For regular TV viewers, one of the most gratifying things is that we’re at a time when a gay character’s story is no longer predominantly focused on their sexuality. The coming out story is still out there (and still necessary for those who have yet to step out of the closet) but when a show on the young-demographic network like The CW brings in a gay character and the story isn’t focused on his being gay, progress has been made.

Last year on the hit CW series, The Originals, we were introduced to the character of Josh, who was immediately open about being gay and was dealing with a much bigger piece of drama – he’d just been turned into a vampire by the villainous – but oh-so-sexy – vampire/werewolf hybrid, Klaus (played by Joseph Morgan) and had to learn how to survive.

Steven Krueger plays Josh and has made quite an impression already on fans and, thankfully, his boss, The Originals creator Julie Plec. In an email for this story, Plec said that the 24-year old actor brings “delightful humor and a refreshing lightness” to the show and compares him to Candice Accola, who has brought similar qualities to the role of Caroline on the series that made The Originals possible, The Vampire Diaries.

Just look at Josh’s sardonic wit, his BFF status with powerful teen witch Davina (Danielle Campbell) and his naivete to the new vampire world and what could’ve been a character that was reduced to a mere victim instead has become one of the most relateable and popular characters on The Originals and that’s due to Krueger’s portrayal.

Sitting down at a coffee shop recently in West Hollywood with TheBacklot, the charming Krueger talked about his journey to The Originals and playing a gay character experience as well as pose for some exclusive photos with our photographer, Clinton Gaughran that show that he can easily hold his own in terms of sexiness with dreamy co-stars Morgan, Charles Michael Davis and Daniel Gillies.

Who (literally) pushed him into acting? How has the young actor adjusted to people wanting to know about him and his personal life? And how can he get word to Ryan Gosling that the film actor should play his love interest on the show? Let’s find out…

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TheBacklot: You grew up in Wisconsin and then Florida. How did acting come into your life?

Steven Krueger: It was something that I started doing when I was in my very first year of high school. Against my will, of course. My mom kind of forced me into it. It was one of those situations where it was like I had one extra elective that I could take in and I wanted to do study hall or something stupid like that and my mom was like ’Do acting. You will like it’ and I’m like ’No I will not.’ Long story short I did it, I loved it. Didn’t really think much about it when I went to college. I was very much groomed to have the kind of normal career, law school, that type of thing. And I happened to find myself in LA right after college and it had always kind of been in the back of my mind. ’I’m going back out to LA. Maybe I get back into acting’ and sure enough, I made the leap and here we are a few years later.

And you booked some impressive jobs pretty early. Pretty Little Liars is a good one to have on your resume. Did that or any other job change the way casting directors saw you?

SK: Pretty Little Liars did. ..once I had that under my belt and on my resume and I had some of that footage on my reel, I think that kind of opened some doors for me with casting directors. That was kind of my first taste of ’okay this could actually be going in a big direction.’

Let’s talk about The Originals. I’ve been bugging Julie Plec for years on Vampire Diaries asking her, ’Where’s the gay character?’ How much did you know going in?

SK: I knew very little going in. When I auditioned for it they wrote a very short break down. It was he’s young, he’s naive, he’s gay and that was pretty much it. And I read the sides and I thought it was incredibly interesting. So once I got it I honestly had no idea what they were planning to do with it or where they were planning to go. I’m not even sure they knew, to be honest. I think people have latched on to the character and now they kind of see all these different possibilities with where Josh can go. But no, to answer your question I really had no idea coming in what to expect, or where it would go.

And now we’re at a time when you can have gay characters and it’s not about them coming out or being gay.

SK: It’s so cool. I feel like one of the things that kind of sets Josh apart from some of the other gay characters that are on television is [that] his sexuality is probably the most normal thing about his situation. I think a lot of things that drive gay characters is that sense of wanting normalcy and wanting inclusion and belonging and a community and that kind of thing.

And with Josh he still wants all those things. It just has nothing to do with him being gay. You know? He’s now a newbie vampire and he wants to find a normal life in this world but when you watch other character’s reactions to him talk about being gay they don’t bat an eye or raise an eyebrow. When you talk about him being a newbie vampire it’s like ’Holy hell, that’s the worst thing you could possibly be, is a newbie vampire.’

The friendship with Davina is a nice part of the show since she and Josh are two of the youngest characters in the mix. What’s next with them?

SK: Josh and Davina really want the same thing. I mean, they’re both kind of out of place. Teenagers/early 20s kids and all they want to do is find a normal life in this world. So I think that they kind of rely on each other to give that sense of normalcy and that sense of companionship. With what’s happening now, Davina just came back from purgatory, from being dead. Josh really is kind of trying to help her get her groove back. So I think that’s kind of the direction that we’re heading. Where he’s really there as a support system so that she can get back to being the Davina that everybody got accustomed to in the first half of the season.

Are there any romantic possibilities in the future for Josh?

SK: I don’t know for sure but I have a sense that it might be coming. I’ve been joking with the writers about the love interest and I think that a lot of the first season has been spent with Josh’s survival story and it’s a miracle that he’s really still alive. And I think as he kind of settles into this world a little bit more, I think I would love to see the writers kind of give him more of a normal life and flesh out his character a little bit more…I’ve been joking that we should see if Ryan Gosling is available for a few guest star episodes? If he’s too busy, maybe Jake Gyllenhaal. I don’t know, something along those lines.

That’s a good wish list, though.

SK: Right? I’ve been pitching it to the writers and they always have very blank stares as I do. So I’m not sure what they’re thinking but hopefully something along those lines.

[Plec on Josh’s love life: “Jim, you dare to assume he’ll live long enough to find love?!!! Just kidding. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”]

Have you experienced fans wanting to know ’What’s your story?’ just because you’re playing a gay character and you’re fairly new to viewers? People get curious about you and your life.

SK: Now that Josh is becoming a little bit more prominent in the show, I’ve noticed it especially on Twitter and message boards and stuff like that. People are starting to get a little curious. And it’s not just necessarily about my sexuality, it’s kind of just about me in general. They’re like ’Who is this?’ I think people, when they first saw Josh they thought, ’Well, he’s just going to be there for a few episodes.’ Which, to be honest, I thought as well. And now they’re like ’Oh, this guy’s actually sticking around for a while. Who is this? Google search, Steven Krueger. And where does he come from? And how did he end up in this world?’

I have to say, the fans have been awesome. So grateful to how they’ve latched on to the character and how they’ve become interested in me as a person as well. That’s kind of something that I’m looking forward to, to having a little more fan interaction.

Where do you see your career going? Do you have a goal where you’d like to see things go?

SK: It’s funny because my manager asks me the same thing all the time. He’s like ’You have to have a clear goal in mind of where you’re going.’ I said, ’I’ll go anywhere anybody will take me.’ I think, coming into this career I always said ’I want to be in movies. I want to be a film actor.’ And I think with what’s happened with television over the past 5 to 7 years, there’s so many great shows out there, and there’s so much good writing on TV now, that I am perfectly happy to land on a great show that people love while also mixing in film work. So I think continuing on the same path that I’m on and I’ve got my idols that I kind of strive to shoot for their career. [Krueger just announced last week on Twitter that he’d booked a role in Goosebumps, the film based on the popular R.L. Stine horror books]

Now if we can just get some of those idols to play your love interest on The Originals that would be great. Ryan Gosling’s got some time in his schedule, right?

SK: Let’s just make this very public right now. Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Matt Damon, I know you’re married but hey, if you’ve got some time…

Matt’s played gay before. He can do it again.

 

Source: New Now Next

Posted by Sandy Herchcovicth - 10.05