Queer As Folk is undergoing a revival, now it’s the original Peacock series, debuting more than 20 years after Russell T Davies first launched his show at the turn of the century. The 8-episode first season, created by Stephen Dunn (Little America), tells about a group of LGBTQ friends living in New Orleans, and shows their triumphs and tribulations after the tragedy that occurs in the first episode.
The two main characters of Queer As Folk – Ruthie (Jesse James Keitel, Big Sky) and the Ball (played by a promising computer scientist). The first is a high school teacher who is struggling with the idea of giving up her parties to become a parent, and the second is her pregnant non-binary partner, who often has to be responsible in a relationship. In the first season, the duo will have to go through a thorny path between Ruthie’s best friend Brody and her own reckless behavior.
Link: Queer As Folk Reboot Cast and Character Guide
Screen Rant talked to CG and Keitel about the romance between Shar and Ruthie complicated by Brody, the importance of understanding parenting responsibilities for their characters, and how Queer As Folk handles some of the most sensitive topics.
Queer As Folk — Episode 106 — Pictured: computer graphics in the image of a Ball — (Photo: Alyssa Moran/Peacock)
Screen Rant: I’m already in love with the dynamics and relationship of Ruthie and Shar. We meet with them when they are already in business, so what can each of you say about your view of how they met or where they have been up to this point?
Jesse James Keitel: The way they met and where they are now are definitely two completely different worlds. Shar plays in a punk band, and Ruthie is definitely a bit of a party girl. Where they started and where they are now, they are definitely in the process of trying to get their roots back.
I also like the trio dynamic with Brody, which you both have somewhat different views on. KG, can you tell me about a little disagreement between Shar and Brody?
KG: Yeah. Brody and Ruthie came from the distant past, and Ruthie and Shar came from a later past. So of course there are things that Shar knows about Ruthie that Brody might not know about Ruthie, and there are a lot of things that Brody knows about Ruthie that Shar doesn’t know about Ruthie.
I think it’s one of the players in the tension between the two of them, and just the way these relationships have different weights.
I think it’s very important to see unconventional paths to fatherhood that can only come from the perspective of a room full of LGBT writers. Can you talk about how to embody this in this storyline, and what it feels like for you?
Jesse James Keitel: To see two honest parents, [when] one of them is not necessarily ready to be a parent, is very important. So often, when they talk about queers who become parents, in fact they need to work much harder for this — either financially, or through adoption, or so on, and so on, and so forth.
A lot of the queer experience is about family, and I think what’s great about our show is that this group of friends has this incredible found family, as well as a really modern take on family dynamics with kids. And it’s so much fun that we can explore both of these things in the series.
The premiere leads to a terrifying event, which clearly should resemble a “Pulse”, but done very carefully. What was it like to deal with this and bring it to the end of the story? CG, your character wasn’t there, but he should still know that your loved ones have been through this.
KG: Yeah. When I first read that this tragedy happened in New Orleans, the place where I come from, a place of freedom, creativity and spirit, and just everything in good, I was a little shocked and said: No, but why? Why should we do this? Why?”
But then, while I was talking to Jacqueline Moore, one of the show’s organizers, she told me about one of the biggest hate crimes in front of Pulse in New Orleans—in the UpStairs Lounge, which I didn’t know about. And I’m from there, so to know what happened on earth in real life, to know the Pulse and to know how it is reflected in the series, all these three aspects just feel like a reckoning and honoring those people who were lost and people who were not lost.
Queer As Folk Synopsis
Queer As Folk — Episode 105 — Pictured: (left to right) Jesse James Keitel as Ruthie, Devin Way as Brody — (Photo: Peacock)
The series, set in New Orleans, is a reimagining of the 1999 Channel 4 series created by Russell T. Davis, which tells the story of a diverse group of friends whose lives change after a tragedy.
Check out our other interview with Queer As Folk stars Devin Way and Johnny Sibilly, as well as Fin Argus and Ryan O’Connell.