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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…

steven-krueger09

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

Steven Krueger is mostly known as Josh in The Originals, you may have already seen him in the first season of Pretty Little Liars as Ben, Emily’s first boyfriend. He had the kindness to answer our questions.

The show is supposed to happen in New Orleans. Did you have the chance to visit? Would you have preferred to shoot there instead of Atlanta?

I haven’t been able to go to New Orleans for the show yet but I have been there. It’s a great city with an incredibly unique culture. But if I had to choose I’d stick with shooting in Atlanta. The weather is a little more manageable and I love how diverse the city is. It has great food, fun night life and all the sports you could ask for!

How long does the make up take to go from Steven to vampire Josh?

Believe it or not I’m usually in and out of the hair and make up trailer in about 10 minutes. I’m very low maintenance.

If Josh didn’t date Aiden, who would you see him with in the show, gay or not?

Wow, I don’t want to make anyone jealous! I think deep down Josh has probably always had a little crush on Marcel because he sees him as a mentor and admires him as a leader. Typical guy stuff to have a crush on your teacher growing up.

If Josh wasn’t gay, I could see his and Davina’s relationship turning romantic after a night of drinking on Bourbon Street. They just have so much in common and get along really well.

As your character is best friend with Davina, are you close to Danielle in real life?

Absolutely. Danielle and I have an incredible relationship. She was the first person I really connected with on set and she always made an effort to get to know me outside of work. Now we hang out all the time off set. She’s like my bad ass little sister!

We saw that “Goosebumps” is gonna be released soon. Were you a fan of the series as a kid?

YES! I’m pretty sure I had almost every book in the series growing up. And that’s a big reason I was so excited to be a part of the movie. I think the way they adapted the books into the screenplay is quite brilliant.

The cast and the director were incredible so the project couldn’t have been a better experience for my first major feature film. I have a feeling people are really going to love this movie.

How is playing in Pretty Little Liars and The Originals different?

Well my role in Pretty Little Liars was much shorter lived of course, but there are more similarities than differences. Both shows have a devout fan base which makes it really fun while also putting a lot of pressure on the actors and writers to keep the fans happy. I think the biggest difference is probably the characters that I played which I’ll explain in a minute.

How was it to play in Pretty Little Liars? Is it possible that you’ll come back as a guest?

PLL was a great experience because I was there right at the beginning of the series. To see all of the cast just starting out was very interesting. Despite the huge following the books had created, everyone was very anxious and felt a lot of pressure to make the TV show live up to the hype. Needless to say, they have done a wonderful job with it and all of those expectations have been exceeded. I think they are sticking pretty close to the plot of the books so I don’t know if Ben will show up again, but there’s always a chance!

How is it like to play a gay character on The Originals, while you played an almost homophobic guy on PLL?

I think Ben on Pretty Little Liars was a little misjudged. Granted we didn’t get a lot of character development for him but I never saw Ben as homophobic. To me he was a typical insecure high school boy who saw his girlfriend slipping away from him and he lashed out in a very immature way. Sure he was one of the first bullies on the show, but he also got what he deserved in the end.

As for playing Josh, I love that the story has never been about him being gay. His sexual orientation is just another character trait and his storyline isn’t defined by that. Our writers have done a phenomenal job developing Josh as a dynamic character interwoven in all the various plots that make The Originals so fun to watch.

When it comes down to it, Josh’s story is about survival and trying to build a life for himself in a very unfamiliar world. Being gay is certainly a part of who he is but the show doesn’t exploit that single characteristic. And that’s how storytelling should be…for all the characters involved.

What would your dream role be?

I think that changes by the week for me! I’m getting a bit of a reputation for being the sensitive, funny guy. Which is kind of who I am so I definitely relish that.

But at this stage in my career I think my dream role would be some sort of tough guy, preferably one that can fight because I’ve always dreamed of being able to train in martial arts for a role. I’m thinking someone like Jason Bourne or an MMA fighter like Tom Hardy in the film “Warrior”.

Have you ever been to France?

I have and it’s one of my favorite countries. And that’s not just pandering to a French publication! Paris is my favorite city in the world to eat in. I’ve also spent some time in the south of France and there aren’t many places on Earth that are so beautiful.

I haven’t visited in about 8 years so I’m hoping I’ll have the opportunity to do a Vampire Diaries/Originals convention there soon.

Any upcoming project?

Goosebumps will be out in October, we start Season 3 of The Originals in late July and I’ll be shooting an indie film over the summer as well. I don’t like down time. I get bored very quickly!

Any last word for your fans?

I owe my fans everything! Josh wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for them. I honestly didn’t know how the audience would react to Josh’s character because he’s so different than everyone else on the show. But I have been overwhelmed by the positive response to this character. It makes me love going to work and I think the fans will really enjoy where Josh’s story goes from here.

Source: Frenchywood

Posted by Sandy Herchcovicth - 10.05

There are teenagers who spend their time swooning over their latest crush, trying to juggle their homework with having a social life and, well, if you’re also a newbie vampire, let’s just say everything is just a tad more complicated.

That’s the story with Josh Rosza on the CW hit vampire drama, “The Originals.”

Josh came to French Quarter in New Orleans (where the show is set) with his BFF to have a good time but quickly saw his bestie get killed and then he was turned into a vampire. Definitely not the kind of good time he was looking for!

Josh is also gay, which was established early on on the show and while we’ve yet to see him have a love interest, he is definitely in the mix with The Original vampires including Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Elijiah (Daniel Gillies) and Rebekah (Claire Holt). He also has forged a friendship with teen witch Davina (Danielle Campbell), which doesn’t keep him any further away from life-threatening danger.

Actor Steven Krueger has brought Josh to life and I recently asked him about Josh’s ability to bring to a lightness to otherwise dark circumstances, what he thinks the future holds as well as how his own path went from a career in law to one where he hopes to play a lawyer (and he already has the show picked out!).

While Josh often brings a little humor and a little levity to these really heavy moments on the show, I feel like that’s a skill an actor has to have to be able to do that.

Steven Krueger: Yeah. Yeah. I agree. To be totally honest with you, I wasn’t sure whether Josh would be a very popular character. I also kind of saw it from the perspective of, you’ve got all these really serious people and this guy’s just kind of annoying with his jokes all the time. And it hasn’t gone like that. People have really enjoyed that kind of levity and lightness that I bring to otherwise very intense moments in the show. I think that’s kind of the easy answer for why people like Josh.

I think one of the other things is he’s probably the most relatable of the characters to the audience, as far as he’s kind of thrust into this world against his will and he’s approaching everything with a) being terrified b) not knowing what to expect, not knowing what to think, and anytime you have a supernatural show you’re kind of banking on the audience’s suspension of disbelief. I think Josh kind of validates that, because he’s really approaching it with the same point of view that any normal human being would. ‘What is going on? Does this world really exist? I can’t believe all this is happening.’ I think he kind of gives the audience and the fans a little bit of that validation to say ‘okay we’re a little reluctant but yeah, this is still pretty amazing.’

And remind me who turned him? Rebekah? So much has happened since then!

SK: So it was actually Klaus who technically turned him. Yeah. It’s a little bit convoluted because I was in the very beginning I was bit in Marcel’s nightclub. So I had vampire blood in me. Klaus then killed me and then I woke up in transition and then they fed me, so I made the full transition.

Will we see Josh’s loyalties be tested, because it definitely seems like everybody wavers to whoever’s in charge whether it’s Klaus or Marcel or even sometimes Elijah.

SK: I think one of the things with Josh that’s becoming a recurring theme is, he’s just being manipulated left and right. So I think he’s kind of being pulled in whichever direction of who’s in front of him. His loyalties are being tested for sure as his first season goes on. I’m hoping we get to the point where Josh can settle in and take a deep breath and figure out for himself who he wants to be loyal to. Figure out where he wants to settle into this world, rather than just being kind of pulled in all these different directions.

How are you dealing with the social media side of the business?

SK: The Twitter thing is very new to me, I have to say. We were on set back in November and Danielle tweets something out and tagged me in it, used my handle. And at the time I think I had like one follower. She was like ‘Are you on Twitter?’ I’m like ‘Yeah I am, but I never really use it.’ And she’s like ‘Well, that’s going to change.’ And then sure enough I was like ‘okay I guess I better start doing this Twitter thing.’ So, my ability to interact with the fans is still growing, figuring out what do I want to say to all these great fans, and what do I not want to say.

It’s a skill.

SK: It is.

And Julie Plec [creator of “The Originals”] can be your best teacher because she is so on top of it.

SK: Oh my gosh, she is so good at it! I think it’s kind of why television has come into this golden age is because there’s so much more of a medium for fans to interact with, not only other fans, but with the actual people involved with the show. Which ten years ago didn’t exist.

Do you like vampire stuff? Some of the stuff you do on the show can be pretty gory so I wasnt’ sure if you were into it or not.

SK: Before I got the show I wasn’t a huge vampire guy. And I had so many conversations with Joseph Morgan when I first got there because he’s such an expert about all the mythology now from fan questions and being on the show for so long. And as soon as he started talking about it I was captivated. I was like ‘wow, this stuff is actually cool.’ I never realized how cool this supernatural vampire/werewolf type stuff is.

So to answer your question, I’m totally into it now. This stuff that we see on set…they’re always calling for ‘More blood. More blood.’ Like ‘Cut, we need a little bit more blood on the mouth, on the shirt.’ And ‘Bite him harder’ and that kind of stuff. I’m happy to embrace it now and it’s been a great time. So I’m looking forward to seeing where we go from here, because I have a feeling it’s going to get a lot bloodier.

You were originally on the path to be a lawyer. What drew you to that field of work?

Steven Krueger: I actually don’t think the two fields are that much different when you think about it. I mean acting and law, I have this vision of being a courtroom lawyer and kind of standing up in front of a judge and a jury and I mean besides the humanitarian and philanthropic aspects of the law, I always found that really kind of exhilarating. And I think there’s something about the law as well that…I like to think of myself as an academic and an intellectual and there’s just so many different corners and nooks and crannies of the law that are so interesting. So, yeah, since I was very young it just always kind of appealed to me. So now of course my dream job is playing a lawyer on television.

Are you serious?

SK: Right. Right.

You could be on “Suits!”

SK: I see, I literally see Patrick J. Adams on “Suits and I’m like ‘Awww’.

Doesn’t he need a younger brother or something on the show?

SK: No, it was my role. If only I was a few years older that could be my role. I loved ‘Boston Legal’ when I was growing up in high school. I mean shows like that always spoke to me, so that’s where we’re heading after we get out of the vampire world.

I read that your mother pushed you into acting? Did she see something in you? Or is it something that she wanted?

SK: You know, I think there was always something about me growing up that I was never quite satisfied with the norm or the usual. And so even though my parents always wanted me to have that college education and that strong background, there was something that she saw where I just wanted to kind of be outgoing and be silly and have fun and for whatever reason she saw it and I didn’t, which I guess is mother’s intuition. But you know, it’s worked out.

And I think when I first meet people a lot of times I put on kind of that intellectual academic persona, which I absolutely am. But the more I get to know people, the one thing they always say is ‘You’re a lot sillier than I thought you were when I first met you.’ I think acting has kind of given me an outlet to display that, and just kind of embrace it.

So when you got to LA and decided you were going to take a stab at acting, was it just about getting into classes and just do that whole thing?

SK: I got a very good piece of advice from a family friend who has been a producer out here for a long time and he actually agreed to meet with me when I kind of pitched this to my family and I said ‘You know, I’m thinking about ditching the law school thing and getting back into acting.’ And [my parents] said ‘Do us a favor. Meet with this producer who’s a family friend.’ And for about 45 minutes he tried to talk me out of it. The first thing he said was ‘Is there any way I can stop you from doing this?’ And, of course, I thought, ‘Why would you say that to me? That’s, you know, that’s harsh.’

But the point that he was making and the thing that he kind of battered into my head was, ‘if you’re going to do this, don’t think of it as just taking a stab at it or trying it for a couple of years and seeing what happens. He said ‘If you’re going to do it, it’s a career. Make it a career, and say “I’m going to do this for the rest of my life. There is no back-up plan.”‘ Once he told me that, it was a shock to my system.

I spent a solid two weeks of soul-searching. The intellectual in me, the analyst in me, was writing out pros and cons lists, silly things like that. It was a decision that was not made lightly. And once I kind of realized that deep down this is what I wanted to do, then it was really easy. Then it was like ‘Okay, I have that background of college and pre-law and all that kind of stuff.’ Yeah, after that it was ‘I better go back to school for acting.’ As I was approaching the business side of it I also was very, very much involved in class and studying and all that kind of stuff.

Well, I know people who say they want to be actors but they don’t study. I think they just want to be stars and do the Hollywood thing.

The other good thing is this producer friend told me was, ‘don’t get out there before you’re ready.’ He said the worst thing you can do is get in front of a casting director before you’re ready. And then they’ll close the door on you for a long, long time. So really, I had no problem going out for little co-stars and stuff like that. But I really made a conscious effort to figure out what I was doing and really get back into the study and the craft of it before I got out there.

It’s funny too because one of the big mitigating factors for me with acting was the fame aspect. It actually scares me a little bit, the idea of fame and all that kind of stuff. The fortune I’m totally fine with. Everybody wants to make a lot of money. But the fame aspect of it always kind of gave me a little bit of hesitation, a little bit of reluctance. So, yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. There’s people who want to be stars and want to be famous, and people who just want to be actors. And with success in that industry comes fame and I think you just kind of have to deal with that.

“The Originals” airs Tuesdays at 8pm on the CW. Check out other gay teens on television (vamps and humans) here.

Source: Xfinity

Posted by Sandy Herchcovicth - 10.05