Parker Young On Gay/Str8 Dudes in ‘4th Man Out’ & More ‘Arrow’ Coming?

(l-r) Chord Overstreet, Evan Todd, Parker Young and Jon Grabus (Gravitas Ventures)

Fans of gone-but-not-forgotten shows like “Suburgatoryand Enlisted” may still be feeling the burn of those shows ending, in my opinion too soon. But imagine my surprise when one of the stars of both those shows, Parker Young, started appearing earlier this season on the CW action series, Arrowand, just recently, a film in which he stars, 4th Man Out,” just became available in theaters and VOD (including right here on XFINITY ON DEMAND).

While the “Arrow” role of Oliver Queen’s campaign manager, Alex Davis, is straight as a, well, arrow, “4th Man Out’ focuses on a quartet of adult male buds who are surprised when one of them, Adam (played beautifully by Evan Todd), comes out as gay. That revelation doesn’t end their friendship but there is some adjustments for everyone as Adam figures out how to be a gay man and his straight friends (besides Young, Chord Overstreet and Jon Grabus also star) figure out how to keep their friendship from changing.

The film was featured last year at several LGBT film festivals and was an award winner at Outfest as well as winning the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Toronto film festival.

I talked to Young frequently when he was shooting “Enlisted” so it was fun to talk to him about gay stuff this time around as well as what we can expect from upcoming episodes of “Arrow”

Tell me how “4th Man Out” came into your life. It’s really a wonderful film.

Parker Young: I took a trip a year and a half ago to Bali actually. It was a time when “Enlisted” went away, and I shot a pilot for CBS called “Cuz-Bros,” and I also found out that that was not getting picked up so I thought, ‘I’m getting out of town.” I had my people send me a bunch of scripts and that was the first one that I read on the 25-hour flight.

I loved it. I was laughing the whole time. There was such humor that was really dirty and immature, which is just my style and I thought it was really funny. I thought it was just a really cool story with a great message that could potentially help people in Adam’s shoes that don’t know how to have this conversation. I mean, if Adam had this movie in his life it would have been a much easier transition for him. So I called the director when I got back to the States and basically just told him my thoughts, and tricked him into giving me the role.

In your own life, have you ever had a situation like this where a buddy was having a hard time coming out or something along those lines?

PY: You know, I haven’t. I do have a lot of gay friends in LA. Growing up, not so much. There were people that I had my suspicions about that weren’t necessarily that close to me and they all did, I think, come out in time. But there was nothing surprising, at least as of yet. I keep thinking that maybe someone I know will watch this movie and then I’ll be shocked when they come out!

There’s a really nice friend vibe with you and your co-stars. Did you guys have much time to work on that or was it more of a natural thing that just kind of happened?

PY: We had no time, and I think we just got really lucky. I mean, [me and Evan] both came on board very last-minute and I think we had a weekend to kind of get to know each other. And I think we just both kind of had good chemistry, we hit it off and we knew what we wanted to do. We allowed ourselves to really feel like best friends, really all 4 of us, and hung out as much as possible, stayed up late getting drunk and going to the sauna at the hotel, just really doing everything we could to allow ourselves to be best friends in a short period of time.

It was kind of fun because we all had a lot of questions for Evan, the guy who plays Adam, about being gay and about coming out and about Grindr and all that. Kind of true to our characters, we literally got to understand each other and share stories. It was very true to the script as I got to know Evan as a gay guy, my character Chris got to know Adam now for the first time as a gay guy and kind of discovered each other.

I actually really liked how Adam was surprised that his straight friends knew stuff about gay culture, whether it was about Grindr, which has happened to me. I remember being surprised the first time one of my straight guy friends mentioned Grindr!

PY: Yeah. I thought that this is really good writing and it’s funny when you see who wrote it (Aaron Dancik), this dude is from New Jersey and very straight, very quiet and just not at all what you’d expect in terms of story but I agree. I think he did a great job writing this.

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You’ve also been busy on “Arrow” so I hope we see more of you as Alex over there.

PY: I hope not too, man. They don’t tell me anything, but I’m sticking around for at least a little bit. I’ll be back out in Vancouver to do another episode. I haven’t been killed yet, but I never know. I never know. I’m the last one.

How has it been to be in that kind of world, because it’s definitely not something I’ve seen you do before?

PY: Very much on the outside. I mean, I still feel like I’m barely, barely in this world, but it’s been great. I really, really have enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of the world. It’s been kind of tough in that I’m starting in the fourth season and kind of going from being the lead of your show to being a very much supporting role is a little bit new. So I just come in and do my thing. That’s been a little bit challenging for me but other than that it’s really cool to work on an hour-long drama and to just be seen in a slightly different light. It’s been cool to do something completely different.

Alex (Young) has a nice spark with Thea (Willa Holland) but she's busy fighting crime! (CW)

What else have you been working on?

PY: I shot a pilot at the end of December for Bravo. It’s this show called “My So-Called Wife,” an hour-long drama about a woman who’s essentially a con artist and she marries a dude, they fall in love with her and 3 months later she peaces out, takes everything and changes her identity and gets on with her life, leaving the guy just devastated. I stumble upon a guy that she just left, her most recent victim, and together we team up and try to go find our wife. We’ll find out next month if we get picked up.

4th Man Out” is in theaters or you can watch right here on XFINITY ON DEMAND. For more info, visit the film’s website. “Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8pm on the CW. 

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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