Michael Willett of ‘Faking It’ Talks V-Day and Sexuality
Valentine’s Day can be a struggle when you’re single, but imagine celebrating Valentine’s Day and not being comfortable and confident in your sexual preferences.
Faking It on MTV is one of the few shows that gets up close and personal to sexual identity while featuring intersex main characters who are navigating high school, hook-ups, and “faking it.” We caught up with Michael Willett, who stars as Shane Harvey on the show, to talk about coming to terms with sexuality, bad dates, and what’s next on Faking It.
You’ve cited David Bowie as one of your inspirations, how did you mourn his recent passing?
It really was difficult for me, I spent several days in a weird funk/mood. It made me feel better knowing that he was in the world, I am sad to see him go.
Who are some of your other idols?
Gwen Stefani and Freddie Mercury.
What advice do you have for a young man or woman who hasn’t been able to be open about their sexuality quite yet?
It’s totally up to them, it’s a private matter. They are allowed to come out on their own terms, no pressure.
What do you want for Valentine’s Day?
Lots and lots of chocolate, no matter how cliché it sounds. I love chocolate.
Do you think Valentine’s Day is overrated?
I used to think that. I used to not celebrate Valentine’s Day, and on some level I think it is a way for people to buy more stuff. However, any excuse to celebrate love is a good one.
What’s your most memorable Valentine’s Day (good or bad)?
The most memorable was when I was walking down the street with the guy I was seeing and we got yelled at by some random person for holding hands. So I would say it was a bad one.
What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on?
The worst for me, but maybe not others, was when I went on a date with a guy who couldn’t carry a conversation with me. We had nothing to talk about… but we hooked up anyway.
What are your deal breakers when it comes to dating someone?
The deal breaker is now that you need to be able to carry a conversation with me. Also, to be passionate about something, it can be anything. I hate bad smells so you have to smell good too.
If your significant other really messed up, how would you want them to apologize?
I don’t need anything elaborate, I just want them to be genuinely sorry. I just want them to mean it.
What’s the craziest thing someone has asked you for in bed?
Nobody asked me to do this, but I was with a guy who was telling me that one of his exes wanted him to shit on his chest. I couldn’t tell if he was implying that he wanted me to do that or was just telling me a story… but I didn’t react because I didn’t want to participate.
Lights on or off during sex?
What’s the craziest place you’ve ever had sex?
In a parked car in daylight.
Where would you take someone for a V-Day date?
Somewhere exciting! I would take them to a maze room where they lock you in a room and you have to get out by finding clues and figuring out puzzles. I like that we would be problem solving together and working things out.
In Faking It, one of the characters struggles with coming to terms with her sexual identity, how do you think this is relevant to our current culture?
It is very clear that there are people who are aren’t as accepting to other people’s differences as we would like them to be. This makes this storyline very real and topical because people go through stuff like this.
What can we expect from the next season of the show?
Expect a lot of change, everyone is changing. Shane is changing and it’s a new era for Hester High. Nothing will be the same.
What do you have in common with your character, Shane Harvey?
We are both ridiculously attractive [laughing]! We both like making people happy for the most part, and I relate to his innate freedom. He is very free!
In the show, your character has relationships with characters who are not openly gay, one of whom you help to bring out of the closet. Does this reflect the reality of dating in today’s world?
I don’t really know. I’ve had a few friends who have dated guys that aren’t out and they have helped to bring them out so I guess it is real. I don’t know if it is quite in the same way as we do on the show, but I think that there is a sense of reality to it.
The show is one of the first to have an intersex main character, do you foresee many more shows featuring LGBTQ characters in the future?
I believe so, I think it is about time! These people exist in the world whether some would like to them to or not, and they have stories that are relatable so I hope we see more of it.