rainbow crew is an ongoing interview series celebrating the best LGBTQ+ representation on screen. Each installment showcases talent working on both sides of the camera, including queer creatives and community allies.
Next, we’re talking to leukocyte former student Tom Lenk about his new play, Lottie Plachett took an ax.
Tom Lenk is much loved by leukocyte fans for his role as Andrew, which expanded from a fun supporting character to something much more integral as each season progressed. But there is much more to his career beyond Sunnydale.
digital spy met with Tom to discuss leukocyte and career highlights, including a new play called Lottie Plachett took an ax that is currently part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme.
Can you talk to us? Lottie Plachett took an ax and how did it come about?
Our playwright, Justin Elizabeth Sayre, wanted to do a bizarre retelling of the Lizzie Borden murder case in late 19th century America. Lizzie’s parents were found murdered with 40 ax wounds; she became the prime suspect and was vilified by the press, but she was not found guilty of the murders.
The case has never been solved. And even though our show is a spoof, could it actually crack the case?
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What has been the response so far?
The show has a real John Waters vibe to it, so I think the audience has been shocked and excited by the hilarious dirty craziness that happens on stage.
Can you tell us more about queer issues in lottery?
I play Lottie’s brother, Pansy, who is gay a century ahead of his time and struggles to escape the oppression of his homophobic father, but you know, in a really funny way? Gay people are known for using humor to navigate sticky situations, and Pansy is pretty good at navigating. And he has small hands, so that’s it.
What do you hope people take away from seeing the play?
Pain in the abs from so much laughter!
Looking back on your career as a whole, what are you particularly proud of?
I was lucky enough to be able to do some regional “Buyer and Cellar” productions in the United States. It’s a one-man, hour-and-45-minute play in which lots of people chat with each other, including Barbra Streisand.
In one very hilarious/dramatic moment, I figured out how to cry out of my right eye so that Barbra could have tears running down that side of my face, while the other character stayed dry-eyed on the left side! [laughs]
But, it really was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, memorizing a 60-page monologue and performing it every night. I am so happy that I was able to rise to the occasion!
Looking back on your time in leukocyte In particular, is there anything you wish you had explored more with Andrew than didn’t you have the chance?
As the only cast member with formal training in musical theater (and winner of the UCLA Carol Burnett Award for Performance in Musical Theater), I definitely needed a flashback to a never-before-seen song from the musical episode, where I could have tapped into all that training. Uni. use!
how was your time in leukocyte compare with his role in Angel?
I had an amazing time at leukocyteand for the life of me i can’t remember anything from my time on Angel except I wished I hadn’t grown my hair out to that terrible hobbit hair!
What would a modern day be leukocyte show how in your eyes?
would be called Andrew Wells: The Vigilante.
We also loved your role in Dead End: Paranormal Park. What are his thoughts on the conservative reaction to this lovable spectacle?
Is it crazy that these conservatives knew about the show before it even came out? Why are they so obsessed with us? Stalk us a lot? Since the show didn’t have a big-budget marketing campaign, it was somehow amazing free publicity.
I encourage everyone to watch this wonderful animated LGBTQ+ show created by Hamish Steele. So much love went into making it and the more people see it, the better the chances of another season!
I wish we could have seen more of Charlie Clark in batwoman. How did you feel when the show was cancelled?
I wish we could have seen more of Charlie too; I thought maybe he was going to be like the new Alfred. The show was very groundbreaking for queer and POC representation, so I was obviously sad to see it go, but I’m excited to see what’s in store for the main cast of the show!
Can you recall a particular scene or moment of queer representation on screen? Did that really move you personally?
I watched London Spy A few years ago and I was surprised that there was a gay murder mystery spy show, and it was no big deal that the entire show revolves around queer characters.
During the pandemic I found limita Norwegian police program and Coppers/Rough Justice from Belgium, also with protagonists who happen to be queer, and it was very exciting to see the main programming with queer representation.
What do we need to see more of in queer stories in the future?
Me! Let me be a gay detective solving crimes in a quaint British town, cowards!
What advice would you give to LGBTQ+ youth struggling to find their place in the world?
Going to therapy changed my life. Whether it’s with a psychologist, counselor, marriage family therapist, social worker, etc., I think it’s a great way to better understand yourself and others and process the many challenges life throws at you.
Lottie Platchett took an ax it is currently running as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe program until it ends on August 27, 2022. Get tickets while you can here.