When Jeffrey Scott Basham accepted the small-but-pivotal role of ?Damian?s Doppelganger? in Old Dogs & New Tricks? Halloween-themed mini-movie ?WeHo Horror Story,? it was with one proviso: that show creator/writer/star Leon Acord write a new, continuing role for the actor in show?s third season.
?I really admired his chutzpah,? said Acord, ?so I said ?sure!??
Little did Basham know that Acord had already created a character that, as it turns out, the actor was perfect for: the dashing, British ?PR Guru? Dan Karmel, who becomes Ross Stein?s (David Pevsner) new lover.??Jeffrey played a British music producer in a scene on his reel, and when I saw it, I said ‘That?s him!'”
Within three episodes, Basham has become an audience favorite, and fan heartthrob!
We talked with Basham about his character, joining the show, and shooting those outrageous sex scenes.
ODNT viewers love you as Dan Karmel! Have you had any interactions with fans on line? If what, so what has that been?
Oh Wow. Thank you so much.? That?s really wonderful to hear.? Yes some fans have reached out over social media expressing their love of Dan and the season itself.? It?s always rewarding when your work is well received by the people who are fans of the show — many responses have been about my physical appearance which is very flattering, but when I hear that my work made someone laugh or think or feel something — it?s very rewarding.
So, you?re not British! You actually fooled a lot of people! Where did you learn to do that accent so well?
Yay!! Thank you so much. I find dialects to be a really fun challenge but it also kinda comes naturally to me.? My kindergarten teacher was real character, with this thick Brooklyn accent, and I would come home and tell my mom about how we learned about ?Maw-nahk Butta-Flyz? in school that day and she would crack up.
When it comes to dialect work, I like to get very technical with it so I don?t have to think about it at all when I?m acting.? It?s like I don?t want to have to act through the accent but become a part of the character.
When we spoke with you after WeHo Horror Story, you said your ODNT experience was a ?big gay ole time.?? Still hold?
Yes it very much is a big gay ole time, but it?s a LGBTQI and straight allies ?ole? time? too.? Even though the show focuses on gay men over 50, there is a multitude of voices from all walks of life being heard and silently seen in this project.? I got to see filming how diverse the crew and cast are and I think this season especially showcases that diversity.
Dan Karmel seems very outspoken out Ross owning it, and coming out of the closet. What?s your take on gay actors in Hollywood? Do you agree with Dan?
Absolutely I agree with Dan and I think Hollywood and society have made incredible strides with actors being able to be working, successful & out.? Society is evolving big time with the acceptance of LGBTQI voices and the media is reflecting that.? It?s interesting to see how what was once criminal and counter-culture has gone mainstream in a way and Hollywood needs to reflect that in order to stay relevant.
I remember seeing a lot of straight actors get tons of accolades and being applauded for their bravery for playing gay characters.?? It?s awesome to see the converse now for someone like Neil Patrick Harris in Gone Girl.? I still think there is a long way to go and that Dan?s shortlist to Ross of openly gay famous actors is still way too short, but Hollywood is getting there.
Your scenes with David Pevsner have been pretty steamy. What is it like, shooting such explicit moments?
Well, it?s a lot more implied than actually explicit.? Everyone is professional and like many actors say, it?s pretty technical.? I remember the light reflecting in my glasses being an issue in many of the intimate moments.? It?s funny how we are having these passionate moments, but we could be just trying to do it in a way that keeps the audience from seeing the boom mic in Dan?s eyeglasses. But beyond that, I think their relationship and many of the relationships on the show confront a lot of issues — ageism in the gay community, public humiliation, self acceptance — for me, the story is the star, so it?s like be professional, have good breath and go for it.
Leon has promised an ?ass-kicker? cliffhanger in their season finale. Is Dan Karmel involved in the cliffhanger? Can you tell us what happens?
It?s a huge cliffhanger for sure and I will say that Dan Karmel is involved.? No need to wait in suspense, watch it now at http://www.odnt.tv
If there?s a fourth season, are you coming back?
There are so many factors involved and it?s too early to say but I hope to.? Thanks so much.
Connect with?Jeffrey Scott Basham:?
Watch Old Dogs & New Tricks episode 3.8 ?Homo for the Holidays?