Actor Shawn Pyfrom on Playing Gay

Actor Shawn Pyfrom gives a lengthy interview to Starpulse in which he discusses playing Andrew van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives:

Shawn_pyfrom“I think the Van de Camps are loosely based on producer Marc Cherry’s family life, although I don’t know if his real mother was a strict as Bree. I can’t imagine that there are too many people in the world like that. It is always interesting to watch Andrew and Bree go at each other’s throats. She believes something so different and he does everything to make sure to cause her stress. It seems like they are already on [the path of acceptance]. Andrew and Bree have resolved their issues, as when he apologized for the way he used to act. He is beginning to mature now and has forgiven his mother for leaving him on the side of the road…[That was wicked] but it was so awesome to shoot. But I think he is now on a path towards becoming an adult. I think it’s necessary because the character is 20 now. Andrew still has his manipulating ways, he just approaches it more maturely…The good thing about Andrew is that in Season 1 and 2 as a gay character, he was very strong and confident as to who he was. I think that could be encouraging for other young homosexuals to become more confident and comfortable with who they are. A lot of times gay characters can be portrayed as the flamboyant and weak stereotype. Andrew is sociopathic and narcissistic and doesn’t get along with his mother, and he is also gay. Your sexual preferences doesn’t define you as a person. I’m heterosexual but that doesn’t define me as a person. No one would say, ‘Oh, he likes to have sex with girls,’ so why should it be the other way around?”

I’m not sure that being sociopathic and narcissistic are the attributes gay people want associated with them either, but I’ll assume he was simply elaborating on the earlier “strong and confident” statement.

On being stereotyped by playing a gay character, Pyfrom says: “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried, but honestly I think we are at a point now with television and movies where people can watch something and not stereotype the actor playing that character. I think if I had played a gay character 10 years ago then I would probably have something to worry about. I think people are a little bit more open-minded now. I think that the only time people stereotype is when the actor acts out in public. They go around parading things out to the media and then that is all people see when they are watching them on the screen. That’s one reason that I don’t do that. “


  1. peterparker says

    “…the Van de Camps are loosely based on producer Marc Cherry’s family…”

    Yeah, and that fugly, fatass, Republican Cherry decided to cast the character based on himself with a hottie like Shawn Pyfrom. Dream on, dipshit. Dream on.

  2. scooterzz says

    “A lot of times gay characters can be portrayed as the flamboyant and weak stereotype.”

    not sure i would equate ‘flamboyant’ with ‘weak’…. i’ve always thought it took a degree of courage to be ‘flamboyant’….

  3. jjabely says

    I get what he’s saying. There are enough “queeny” stereotypes out there. As for the “sociopath” bit, I think he’s saying that Andrew is a sociopathic character, while also being gay. The one doesn’t define the other, which is how it should be.

  4. Dan says

    Yep, Marc Cherry isn’t doing so great in the looks department. But because of his success and position in Hollywood, probably beds people like Shawn on a regular basis

    And that just eats you up inside, doesn’t it Peter?

  5. Ernie says

    Um, I’m guessing Peter is more eaten up by Marc’s politics than his bedroom dalliances. Just a hunch . . .

    I agree with Scooterzz, flamboyance often gets confused with weakness, when it fact it usually takes courage and strength to be unapologetically flamboyant. On the other hand, I don’t want to pick apart a young actor’s interview statements–seems like his intentions are good even if his assessments are shaky.

  6. Paul says

    Personally, I like the character of Andrew and I think that Shawn Pylform has played him well. I would like to see him find a guy, but I hear he is supposed hook up with girl.
    I love desperate housewives, but I can’t stand Marc Cherry. give me a break…he is a conservative republican. how the hell can you be gay and be conservative republican?

  7. peterparker says


    My beef with Marc Cherry is that he is queer, yet he supports Republican politicians. In case you haven’t noticed, DAN, the Republicans have made a bloodsport out of bashing the GLBT community, so Marc Cherry is, by proxy, participating in the damage to our community. If you search Marc Cherry here on towleroad you’ll find that I often comment on his politics and urge others not to support his show because of his political leanings.

    Regarding your accusation, DAN, that I am simply envious because Marc Cherry gets to fuck more hotties than I do, let me just say ‘I doubt that’. While I certainly don’t get every guy I want, I have *no* trouble getting laid by hotties. In fact, I’m occasionally mistaken on the street and in bars for a certain porn star who has worked mainly for Falcon and Raging Stallion. (ChiChi Larue once dragged me across a crowded room to introduce me to said porn star because she thought the resemblance was so strong. Porn stars in the room were asking us to stand side by side so they could take pictures of this porn star and his ‘twin’. I didn’t see the resemblance and neither did he, but other guys certainly did/do.) Getting laid ain’t much of a problem for me.

    That just eats you up inside, doesn’t it Dan?


  8. queendru says

    Love Shawn and Andrew. I think he’s being misunderstood here. He is saying the stereotype is usually of a gay who is both weak and flamboyant. In contrast, the Andrew character was athletic and not afraid of physical confrontation.

    I have no problem with him talking in terms of “preferences” although I can already see someone here is gagging because how dare he not use their approved vocabulary.

    Do some of you sit around looking for the flimsiest excuse to get ticked off? Some a little of that tolerance you claim to be so big on and try to be understanding of what Pyfrom’s saying.

    As for Cherry’s politics, who cares? You wouldn’t know his leanings from the show with the very flawed Bree as the token Republican. To contrast, its lead out “Brother’s and Sisters” suffocates the audience with its liberal viewpoint.

    While lots of gays say they don’t want to be defined by being gay, they sure do exert a lot of energy in making sure anyone who is out must carry water for the cause above all considerations or he must be a traitor to his people. Um, what the hell? You act is if Republicans treat gays like Nazis treated gays, Jews and gypsies. Leave the straw men in the corn fields for the crows.

  9. says

    I don’t think he has too worry too much about being stereo typed. There has been very little gay content on the show. The new “gay” neighbors have virtually disappeared from the radar and Andrew just seems like a young man dealing with his family with very little gay content.

    The show has become lame especially Teri H.’s character!

  10. gire says

    every man in this kind of outfit will be handsome.I dont know this guy so much. But he is really handsome in the picture.He seems to have a personal account at a millionaire&celebrity dating club””with his pictures and blog. He is so popular there. I hope I were him, thus I can date those hot girls there…LOL

Leave A Reply