Brad William Henke talked about his gay
character on the Netflix dramedy Orange is the New Black with
gay glossy Out.
On the show, Henke, 50, plays Desi
Piscatella, a stern corrections officer who confidently doles out
discipline to the inmates at Litchfield penitentiary.
In the show's fourth and most recent
season, viewers learn that Piscatella's parents sent him to a camp to
alter his sexuality from gay to straight.
Henke told Out
that he based his character on gay friends.
“I know their frustrations with how
they are represented,” he
said. “And it's funny, because on Instagram people have
written, 'Thank you for playing a real person who is also gay.' That
is my [character's] sexuality. But I am a flawed person as
Piscatella. And I'm also a good person as Piscatella. I'm
everything, you know? And I think that sometimes doesn't make it
Henke, a character actor and former NFL
player, said that half of the people who recognize him on the street
“They are so sweet when they see me.
If people feel like I did a good job and represented them well, then
that means everything to me,” he said.
Henke also talked about his character's
sexuality, specifically how he's not ashamed of it.
“There comes a certain time in your
life when you go: I am who I am, and I’m happy with who I am, and
I’m good at my job. He is not looking to other people for
validation. That’s the thing about him: He has confidence. He goes
to work – and he goes wherever he goes after work. And this is his
life. So he’s not going to be afraid to tell people who he is. He
knows that he’s damned good at his job,” Henke said.