Bisexual actor Andy Mientus is probably the first openly gay super villain in television, or even in all of Hollywood. The versatile actor, who is currently busy playing the role of Marius in the Broadway revival of Les Miserables, portrays the character of cute and innocent-looking yet evil villain Hartley Rathaway aka Pied Piper in the small screen adaptation of DC Comics Flash. He recently sat for an interview with VH1. In the interview, the talented young actor, aged 28 discussed his gay character in the TV series and his wedding plans with his beloved boyfriend, actor Michael Arden.
Andy, who is best known for his role as Kyle Bishop in the TV show Smash, when asked about the fan response to his role of Pied Piper, said: “I try not to look to deep into it because it’s going to ruin my day no matter what.”
He added: “But at least on Twitter, the people who’ve actually messaged me, they’ve been really lovely and responding to the character, which makes me happy.”
The young actor revealed that he was never into any sort of comic books, but he did admit that he loved video games as a kid. “I was more of a video game kid growing up.”
Actor eagerly answered all the questions and when the interviewer asked how he got the role of Pied Piper, he answered that he almost didn’t.
“It was a pretty standard audition. I had gone out the pilot for Barry Allen and the producers said they liked me but I wasn’t quite right for it, so they’d keep me in mind for later,” he revealed.
“You hear that a lot and you take that as a much nicer way of them saying no, but it turns out they were serious. Not too long after that, they called me about auditioning for Pied Piper,” he stated happily and added that he was nervous in the beginning after he was offered the role as it was the first gay character in any super hero movies or TV series. He said that he felt like he was risking it as his character was a fan favorite and the alteration might provoke the fans.
“I didn’t know the character, so all I really had to go on was the sides I had to read for the audition. I knew that the character was funny, sinister, and intelligent from the scene, but not much else.
“I was excited and nervous because the character’s a fan favorite and our character would be a little bit of the departure from the original,” he admitted.
About his gay character and bisexuality, he was asked whether or not homosexual actors would be better for such roles, he seemed quite open about the issue and said: “I don’t want to say that all gay characters should be played by queer actors, because then it’s really easy for someone to say that I couldn’t play a straight character.
He was quite frank with his opinion: “The role should always go to the best actor for the part. But it is a nice thing when it happens because I do think that gay actors are told no more than they’re told sure. It’s not hard for audiences to buy a gay actor being a straight character, but it’s hard for certain powers that be to trust that audiences won’t have trouble buying that.
“Luckily, the team at The Flash is aware of how far audiences have come. This character is gay, so it doesn’t really matter, but there’s other out actors playing straight characters and no one bats an eye about it. But it’s very cool that I’m able to represent my own community.”
He stated his view about the dominance of heterosexual male-dominated comic book industry and also the challenges gay characters face. He said that it was important for gay characters to evolve.
The actor also talked about his upcoming wedding, which is set to take place in autumn this year. He is currently dating Broadway actor, singer and composer, Michael Arden. The actor said that they were planning to get married pretty soon, but due to venue problems, the date has not been fixed yet. Andy said: “But it’s looking like it might happen much, much sooner, which is awesome—but also a little bit terrifying.”