By: Mark Gray/TRT Special-
“Too many gay men look outside themselves for affirmation of worth,” says Jennifer Gelfer, director and executive producer of the newest gay drama series to heat up the web, In Between Men. “Gay men are not taught to love themselves. They’re often told they should be something else, namely ‘straight’.
“Dane is a product of that. He is the American dream – blonde, handsome, and a doctor – but he doesn’t allow himself to realize what a catch he really is.”
In Between Men follows the lives of four friends in New York City living “in between” the gay and straight worlds of New York. They are Dalton, Dane, Jacob and Ben. Through their wild adventures and often-times racy storylines, the show examines the relationships the guys share with one another, their colleagues, lovers, and the city of New York.
Dane, played by blonde Adonis Chase Coleman, is the youngest of the group. Like many young gay guys new to the scene, he is naïve in love and his pension for chasing bad boys gets him in trouble.
Mark Gray: Can you relate to Dane feeling like a man living between two worlds?
Chase Coleman: I grew up in the Deep South. New York, where I call home now, is a completely different world. I like to think I fit right in, but there is a part of me that longs to return to the pace and charm of the south.
Q: How are you and Dane alike?
A: We both share a certain vulnerability. Also, like Dane, there are things in my past, mistakes I have made, that I regret and I’m learning from.
Q: How are you different?
A: Dane is more susceptible to being taken advantage of. My years in New York have toughened my skin.
Q: Have you built a strong armor to protect yourself?
A: I have a tendency to put up walls and now allow myself to get hurt.
Q: As an actor, isn’t it part of your job to strip down those walls?
A: That’s probably why I enjoy playing Dane so much. It forces me to rip the walls down and explore my vulnerability.
Q: Is it true you were a troubled teen?
A: I had my fair share of being bullied and bullying others as a teen. Much of it was verbal rather than physical. I had a lot of insecurities. I still do. Insecurities and fear can manifest into bullying. It’s not the way anyone should handle things.
Q: What were you struggling with?
A: Finding a purpose in life. I have always focused and struggled with discovering why I’m here and what it is I should do for the world.
Q: What have you discovered that you can share with fans?
A: There is a quote that represents my philosophical view: “Cast aside all in this reality and become one within yourself.” Never let anyone or anything distract or alter you from what you want in life. Set your mind and do it.
Q: Is that what led you to New York?
A: Yes, I came five years ago to test the waters. It was my junior year of college and I was planning on returning back to Louisiana to finish school. Things went so well with auditions, I decided to stay and finish my degree online.
Q: Dane comes to New York to pursue his medical career. What happens that makes things go so wrong for him?
A: Dane tends to be gullible and a bit too caring at times. His strong sense of compassion often leads to guys taking advantage of him.
Q: Like Paul…
A: Exactly. Dane has an emptiness that he has never figured out how to fill. Paul takes advantage of Dane’s compassion and generosity and mentally abuses him.
Q: Paul’s a drug addict and Dane thinks he can save him.
A: Yes. He wants everyone to be okay. I can relate to that.
Q: Have you had experience with drugs in the city?
A: I have never been a fan of drugs. I don’t mind alcohol every now and then. After a long day, a drink is definitely a great way to relax and unwind. But hard drugs have never been an interest of mine.
Q: Why do you think Dane would risk his medical career for this guy?
A: Paul represents what Dane isn’t: the crazy, loose, “in crowd” boy. The kind of popular guy that Dane wishes he could have been a part of in high school.
Q: It’s interesting what we will do for acceptance.
A: It is one of the main challenges of twenty-somethings today. Most people long for love and the acceptance of someone that they care for. The problem is that we all have completely different ideas of what love is, so we can never truly get on the same wave length. Maybe that’s why we have such a difficulty in getting along and having peace?
Q: It sounds like you’ve given this topic a lot of thought.
A: I’m executive producing a film that I wrote, and will direct and star in called _Into the Rose Garden_. It deals specifically on this issue.
Q: Have you figured out when life gets easier?
A: I’m not sure things ever get easier. I imagine as you get older, you begin to discover more about yourself; the good and the bad.
Q: Are you in a good place today?
A: I am happy now, but I remember many times in my past when I was quite unhappy – mostly from stupid mistakes I made.
Q: That’s ok, though. You live and learn.
A: True. I wouldn’t trade in those days because they made me the strong, driven, determined guy I am today.
Q: If you could play any of the guys on the show besides Dane, who would you want to be?
A: Benjamin Reed because he’s the rebellious leader. He’s the one who seems to say “f” the rules and looks for the fun in life. Those Marlon Brando/James Dean types appeal to me.
For more information visit InBetweenMen.com.
Filed Under: Entertainment & Sports