If you’re a fan of the super cute webs series The Queens Project, then free up some time to catch the third series which has just hit YouTube. To celebrate the show’s welcome return, we caught up with show runner Ken Arpino who chats about season three, what he thinks about Disney’s decision to cast a straight actor in a gay role and why gay people need more visibility to protect yuan gay lads…
So Ken, what has this new season got in store for us?
Love, lies, and utter foolishness. With the extended runtime for season three, I was able to explore the secondary character storylines to really fill out the Queens Project universe. I am so excited for people to watch.
For those who haven’t seen it a quick catch up on what the show is about.
The morning after Ash and Gabe kiss for the first time, a totally freaked out Gabe leaves NYC without saying goodbye. Meanwhile, Nick is left to plan the wedding alone while Nick 2 is busy traveling for work. Andre is starting to seriously regret living with his mother. But the part I am most excited for people to see is the budding relationship between Ash and Trey – or AshTrey, as Nick calls them.
Will we see more of series regular BJ Gruber flashing his flesh?
Have you got some amazing new hot guys?
Trey Gerrald (Nick), Andre Jordan (Andre), Ian Paget (Mike Hunt), and Tim Murray (Nick 2) are all reprising their roles – and we are thrilled to have Chris Dwan (Trey) joining us as a regular. There’s a hot guy for everyone!
What have the reactions been to this third season?
Amazing! The show (and the boys) are getting all kinds of love – and requests for a season four. It is so fulfilling to have people connect to the show and the characters on such a personal level. I love seeing all the positive messages.
Have you as a film maker changed since season one?
Oh, yes. For sure. The process has taught me a lot about myself as a creator, writer, and producer. My attention to detail has increased and flows over into my personal life, which probably annoys the hell out of my boyfriend, Dustin. We run a business together and I am… shall we say… particular. However, that commitment to growth has absolutely extended into the show, so I have NO regrets.
Would you make a series in the UK?
I. Would. Love. To! Dear London writers and filmmakers – slide into my DMs and let’s create something.
Is there another series in you?
Of course! I am actually working on two more series as we speak. It Gets Funnier, the original production company that produced The Queens Project, just merged with Pals of Dorothy, a full-service, independent production company focused on creating, sharing, and delivering content by and for the LGBT+ community. I’m the co-owner and incredibly excited to see what stories we tell next.
How different are UK gays to US ones?
I guess I need to spend some more time with gays in the UK and find out. Is this an invite?
You and your gorgeous boyfriend Dustin are super busy with theatre – what keeps your love fresh?
We produce a lot of projects together, which can be a double-edged sword. We get to share all the successes and triumphs but we also get to share the stress. It’s hard to separate work from our personal life. However, we are very playful and geek out about the same things. We love to try new food, see movies or shows, read, and explore. Distracting ourselves from work once in a while really helps us stay connected as friends first, and then as boyfriends by extension.
A straight gay has been cast to play a camp gay guy in a new Disney film and it’s caused a rumpus – what do you think?
That’s a tough one. I have played straight characters before, so not sure I can really throw my hat into the ring. What I can say is this: representation matters. It would be ideal to have gay actors play gay roles to give the community a voice in mainstream arenas. There is an immense amount of talent in the LGBT+ community, so no one can say they couldn’t find a gay actor for the role. It’s disappointing, and I hope the attention this casting decision has received will broaden their minds for the next project.
We were devastated to hear about the nine year old boy who killed himself after being bullied for being gay. How can schools stop this?
This is exactly what I’m talking about when I say (louder, for the cheap seats in the back): gay representation matters! We as a community should be outraged that we lost one of our own so young. We need to make sure we keep changing hearts and minds – at home and in the community – by being visible. I can’t express enough that we need to check in and support each other, because losing our own is too common an occurrence. Complacency is tolerance – and that is completely unacceptable.
Did you experience anything like this???
No, I was very fortunate. I escaped a lot into my own world. I learned how to tune certain people out. But most importantly, I found a support system that I am fortunate enough to still have today. Little did we know in our youth that being a misfit would eventually become our strength.
Keep creating, keep writing – and hopefully another visit to the UK soon! Thank you for watching The Queens Project!
See more Queens Project here