Chris Carmack | Film and TV | News

Chris Carmack Talks Playing Gay On 'Nashville': VIDEO


Chris Carmack (of The O.C. fame) answered many prayers when he returned to television playing a country star on the rise on ABC's Nashville. However, unlike this year's viral sensation, country crooner Steve Grand, Carmack's character, Will Lexington, is still in the closet. Carmack recently sat down with OUT Magazine to discuss playing a very not out character living in the world of country music:

CarmackIn Season 1, Will kissed his obviously straight friend Gunner. Why’s he so clueless?
I think Will might have a mild case of sexual Asperger’s. He doesn’t know better — all he knows is how to go to a bar and take home whatever drunk girl comes on to him. With Gunner he stopped pushing everything down; he let himself get swept up.

Do you think it’s possible to be openly gay and a successful country singer?
People I’ve spoken to say that at a certain level it’d be career suicide for somebody to come out of the closet. That’s a terrible kind of fame. I don’t think executives would give Will the time of day. That’s a damn shame, but in country music there’s a stigma that’s insurmountable.

How have fans reacted to Will’s story line?
People ask me, “Which pretty girl on that show are you with?” Even my grandma did. I said, “I don’t know, Mama, you’re just gonna have to watch!”

You can read the full interview, complete with a discussion of Connie Britton's "magical hair," HERE.

Also, in case you missed it, check out a video of Carmack as Will Lexington making a move on his friend Gunner AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Of course this actor would be straight. He's too gorgeous.

    Posted by: Jay | Sep 28, 2013 4:25:14 PM

  2. Oh yes, totally "straight", just like those "straight" guys on lonely nights in your college...

    Posted by: litper | Sep 28, 2013 4:35:02 PM

  3. Another gay fallacy. Everyone is really gay. That misconception is going to get somebody killed one day.

    Posted by: HE | Sep 28, 2013 4:55:10 PM

  4. Frankly i get the straight obsession that some gays have really absurd.
    It's like those straight girls who think that all good looking guys are gays.
    The truth is there are gorgeous guys of all sexual orientations.

    It's nice that the show continue to tell Will's story.
    Unfortunately Carmack is right, coming out of the closet in country music it will be a mainstream suicide (today thanks to internet, you have other ways to have a career without radio support).
    With very few exceptions, most country male stars look the same and sound the same (and that's one of the reasons there's practically no crossovers from country male stars in recent years, because that image only appeal to country fans).

    In a couple of years maybe it will be different, but i think it needs to get better on pop first, because there's practically noone gay charting on pop charts right now either.

    Posted by: jjose712 | Sep 28, 2013 5:00:07 PM

  5. "He" has a straight fetish.

    Posted by: litper | Sep 28, 2013 5:08:48 PM

  6. I'm bothered by the beer thing. Almost excuses the moment. Damn it. It's just as cliched as "step-n-fetch-it black-face was.
    Damn it.

    Posted by: Geoff | Sep 28, 2013 5:23:48 PM

  7. Love Nashville. Can't understand why more people aren't tuning in. It's really one of the better dramas on TV right now. Sure, some of the ways they handle the music isn't realistic, but the acting and singing/music is top notch, as well as the writing. Highly recommend it if you're not watching.

    Posted by: AriesMatt | Sep 28, 2013 5:25:28 PM

  8. We need gay kissing on tv. Until people stop squirming when they see it. When it becomes blase' everyone can just relax. Can't wait.

    Posted by: m | Sep 28, 2013 5:38:09 PM

  9. Another show where everyone whispers.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 28, 2013 5:43:29 PM

  10. Not really. Just getting the conversation going.

    Posted by: HE | Sep 28, 2013 6:10:19 PM

  11. Everybody must be thinking it, so I'm just going to ask it: Who are the closeted Gay male Country singers in the real Nashville?

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Sep 28, 2013 6:18:44 PM

  12. @jjose712: Saying that most male country singers look and sound the same is silly. If you think that Hunter Hayes, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, and Tim McGraw all look alike, you might want to get your eyes checked.

    As for sounding alike, the country genre has a wider range of male vocalists when compared to pop or rock. Deep bass singers can become solo artists instead of being relegated to being the "guy that never gets solos" in a vocal pop group.

    Posted by: alex | Sep 28, 2013 6:49:09 PM

  13. Years ago on TV I saw a country band, I think the guy who had a hit which would have already been decades old about going to El Paso, and that guy seemed just gay gay gay Paul Linde gay. I'll have to try some Google and YouTube research, unless of course someone here is ahead of me on this.

    Posted by: emjayay | Sep 28, 2013 7:49:18 PM

  14. @EMJAYAY: I am a Music Lover and have a ton of vinyl records. I think the man/musician you are talking about is Marty Robbins. Years ago he had a big #1 hit called "El Paso". He was basically a Country singer but his songs were very popular and crossed over to the pop charts many times.
    He has since passed away, but I had no idea that he might have been gay.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Sep 28, 2013 8:36:06 PM

  15. Male country singers are hot- and I might have to catch this show.

    Posted by: jarago | Sep 28, 2013 9:00:37 PM

  16. To your point, M; we need more Gay Kissing, period! ;-)

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Sep 28, 2013 9:00:49 PM

  17. JJOSE712: in my experience gorgeous guys past twenty-one or twenty-two are all orientations except straight.

    And there has been talk about Carmack.

    Posted by: Gabe R L | Sep 28, 2013 9:59:29 PM

  18. Is it me, or do all straight actors who have to passionately kiss another man, as a gay character, always...always...always put their hand on the face of the other actor and mush their lips onto the other actor's?

    It as though they use their hands to control the other actor's face or head, so as to somehow prevent the other actor from making the wrong move and kissing them wrong...I can't explain it, but I notice it happen almost all the time.

    Posted by: Robert in SF | Sep 28, 2013 11:51:41 PM

  19. Steve Grand never claimed to be a country artist and considering his playlist at past live performances, he's more 'pop'. What gave him that label? Wearing blue jeans and flannel? A video at a campgrounds and lake? You know we have those in the Chicago area. Please allow him to grow his fan base. So, a country artist who's openly gay is a career killer, well you could also say being gay "openly" playing country is also bold,

    Posted by: Sean | Sep 29, 2013 12:03:25 AM

  20. alex: Hunter Hayes represent a new generation of male country singers, and he is in fact the only one in recent years that has a crossover hit.
    Tim McGraw did a duet with Nelly (something that did Florida Georgia Lane this same year), doing a duet with someone who is not in your genre is thinking outside the box.

    But the truth is, a lot of country male singer had the same image, in fact a lot of album covers seem a little variation of the others, and there's an incredibly amount of songs about trucks and tractors.

    Country is a very conservative chart, even some of the biggest country stars are female (like Miranda and Carrie) generally are the males the ones who get more airplay. And they have an incredibly resistance to new talent specially if they have a different sound (the fantastic Merry go round barely reached the top 10 in that format even with good sales).

    I always like country because a lot of songs tell stories, something that is missed on pop, but generally are the females that have better lyrics (as i say, with exceptions).

    And unfortunately, i think exactly the same Chris said, being openly gay will kill (at least right now) your career in country music

    Posted by: jjose712 | Sep 29, 2013 6:45:00 AM

  21. Gabe R L: Frankly, i don't know anything at all about Carmack's sexual orientation.

    And i could agree with you affirmation some years ago, but right now there are a lot of straight men who take care of themselves and got old looking good

    Posted by: jjose712 | Sep 29, 2013 6:47:31 AM

  22. Chris looks BETTER than he did on the O.C. Age has hardened his face in just the right way.

    Posted by: Kevin | Sep 29, 2013 10:31:51 AM

  23. JJose712: Thank you for your response.
    I know the supposedly straight men you are talking about; at least half of my boy toys come from that group. Like I said, these guys are anything but straight. They could be bent, bi/confused, or just plai gay but not straight. The very few I see that might be truly straight are too boring for me to care about, and even then they don't llok that good up close. Thank you again for responding.

    Posted by: Gabe R L | Sep 29, 2013 11:05:27 PM

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