Gay Moon Rising
Guilty-pleasure alert: Expect plenty of sizzling shirtlessness in the upcoming season of MTV’s summer delight Teen Wolf. For those unfamiliar with the show, it’s MTV’s answer to the craze of vampire stories on the large and small screens, but with hot teen werewolves at the story’s center. A recent Facebook post from the show was quick to assure fans that its stable of studs would be losing their shirts for much of their Season 3 screen time—and the show’s gay character, Danny (played by doe-eyed hunk Keahu Kahuanui), is no exception. Kahuanui laughs when asked (for strictly journalistic reasons, of course) how often he’ll be showing skin in the weeks ahead. “We should ask the reciprocal question of how often will Danny have his shirt on. Let’s just say it’s been a very gym-heavy season for the entire cast.”
While Kurt and Blaine’s flamboyant antics are great on Glee, Danny breaks the media mold as a jock in a school where nobody seems to care that he happens to be gay. So we caught up with the scene-stealing Kahuanui to find out about upcoming sex scenes, being a fan favorite and, of course, Danny’s dance moves.
What was it about Danny that initially drew you to the part?
I like the fact that there wasn’t a typical story that you see on TV, a coming-out or a bullying story or even any kind of negative connotation about the situation. He was out from before he even shows up [on-screen], so for me, okay, it’s established. But it’s also very subtle and there’s nothing charactery about him. He’s just very real. And I spoke to [creator] Jeff Davis about it, and in the world of Teen Wolf, homophobia doesn’t exist. That, for me—I was sold.
You play the character in a very nuanced way, with a lot of subtleties.
That’s the approach Jeff wanted to take, and it’s one of the reasons he chose to cast me. There are so many characters portrayed by hitting people on the head with the fact that the character’s gay. He decided to go with something more subtle.
Based on some very intensive online research, we understand that Danny is set to have a same-sex sex scene in season 3.
His love life definitely gets more exposure. And Danny is due for a bit of loving! He kind of strikes out in the first couple of seasons. He breaks up with his boyfriend or whatever he had. And in the second season, he nearly gets killed in a nightclub when trying to pick someone up. In the third season, third time’s the charm.
Yes, we remember your dance moves from the club scene.
Purely Method acting. [Laughs]
What else is in store for Danny?
In season 3, Jackson, his best friend, is nowhere to be seen anymore. There’s a void left there. It’s not a relationship in the romantic sense. But being best friends, you lose your best friend, and he [Danny] almost gets killed—a lot’s happened to Danny. He could use a little loving. After being sent to the hospital, you’d think Danny would take a hint that something is awry in Beacon Hills.
So, does he figure it out?
Um...that we will have to wait to find out. There are some spoilers on some of the [online sites], things that have been broadcast from set, but there are many details to be filled in.
What was one of the most fun scenes for you to play as your character?
I have to say, to this day, the scene we shot with Dylan O’Brien [Stiles], where he’s asking me questions and I’m sitting in front of him and he falls over in the chair. That was not scripted, but we kept it because they didn’t yell cut until he fell.
The worst, and I’m glad I learned this early on, is eating in a scene. Or rather not to! No one told me this! It’s a big no-no because [every take] they replace whatever food you ate with brand-new food for continuity. [In one scene] I went through a dozen apples. I don’t think I’ve eaten an apple since then. Dylan also learned that lesson, but his food of choice was an orange and chicken nuggets. It’s the last time you’ll see us eating in a scene ever again.
The character of Danny is a pretty nice guy. But his best friend, Jackson, is kind of a douche. What’s that friendship about?
[The show] never really clears up the nature of their initial friendship, but I feel like he’s one of those people you’re friends with for such a long time you learn to appreciate each other for what they are and the fact that you’ve been around each other for so long. I also feel like Jackson is one of those people who lets very few people in, but when he does, maybe they see a part of him that the rest of the world doesn’t.
Such a Danny thing to say.
I have to defend my best friend. [Laughs]
In the gay community, we have a subset of guys known as bears. So if Danny were ever turned into a werewolf, do you think he’d join the established pack or start a whole new pack of gay werewolves?
I almost don’t want to comment because in season 3 there’s so much to watch. But he might have a hard time finding a gay pack. There are more werewolves in Beacon Hills, but I don’t know how many there are in general, let alone gay ones.
A minority within a minority. So now that we know that Danny will be getting some loving in Season 3, the question on every gay guy’s mind is, of course, is Danny a top or a bottom?
[Laughs] I think that’s a little X-rated even for MTV.
Season 3 of Teen Wolf premieres on MTV June 3