During its first two seasons, popular web series Old Dogs & New Tricks (a comedic look at gay men at middle-age) cast several high-profile men in special guest roles, including gay Olympian Greg Louganis, soap icon Ian Buchanan, Patrick Bristow (Ellen, Showgirls), Doug Spearman (Noah’s Arc) andThom Bierdz (Young & the Restless).
But as the series enters its third season, they have made an adjustment.
“It’s the Year of the Woman!” jokes series creator and star Leon Acord, about the three female stars who will guest star this year.? They are:
Rutanya Alda, a veteran actress with scores of credits, but who will forever by loved by gay audiences for playing Joan Crawford’s long-suffering assistant “Carol Ann” in Mommie Dearest;
Mo Gaffney, who, like Alda, has an IMDb page full of credits–but is best known to gay audiences as “Bo” in the iconic British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous; and
Kathryn Leigh Scott, who is worshipped for her role of “Maggie Evans” in the original Dark Shadows (and, like the other two, has been working steadily ever since).
Alda will appear in four episodes as ?Barbara Fierce,? personal assistant to ?Nelson Van Eddy,? the show?s resident villain played by Bruce L. Hart.? ?I think Rutanya?s fans will really enjoy seeing a new side to her,? raves Acord. ?She?s outrageous, the perfect sidekick to Nelson.?
?I so loved being mean to Leon,? Alda says
Gaffney guests in the season premiere as Ross? divorce lawyer, Jolene Sherman, and gushes, “What a fun, fabulous experience! Working with the ODNTpeople was sheer joy. I highly recommend it! Plus, they had above average snacks.”
Leon says he gave Gaffney free reign to improve in her scenes, and ?she had all of us doubled over, trying not to laugh during her takes!?
We?ll meet Muscles? mom in the season finale, played by Scott, and discover where he gets his big heart. ?Kathryn is just so perfect in the part,? says Acord. ?I think everyone will wish she was their mom.?
?Never in my wildest dreams did I think anyone would ever refer to me as a ?diva?!” laughs Scott.? ?Only in the grandest sense,? Acord counters. ?She was so professional and down to earth and everyone just loved her.?
So why this focus on “divas” this season?
“It was nothing that was planned,” Acord explains.? “It just so happened that this season had a lot of female roles, and we were lucky enough to get these terrific stars.”
The show’s third season won’t be available until later this year, but news of its trio of icons have already created social-media buzz–a pleasant surprise for Acord.
“The divas have already increased our audience, even before our new season has aired.”? When asked why that is, Acord is quick to answer.
“Gay men do love their divas. For some reason, we seem more devoted to them than we are to famous, openly gay men.”
“I had to ask myself, if given a choice, which would I rather see–and had to admit I’m much more likely to tune in for our beloved ladies.”
Why is that so?
“I don’t think there is only one reason. They?ve all worked in projects that are embraced by the community, that?s a plus!? I think older gay generations, particularly, grew up without any ?out? gay men to worship–so we projected that onto strong, funny women.”
“I’ve also learned, from doing this show, that some older gay men seem to prefer our stories be told by women. Let?s face it, both Sex and the City?and?Golden Girls?were seen as ‘gay stories’ with women filling in for the guys.? There are quite a few older gay men who are uncomfortable seeing themselves in a mirror reflection, I think,” explains Acord.? “Seeing women in those roles softens the blow.”
Acord promises, however, that the show will still offer lots of attractive men.? And while there are a bit fewer sex scenes in season three, he says they will be more outrageous than ever.? “Its quality over quantity with the naughty bits this year,” he laughs.
Old Dogs & New Tricks Season 3 debuts later this fall.? New viewers can catch up with the show on Hulu ( www.hulu.com/old-dogs-and-new-tricks ) or at the show’s website?www.OldDogsNewTricksTheSeries.com
Rutanya Alda, Mo Gaffney and Kathryn Leigh Scott.
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?Old Dogs & New Tricks Group photo: Dexter Brown