Netflix's 'Tales of the City' star Charlie Barnett opens up about being raised on a boat and diversity on screen
Charlie Barnett, known for his roles in Armistead Maupin's 'Tales of the City' and 'Russian Doll', is an incredible actor who is also politically aware and sensitive. While these qualities make the actor a rarity, the 31-year-old Barnett has also had his share of strange experiences which make him all the more interesting.
The actor plays the role of Ben Marshall — Mouse's younger non-white boyfriend — on Netflix's new chapter of 'Tales of the City'. Barnett, who considers the show to be his contribution to the LGBTQ Pride Month, spoke about representation and inclusivity on the show in an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW).
"It's always fascinating to me, how much the outside community rage on these stories when they come out and not feeling like they're all included — I think, for one part, that its impossible to represent everybody," he says. "I think there needs to be a lot more representation in such fields; our show, as diverse as it is, we're not seeing every outlet," he adds.
Barnett, who was adopted by his white parents, has had some interesting adventures in his childhood. He was raised in a sailboat in Florida for the first seven years of his life.
"It's not strange in Florida actually — a lot of people live on boats," he says. The actor used to travel with his parents and sister from Florida to Cuba often. He shares an incident from one such trip when he sailed to Cuba with his family. "My sister and I had some toys and we were giving them to the kids on the streets of Havana, while our parents were cleaning up the boat, getting ready as we were to leave the next morning. We didn't speak enough Spanish to carry on a conversation," he says.
"Suddenly a lot of cops stormed the area and asked who we are and where we are from. I was barely five years old. We get back on the boat with the cops and they ask my parents who they are and where they were taking us! We had to explain for more than two hours, and then they let us go," narrates Barnett. He laughs, adding that they never went back to Cuba.
"It's always interesting, with race, family and international relationships — there are always crazy situations! [sic.]"
Armistead Maupin's 'Tales of the City' premiered on June 7 on Netflix.