In a recent The Daily Beast
interview, out actor Michael Urie revealed that he was advised not to
take a gay role in the ABC comedy Ugly Betty.
Ugly Betty, which ran for 4
seasons, followed nerdy Betty Suarez (America Ferrera) after she
landed a job at prestigious fashion magazine MODE. Urie
played Marc St. James, the gay personal assistant of MODE
magazine's creative editor Wilhelmina Slater (played by Vanessa
“When Ugly Betty started, I
was a totally unknown actor,” Urie said. “There was a sense from
people advising and representing me that if the show didn’t take
off then it would be back to the drawing board, and I wouldn’t want
to be pigeonholed as one type of gay person.”
“I have never said no to a role
because it was a gay role. It was such a silly idea. But it was a
very real idea from very important people, that I could get typecast
as gay. I remember thinking, ‘I know from the theater that there’s
a way to keep playing gay parts and not do the same thing over and
“I also knew a very clever casting
director [who] once told me, ‘You can’t get cast until you get
typecast,'” he added.
Urie, 38, also revealed that he
received hate mail while working on Ugly Betty.
“I got occasional hate mail when I
was on Ugly Betty, but I never felt in any danger,” he
Urie currently stars in the Broadway
revival of Torch Song.