Van Hansis Grabs Emmy Nomination for Portrayal of Gay Teen

Congrats to Van Hansis, who was just nominated for a daytime Emmy for Younger Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of gay teen Luke Snyder on As the World Turns. Towleroad correspondent Alan L. created this reel of some of Hansis’ scenes.

Hansis told AfterElton in an interview last year: “As far as playing a gay character, it’s nothing that I’ve ever had any negative feelings about. I love my character. In the end, I’m really glad they made my character gay. I’m able to do so much more than the average soap guy gets to do…One of the really interesting things when the speculation started that Luke was going to come out of the closet was the audience was saying on some of the message boards, “I’m not going to watch this show anymore”. Then after the story line got going and people got into it and people thought the show was going to backpedal and make Luke bi or straight, again that’s when the fans again said no, no, no. He should be gay.”


  1. phil says

    This story line has been handled superbly on this daytime soap, and Van Hansis’ acting is terrific. He deserves the Emmy nomination. At the moment the gay story line is fairly dormant (and As The World Turns is pre-empted until next Monday because of sports).

  2. Joseph says

    Congratulations to Van!! Here’s hoping TPTB recognize that they have a great actor and a great character here and give him a love interest soon!

  3. tjc says

    Is this the current end of the storyline?

    I hope there’s already more that’s been aired. Otherwise I’ll have to find the 50 seconds of the Luke Snyder segments each week (out of 5 hours of other twisty plotlines and ads) to follow along. The comilation looked awesome.

    Anyone know if there’s more storyline yet and where to find it?

  4. alan says

    TJC – You can see much of the story so far by searching google video or YouTube for “Van Hansis.” For example, there is a 65-minute collection of clips here:
    This collection begins earlier than the clip here on Towleroad, contains more of the middle, and continues on farther as well, to the point where Luke saves Kevin’s life in a near-drowning accident, and Kevin accepts Luke as being gay.

    There has been anywhere from zero minutes to about 5 minutes per week (out of 5 hours) of Luke’s story, and nothing much recently. The big developments already seem to have happened, and you can find them by searching google video and YouTube.

  5. says

    I am a big As the World Turns fan and have really enjoyed Van’s storyline, which has recently died down a lot, but they recently had the character talk to his father about finding a boyfriend, so perhaps they are going to bring someone on soon to play that role.

    I wish more had been written about him and his character in Blogs while his storyline was going on last summer.

  6. downtownLA says

    I started watching the show because of this storyline, but they have pushed Luke and Kevin to the background lately. There are rumors that when the summer kicks in and more younger viewers are watching, then they will pick it back up again. Let’s hope so.

  7. says

    He’s actually a pretty good actor. I don’t really watch the show, but I’m interested in the storyline. If the aired more about it and I knew when the show was, I’d probably watch it sometimes (even though I’m not into soaps).

  8. John says

    When you read the entire interview with the actor, you find a very refreshing development…

    … not once does this young man find it necessary (as do – and did many in the past) to – in anyway – slip in the presumed fact that he is straight.

    A glimmer of hope for this and future generations.

  9. Steve says

    Ouch…deja vu. I don’t think I could watch this on a regular basis…seeing Edge of Seventeen was so traumatic I started smoking again after seeing it.

    Congratulations on the Emmy Nomination.

    (PS…compared to some of the tripe we’re exposed to in gay-themed cinema, the acting is quite stellar).

  10. Leland says

    Thanks, Andy, and Alan L for putting together the reel. I was most impressed by two things [no, not the teen nipples—that would have been four things]. One, the addressing of stereotypes and then shooting them down one-by-one, for the too rarely heard truth that being gay hasn’t nothing intinsically with them. And, two, the dramatization that coming out is less like a single act to the world, than an unfolding flower, opening petal by petal. Straight women, the primary audience, of course, for daytime soaps are the advance army for social change. Bravo to all concerned.

  11. Leland says

    Ooops, make that, “…for the too rarely heard truth that being gay has nothing intinsically to do with [stereotypes].”

  12. FunMe says

    I think this is WONDERFUL!

    The new generation of gays who are young now will be able to see themselves, and realize that it’s OK to be true to themselves.

  13. 000000 says

    ATWT is a shadow of its former self. Perhaps this story was good around the time of the coming out, as All My Children was with the Susan Lucci character’s daughter. Anon is right about the bar being so low though. This guy will never win, as he has better competition. It’ll be a LONG time before Luke gets to kiss, let alone screw another guy. The mere hint of it will probably signal a downplaying of the relationship or a removal of the character entirely.

  14. bill says

    Van is a charming, talented, charismatic actor and I hope he wins. These scenes were very well done.

  15. k says

    Thanks Andy for sharing this… I’m sure that my parents know I am gay — but they refuse to acknowledge it… they just don’t talk about it, and never ask about my boyfriend. My mother watches ATWT… I had no idea about this storyline. Maybe it will help open their eyes.
    Thanks Alan for giving the link to the longer version too. I am a sucker for this kind of stuff because it has always hit home.

  16. says

    The extended clips are great, particularly for anyone not familiar with the show or the character. Some of the most powerful (and best acted scenes) weren’t the ones where Luke interacted with other teens, but when he first came out to his cousin Jade (the black girl in the clip, not Lucy, the cousin who is featured) and the scenes surrounding his coming out to his parents (conflicted, but accepting father; freaked-out, angry mother). In fact, the best scenes in the storyline really belonged to the actors who plays Luke/Van’s parents, Holden and Lily, on the show. Jon Hensley and Martha Byrne (a former “soap teen” supercouple themselves in the 80s) stood out as Hensley played the father who (as so many parents do) figures out his son is gay almost before his son does, and then has to sort out his emotions quickly in order to be the most loving father he can, and Byrne played the mother so devastated by the news that she lashes out fearing she “doesn’t know how to even be [Luke’s] mother anymore.” For those concerned about Luke’s dwindling screen time in the past few months (which, actually isn’t that strange for a teenage character…to play heavily in the Summer and support his parents/family storylines until the Summer rolls around again) needn’t be concerned. ATWT recently cast Luke’s new love interest and the story is set to take off just in time for, you guessed it, the Summer! [Incidentally, GENERAL HOSPITAL intends to bring back gay teen “Lucas Jones,” nephew of the legendary Luke & Laura (who went off the canvas when the actor jumped to another soap, partially due to dwindling screen time for Lucas, post-coming out), but no word has been announced re: casting or air-dates.] It is likely, as well, that both of these characters will kiss their boyfriends on-screen. The days where that has been a taboo appear to be well over, frankly. On PASSIONS, we found out African-American teenager Simone Russell was a lesbian when she got into bed with her girlfriend and started kissing, and “down-low” livin’ Chad (Simone’s brother-in-law, in true soap fashion) being blackmailed with racy sex-footage of his gay-trysts, all managing to make it on-screen with nary a peep or protest. While PASSIONS takes the same-sex lovin’ cake for daytime, it’s also notable that ALL MY CHILDREN’S BIANCA has kissed multiple women since returning to the show (including a one-night stand and her cheating ex) and her transgender friend Zoe, has, for plot purposes, laid one on the show’s resident young (straight) heartthrob in a scene that replayed again the next day for good measure. All, again, without a single protest from any corner. Overnight, Daytime has become a LOT more progressive, for sure.

  17. phil says

    Thanks for the heads-up that Luke will get a boyfriend this summer, Squappie. Of course, being a soap, I’m sure it won’t be smooth sailing or “happily ever after” for Luke or the boyfriend because soaps revolve around problems and tension, and nothing ever really resolves. Still, I hope the upcoming scenes with Luke are written, handled and acted as superbly as Luke’s story so far. As someone else posted above, these As The World Turns clips are better acted and better done than most gay films I buy on DVD.

  18. LesterMay says

    What a surprise to see this thread!

    The person who put together the really great clips really didn’t chronicle the storyline of Luke’s coming out, our pull together Van’s strongest scenes, but rather pulled together some of the scenes related to what was ultimately a minor sub-plot, Luke’s falling in love with his best friend and being unable to tell him (what you didn’t see in the clip was Luke’s friend Kevin, who is also an alcoholic, getting drunk, calling his friend a faggot, and outing Luke to anyone within earshot. Luke and Kevin eventually make up and Kevin’s apologies are heartfelt, but that was the last we saw of Kevin onscreen). Soappipe is right that the best scenes involved the parents, and there continue to be great scenes between Luke and his dad Holden (his adopted father, not the Italian-accented bigot in the clips, who is Luke’s biological father), who I think every gay kid wishes had been his father. Holden struggled, but is ultimately his son’s biggest champion. Luke’s conversations with his cousins Jade and Lucy (Lucy–played by Kelsey Grammar’s daughter, incidentally–was the blonde, and the black girl defending Luke to Kevin was Jade) were particularly poignant at times, particularly when he comes out for the first time, to Jade, and describes how he fell in love with Kevin, who he knows isn’t gay. It was great stuff for anyone who had ever been a closeted teen. So don’t judge the show, story, or acting based on the “teen sub-plot” clips (the teens, especially the non-major character ones, hired for their looks primarily, are notoriously bad actors, but they tend to grow into pretty good ones over time). This was a really great story that has already won the Writer’s Guild Association award for writing, and is up for a GLAAD award as well. When Luke’s storyline picks up again I’d encourage any gay man who knew he was gay in his teens to check it out.

  19. Bobby says

    How neat. I’m actually REALLY impressed by this Van guy. His reactions to a lot of these situations are spot on. Big thanks to whoever assembled the clip. I’ll watch the hour-long one on Google and I look forward to more in the future!

  20. says

    As a (nice) coda to this post, ATWT announced all the details on the boyfriend they’re giving teenaged Luke. The actor has been hired (his name is Jake Silbermann) and already is busy raising the profile of the upcoming story–Silbermann just recently attended the GLAAD Media Awardsin NYC alongside Van and co-star Jennifer Landon (AS THE WORLD TURNS coming out story lost to AMC’s transgender storyline).

    Luke’s new boyfriend will work at the local television station and sparks are scripted to fly between the young men sooner rather than later.

    Better still, both ATWT execs and Van have said in various interviews that there are no plans to shy away from on-screen kissing (a taboo that was broken by ALL MY CHILDREN’s chaste lesbian kiss, and blown away by PASSIONS’ significantly amped up same sex licks by both gay men and lesbians on the show–PASSIONS is chock full of them!).

    So set your VCRs, DVRs, and TiVOs for May 31 (and if you search for pics from the GLAAD ceremonies you can get a peek of Silbermann now). I can’t wait to see the compilation reels that will come out of this phase of the story!

  21. Lisa Pope says

    I have watched As The World my whole life. My mom has watched the show since it first aired. We are both disgusted with this storyline between Luke and Noah. We couldn’t believe our eyes on Friday’s episode, when they kissed. I thought I was going to throw up. I hope this disgusting storyline ends soon, or As The World Turns will be losing at least two loyal fans, I’m sure we’re not the only fans that feel this way. If people want to live their life that way, fine, let them, but quit shoving it down our throats.

  22. says

    Maybe if more bigots threw up over Nuke, maybe they would feel better and they will throw up all that hatred and ignorance. Maybe that tickle in their throws is the realization that gays won’t be “hidden” or go back into the closet. People said the same thing about interracial relationships on TV (people shoving it down their throats). Their bigotry is a dinosaur ready to die…