What better platform to be black, gay and male in 2018 than Issa Rae’s ColorCreative.tv? Not only a black, gay male but a millennial who gets to experience and act out issues surrounding love, identity, finance and mental health and slaying their giants victoriously? The “Unsure” series, aptly titled Giants, is equal parts exploration, adventurous digital based project where mental health of various forms takes center stage amongst a cast of individuals who are just trying to survive the best way possible.
The most polarizing of the characters, Ade (Sean Samuels) is in a war with a most familiar giant: himself. Samuels, a veteran of stage, film, modeling and now the small digital screen, attacks the role of Ade with such passion forcing us to closely examine the tribulations gay men face in this country; from judgment of family to dating via apps like Black Gay Chat to secretly loving a straight man who happens to be one his best friends to slowly unpacking societal expectation and disappointments. In six-half hour episodes, we witness a giant coming to terms with his past, present and future in a millennial world and shows it is not as easy as we think. On the eve of the highly anticipated one hour finale, Samuels talks life, Ade and why “giants” must exist to help us grow stronger.
TGD: Your character struggles with being a black gay man living in Los Angeles. How does it feel to portray such a complex character on the digital screen?
Samuels: It’s not very hard because I live it everyday. Most of us humans are in search of something bigger than ourselves. Ade is searching and I am as well. After graduating from conservatory, I was traveling and performing in a Broadway show and I decided to move to L.A. so I can relate to the challenges of finding oneself and the transition of moving from one place of life to the next.
TGD: How did/do you approach the character of Ade?
Samuels: Ade is a good man with a good heart and cares for the people he loves the most. He seems to live in a state of confusion and is just trying to find happiness in life. Plus it doesn’t help that people are constantly questioning his sexuality.
TGD: What is the importance of portraying a black gay man in today’s society?
Samuels: I started to see the cultural shit around portrayal of black gay men during the ’90s-’00s. It went from not being talked about to becoming more accepting of our existence. It’s a sort of sense of belonging see yourself in a positive manner. It’s huge!
TGD: What is Ade running from?
Samuels: Running from himself, the truth of himself and the areas that keep him bound. Plus eluding Kwasi’s love and running from self-acceptance while trying to prove himself is taking a toll on him.
TGD: If you could change five things about Ade what would they be?
Samuels: OMG! Thats hard! Let me think..hmm. Okay so 1). The fact that he doesn’t love himself. 2). Blind by what he thinks love is. 3). Towel preferences. 4). Allowing Malachi to sleep in the bed and 5). Trying to talk to Mel.
TGD: What is the future of Ade and Malachi?
Samuels: There could be so many outcomes that you can’t put just one in the atmosphere. But one thing I think we all want to see: a true friendship.
Image Source: Shot by Serrandon