwyer: There are many aspects! Twisty endings, unexpected turns, artistic pleasure, emotion, passion, taboo-testing and pushing the envelope. I hope that the audience will come with us on our downward (and all around) spiral and be inspired to get dirty!

Shadowlands 'Narcissus' starring Sean C. Dwyer as Alex.
Alex (Sean C. Dwyer) in his dungeon in Shadowlands ‘Narcissus’

Charlie David: Each story or episode is unique and has its own world of characters, time and place.  And yet there are connections between them.  Were you aware of these connections while filming or was it a surprise to learn later?

Sean C. Dwyer: I became fleetingly at first and then more and more aware of them… I think it works as it happened… like you think you are the center of the universe and then you learn progressively that there are worlds beyond you and then that you are interconnected with those worlds in a larger world or plan.

Meeting actors from the other shows who in our show were simply background, using elements from the other episodes in very explicit ways, like humming a song from one of them and turning it on it’s head- but not knowing quite how it passed in the other episode because it had not been shot or certainly edited yet! Very fun and stimulating to be a part of and to integrate into my performance!

Charlie David: Romance between men and between women was common place and written about in Greek and Roman mythology.  Why is it important to continue sharing these types of stories today?

Sean C. Dwyer: It continues to be an important part of society today, certainly; it is absolutely critical to share everyone’s stories together, no less these kinds of stories that can potentially involve absolutely everyone in society in one way or another.

I speak as a heterosexual cis gendered Irish-heritage man, who is very grateful for all of the experiences of open-mindedness and taboo-bursting and even just simply knowing all sorts of people with all sorts of life-experiences… it is the completely necessary response to a lot of the issues going on today; knowing each other, sharing stories with each other, even the dark ones!

Charlie David: What was the hardest scene for you to do in Narcissus and why?

Sean C. Dwyer: I loved it all, I was excited to jump into it all (even into the pool at 5am yes!) and everyone was just so darn supportive and awesome and we were so in this together… I mean the last sequence I was really in the zone and wanted to remain there while made up and between scenes, so I had to ask the Director to convey to the others to refrain from jokes and snickering and chit-chat between takes and everyone was totally cool with that, and we were all back to good, fun times once we were done and I had my face back!

Charlie David: Who is a major influence for you and on your creativity?  

Sean C. Dwyer: There are many… perhaps if I have to say one, it would be Batman? I strive to live in that example however fictional it may be; obsession, striving, constant work, costume, seriousness, darkness, running the edge of madness, constant self-improvement and self-less-ness… there are many aspects within him that I have striven to see live in me. Charles Dickens, Data from Star Trek TNG, Robert Zemeckis, Richard Donner and Mel Gibson… the list goes on!

Charlie David: Is there a type of role you dream of playing but haven’t had the opportunity yet? 

Sean C. Dwyer: My type seems to be becoming more and more American Psycho, and I am alright with that! It might even lead to playing Batman! (It did for Christian Bale!) I love superheros, and I have played a variety of superheros, but I would like to play an ultra-realistic superhero, dark and brooding. An android… a space explorer… Virgil in an adaptation of Dante’s Inferno… the list goes on!

Charlie David: In addition to acting, tell me about the other areas of entertainment you’re pursuing.

Sean C. Dwyer: Specifically entertainment? Well, that would be writing scripts and directing… I love editing and don’t get enough opportunity to do that. I’m a lawyer, but NOT an entertainment lawyer, as a lawyer it is social justice for me… criminal, youth, family… research for acting perhaps!

I love painting and drawing as well, but those are areas just for me privately; no outside judgement, what I do will be good enough for me and that’s good enough!  Entirely my creation, haha.

Narcissus episode 1 of Shadowlands TV series
Sean C. Dwyer in Shadowlands Narcissus

Charlie David: With so much going on in the world today, what’s your motivation to be a performer? Do you act to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  To incite a conversation?

Sean C. Dwyer: All of these reasons are excellent reasons and most definitely inspire me in various roles, from role to role it can be all of them, a few, just one or none at all. I do want to engage in current debates; like telling marginal stories and including all different types of peoples in the dominant narrative.

To instill hope, but inspire action, to engage in possible worlds as much as in hard reality. To teach and learn, to work through difficult moments in the past… like any experience from a relationship to a hike to a single breath, each is its own! But hopefully everything we do gets people talking, yes!

Charlie David: What’s next for you as a creator/actor/performer?

Sean C. Dwyer: I have a few projects on the go right now, from my own writing-directing for a sci-fi short film to playing Alexander Mackenzie in an Ontario history piece, a few rapists and chauvinists in some pieces and a few good men in others!

I’d like to send out grateful vibes and positive karma to everyone involved in the Narcissus episode of Shadowlands; awesome to see it growing, OutTV and all of the opportunity that it brings to the Canadian industry and the LGBT community; onwards and upwards!

Where can fans find you?

Website: www.seancdwyer.com

Facebook, Instagram: @seancdwyer

Twitter: @seancd

Shadowlands miniseries is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.

If you enjoyed this interview with Sean C. Dwyer about the Narcissus episode, explore other chats with cast members of the Shadowlands series.

Marc Devigne (Xavier in episode 3 ‘Pygmalion Revisited’ of the Shadowlands series.

Oscar Moreno (Matteo in episode 2 ‘Mating Season’ of the Shadowlands gay series)

Charlie David (director of the Shadowlands series)

Nicolas James Wilson (Will in episode 2 ‘Mating Season’ of the Shadowlands gay series)

Vasilios Filippakis (Daniel in episode 2 ‘Mating Season’ of Shadowlands)

Brian Woodford (Drew in episode 1 ‘Narcissus’ of Shadowlands gay series)

Natasha Balakrishnan (Thalia in episode 1 ‘Narcissus’ of Shadowlands

Learn about the hidden ‘Easter Eggs’ in the Shadowlands gay series

 

 

Please follow and share our stories.