'Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City' actor Charlie Barnett on playing Murray Bartlett's on-screen younger boyfriend
'Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City' is Netflix's own new chapter to the miniseries 'Tales Of The City' based on Armistead Maupin's nine-novel series that played on PBS in early 1994. The show sees Mary Ann Singleton return to San Francisco 20 years later to reunite with her daughter and husband and find a new generation of queer young residents living at 28 Barbary Lane.
The 10-episode series brings to life the San Francisco of the late-bohemian 1970s, with Laura Linney's Mary Ann Singleton back in the city to revive her relationship with daughter Shawna (Ellen Page), and ex-husband Brian, portrayed by Paul Gross. Olympia Dukakis plays Anna Madrigal and her friend Mouse is played by Murray Bartlett. Bartlett's younger, non-white boyfriend in the show is played by Charlie Barnett.
"Murray is so great at challenging me as an actor when I was working with him while also giving me every part of him," said Barnett, in an exclusive interview with MEA World Wide (MEAWW). "Not literally," the actor of 'Russian Doll' fame added with a laugh.
"So anytime you have a situation like that you know you're going to have great work," Barnett said about his experience of acting with Bartlett. The Netflix show, which is the latest installment of the queer classic 'Tales of the City', is all about LGBTQI representation and inclusivity, premiering during the Pride Month.
"I had a lot of interesting conversation with Murray, about the representation that's included within it [the show] and the representation that was lacking within it," said Barnett. "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's impossible to represent everybody," he added. "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."
"I'm the black, gay boy of the show, and as much as I appreciate it, and as much as I'm deeply proud to be black and gay I also understand that I'm a mixed African American man and that does not identify with the entire black race. And talking about marginalization, there's a huge difference. And as honored as I am to take that helm, I cannot be the voice for that entire community," said the actor.
"The same goes for all of us on the show; we have Asian American representation, we have Hispanic representation, but that doesn't mean we embody that world. I'm looking forward to more people getting frustrated with not seeing enough representation, and getting out there, and making more shows!"
'Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City' premiered on June 7 on Netflix.