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Russell Tovey talks about Harry Doyle, his intriguing gay character on ABC’s ‘Quantico’

Russell Tovey’s TV alter-ego on ABC’s Quantico has been an unraveling mystery.

But the out actor is clear about at least one thing: Harry Doyle is definitely into men.

‘In the beginning he was definitely very ambiguous, he would use sex to get information and you felt like, “Well, what was his orientation?”‘ Tovey says in a Facebook Live chat with TV Guide.

‘As it goes on Harry is definitely gay – his orientation is definitely more towards the men and the boys,’ Tovey says.

‘I think he will use sex with women to get information but his definite persuasion – what he goes home and thinks about – is men.’

Quantico explores the lives of young FBI recruits who have come to the Quantico base in Virginia for 21 weeks of training to become special agents.

The recruits are considered the best and the brightest but each one possesses secrets.

In a departure from how TV dramas are usually produced, the actors on Quantico do not know the trajectory of their characters and are essentially operating on a one script at a time basis.

‘I’d rather know but that’s what’s been set up,’ Tovey admits. ‘I’m playing along with the game of Quantico and that seems to be what it is.’

But the actor is intrigued by the developing relationship between Harry and fellow FBI recruit Sebastian Chen who is closeted.

Sebastian is portrayed by David Lim who Tovey calls a ‘brilliantly talented actor.’

‘I love working with him, I love his style of acting,’ he says. ‘I think he’s very instinctive and very truthful and I’m really enjoying our scenes. As actors we really are quite good together.’

The characters may both be gay but they are so far very different.

‘Sebastian has inner demons, self-hatred, not true to himself,’ Tovey explains.

The counter-side is Harry who is ‘completely confident, completely proud, completely sort of out there – almost boldly so – arrogantly so.’

Tovey came to Quantico after playing another gay character on HBO’s Looking for two seasons as well as a two-hour wrap-up finale that aired this summer.

He’s left Looking’s Kevin behind and is now completely immersed into Harry.

‘To be on network TV being gay, playing gay, feels rewarding,’ he says.

‘It’s a good thing. I’m really proud of that.’ ‘It doesn’t define him, he’s not struggling with it – there’s no pain or angst. He’s very proud and open and it’s completely normalized here. None of the other characters have any bother with his sexual orientation. It’s a huge part of his personality but it’s also completely insignificant.’

Tovey adds: ‘I think that’s a wonderful way that a gay character on TV can be written.’

FILE UNDER: Actors/Actresses

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