8 Things To Know About the New Queer As Folk

What Devin Way, Jesse James Keitel, CG, Fin Argus, Ryan O'Connell, writer and executive producer Jaclyn Moore, and creator Stephen Dunn discuss the adaptation of the original British series.

by | June 10, 2022 | Comments

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Queer As Folk is back for the third time just in time for Pride Month. It all began as a British series in 1999. An American edition soon followed on Showtime that lasted for five seasons, ending in 2005. Now, Peacock is launching Queer As Folk with a whole new cast of LGBTQ+ characters living in New Orleans.

Rotten Tomatoes spoke with the cast of Queer As Folk, creator Stephen Dunn and writer–executive producer Jaclyn Moore. Here are eight things to know about the Peacock revival.

QUEER AS FOLK -- Episode 101

(Photo by Peacock)


In the first episode of Queer as Folk, there is a shooting at a gay club. Not only is the story reminiscent of the real-life shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, but the show employed survivors of Pulse as consultants for accuracy.

“Everyone’s response was completely different, so it was something we really wanted to honor with nuance and respect,” Dunn said. “It felt like a necessity for us to include the story of a rebuilding in our show because I feel like that’s where we are in society right now. We are still in the process, I think, of rebuilding.”

Some consultants chose to be credited and some chose to remain anonymous.

“These people are just regular people like you and I going out one night,” Dunn said. “Then suddenly this happens and they’re labeled survivors but they’re much more than that. And that’s what I wanted to learn is who they were and how this night impacted them not just on that night but in the time that followed.”


QUEER AS FOLK -- Fin Argus and Jesse James Keite

(Photo by Alyssa Moran/Peacock)

Moore, Dunn and the cast emphasized that the purpose of beginning the show with a violent tragedy was to show how the community can recover.

“Queer joy exists only in a world where this trauma happens too,” Moore said. “If we were to make a show about queer joy that didn’t have tragedy or trauma and didn’t reflect that reality, that to me would feel like a fairy tale. Queer joy and found family and being defiant and being resilient, those are things that are part of the queer experience but they exist inextricably linked from tragedy and trauma.”

Dunn agreed that violence is an unfortunate reality for LGBTQ+ life in 2022; however, he was deliberate in the way he portrayed it on Queer As Folk.

“We never show the shooting,” Dunn said. “We never see the shooter because that’s not the story we wanted to tell. That unfortunately is a reality that we see in the news cycles all too commonly these days.”


QUEER AS FOLK -- Episode 101

(Photo by Peacock)

British television was always a little edgier than American broadcast, and Showtime could be as explicit as premium cable allows. Peacock’s Queer As Folk doesn’t shy away from presenting its characters’ sexual encounters. Jesse James Keitel, who plays Ruthie, a trans woman whose partner Shar (CG) just gave birth to their twins, said she had to overcome nerves the first time she performed a sex scene on Queer As Folk.

“None of the nudity on the show is gratuitous because it’s all rooted in the lived experience of these people,” Keitel said. “In episode 2, we have a really beautiful sex scene that is deeply rooted to Ruthie’s story and her relationship to her body and Ruthie and Shar’s relationship to each other.”

The show introduces itself to audiences with a sex scene. Brodie (Devin Way) is the first character you meet, mid-coitus.

“It really starts with a bang,” Way said. “Shooting that scene was so fun, and I’m really proud of it.”

Dunn said he had conversations with Peacock to ensure they supported the level of explicitness he wanted Queer As Folk to convey.

“Our actors put themselves, their heart, souls, bodies on the line for the sake of the story,” Dunn said. “They were not afraid. They’re a network, I think, that’s ready to make some big, bold choices.”


QUEER AS FOLK -- Episode 107 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kim Cattrall and Devin Way

(Photo by Peacock)

Brody was adopted by Brenda (Kim Cattrall) and Sterling (Ed Begley, Jr.). He gets closer with his adoptive brother, Julian (Ryan O’Connell) throughout the first season, but considers his gay friends in New Orleans his chosen family.

“Brody’s chosen family is a band of misfits,” Way said. “They are queer, they are full of expression and his adopted family, which is Brenda and Sterling, held him to this rigid performance aspect life where he had to be perfect. He had to get not just good grades but the best grades. It causes you to rebel and seek out family that will accept you as you are for who you are. I love that we get to explore both in this story.”

Julian embraces the opportunity to bond more closely with Brodie.

“I think they want to be there for each other, Julian more than Brodie, but basically I think it’s a failure to be vulnerable with each other,” O’Connell said. “I think Julian specifically wants to be a brother to Brodie but feels rejected by him. So I think this season is about letting those walls come down.”

Brodie is surprised to learn that Julian is out and their parents know. It turns out it was easier for Julian to be the second son who came out.

“They didn’t freak out the way Brodie implied the way they did when Brodie came out of the closet,” Moore said. “A lot of times it does take somebody near you going through these things to start to see it’s OK and that you still love your kids and you still have their backs. You can grow and change even as you get older.”


QUEER AS FOLK -- "Babylon" Episode 101 -- Pictured: Fin Argus as Mingus

(Photo by Peacock)

Fin Argus plays Mingus, an aspiring drag performer, who performs a routine as Fairuza Balk’s character from the 1996 witch movie The Craft.

“I’ve never done drag before in that way and it was oh my gosh, just so exciting. I also watched The Craft many times prior to filming this show. I love it. My other acting mom, Neve Campbell is in it,” said Argus, who previously co-starred Campbell in the movie Clouds. “I texted her a screenshot of my Nancy drag and she was freaking out. I am a lucky girl. I’ve had a cool run, but it was so much fun. I got to Heely across the stage.”


QUEER AS FOLK season 1

(Photo by Alyssa Moran/Peacock)

Argus, Keitel, and their costars said they auditioned over Zoom for their characters in a fairly straightforward process. Way described something a little more complicated.

“Everyone else was like, ‘Oh, I had one audition or I had two,’” Way said. “I had six. So that was fun. They put me through the ringer, but honestly, I’m so glad they did, because every step of the way made it more and more important. So by the time I actually set foot on set, I knew what we were creating and getting ourselves into.”


QUEER AS FOLK season 1

(Photo by Alyssa Moran/Peacock)

Another important aspect of LGBTQ+ life in 2022 is nonbinary inclusion. Queer As Folk takes a few opportunities to address that; for example, Ruthie refuses to commit to the gender of her infants with Shar. They agree their gender will be determined later in life.

“The medical community are so binary, but are also in a place where they have to deal with so many people that live outside of that binary,” CG said. “There’s still the grand possibility that they won’t end up identifying as what is on their birth certificate.”

Queer As Folk writer Moore said she was raised as a boy and wishes her family and community could have been open to letting her determine her gender. She wants Queer As Folk to share that message.

“They’re going to have parents that support them through that journey no matter what it is,” Moore said. “Especially in light of the attack on anybody who wants to support trans youth right now, [it] is a super important message to be putting out into the world that it’s OK to support your children. Places that try to criminalize supporting your children are probably not working in good faith or in the best interests of their citizens.”

Shar and Mingus are also nonbinary characters, as are the actors who portray them.

“Mingus uses most pronouns,” Argus said. “I think you find them while they’re in flux and sort of coming into their own gender identity and it’s all very malleable. It’s also not a huge conversation point in the show. For that reason, I think there’s a lot of space to see Mingus’ gender blossom even further in the second season, and I’m excited to continue having that conversation on screen.”


QUEER AS FOLK season 1

(Photo by Peacock)

The soundtrack to Queer As Folk reflects 2022 LGBTQ+ culture.

“We’re set in New Orleans so obviously we have to have our bounce queen, Big Freedia all over the show,” Dunn said. “It was really important for me to have a mix of an iconic soundtrack of recognizable songs. So of course we have our Bowie, we have Gaga, we have Liza, we have Brockhampton and Big Freedia, but it was also important to have new, emerging queer artists as a part of the soundtrack of the show. I believe I told Jen Malone and Nicole [Weisberg], our music supervisors, that the vibe I wanted to go for was a queer disco-roller-skating night from hell. And they delivered.”

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