Danny Franzese as EddieBear on the HBO hit Looking is absolutely mesmerizing – truly unlike anybody else on TV right now – and somebody who is actually changing the landscape of LGBT depiction in the media.
I asked him what he thought about the hullaballo surrounding his character. “I think the specific casting of me in this part is a move towards body positivity in the LGBT community,” he said. “Bigger guys are traditionally seen as a castrated comic relief – whereas with Eddie, you see him pursued by one of the lead actors. That’s major.”
Of course, HBO has always showed strong commitment to groundbreaking characters and storylines. EddieBear, for example, is the only HIV+ character on television in YEARS. Make no mistake, though, Eddie isn’t one of those dreary, ’90s-era victims. “He’s just living his life as part of a mixed status couple, which is great to see” says Danny. “I think the portrayal of Eddie shows there’s hope for love and fulfillment regardless of status.”
He continues: “And while its great that I am able to represent the HIV positive community onscreen, I really shouldn’t be the only one. There are millions of people today still living with HIV and AIDS, and I think its a call to Hollywood to create more storylines with characters living with HIV. I see the lack of stories being shown is in direct proportion to the numbers of new infection remaining the same since the ’90s. That’s got to change.”
If you haven’t had a chance to see Danny on this season of Looking, HBO GO that shit NOW! I have a sneaking suspicion EddieBear is going to be EMMYbear once awards season rolls around. He’s THAT GOOD.
For more HIV information, check out the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation @ET_AIDS_FCN