KOP talks to Veteran Film and TV Actor and Comedian Jason Stuart, Author of Shut Up, I’m Talking: Coming Out in Hollywood and Making it to the Middle
You’ve seen Jason Stuart before, whether you recognize him from his roles on TV shows from “My Wife and Kids” to Judd Apatow’s “Love,” his decades of prominence as one of the first openly gay stand-up comedians (he came out on “Geraldo”), or from his masterful character work in dozens of feature films (including “Tangerine” and “The Birth of a Nation.”) He’s “that guy” – the one who can slip into any role, in any genre, and make his mark, with over 150 credits that are testament to his talent, professionalism, and persistence.
Now, Jason documents his long and curious career in his new memoir, Shut Up, I’m Talking: Coming Out in Hollywood and Making it to the Middle from CCB Publishing. It’s part of a whirlwind year for him, which also includes a weekly radio gig with Dash Radio (“Riffing with Jason Stuart”); roles in notable indie dramas such as “The Infiltrators” and the upcoming “Immortal” (with Samm Levine and Dylan Baker); comedy turns in his new web series “Smothered” (which he co-created with Match Hara) and the feature “DIVOS!” with Marisa Jaret Winokur and Nicole Sullivan; and the starring role in the dramatic short “Hank,” which won the Best LGBTQ Short at this year’s Los Angeles International Film Festival. Lastly, Jason play the voice of “The Dispatcher” in the science fiction thriller “The Fare” airing this fall.
Born in the Bronx and raised in Los Angeles, Jason Stuart has been working professionally as an actor and comedian for thirty years, ultimately making a name for himself when a personal decision – to finally publically acknowledge his identity as a gay man – gave him some prominence in an era when many performers remained closeted. Nearly twenty five years later, Jason admits that being gay is only a small part of his identity, and he has transcended any sort of label through his increasingly impressive range of dramatic work far removed from his success as a stand-up comedian. Acting alongside Armie Hammer and Jackie Earle Haley as one of the brutal plantation owners in Nate Parker’s searing drama “The Birth of a Nation” showed the world that Stuart’s talent is formidable.
That’s not to say that he isn’t hilarious – and still evolving as a performer and as a human being hoping to make the world a better place. Talking with Jason Stuart offers the perspective of a master of his craft and insider who knows all too well what it means to be “that guy” that every project needs.
The interview starts around the 30-minute mark.
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