Ron Rifkin says he was charged up when producers of ABC's Sunday drama Brothers & Sisters asked him to play gay.

Rifkin's character of lovable Uncle Saul came out gay in 2007. In a just-released interview with gay glossy The Advocate, the veteran actor says he relished the opportunity to play the part.

“One of the reasons I was interested in exploring this character is we don't often see a guy my age gay on television, explored in an intelligent, dignified, funny serious way,” the 70-year-old actor said.

“So, I thought, when [Producer] David [Marshall Grant] approached me with it three years ago and said, what if Saul's gay? I said, bring it on.”

The Emmy-nominated drama was already breaking ground with an ongoing romance between Kevin (Matthew Rhys) and Scotty (Luke Macfarlane).

“There are already two gay characters on the show – 'Oh, my God, three gay characters? No. The old guy? No, I don't know,'” Rifkin said. “So it's been sort of a struggle, if you understand what I mean. It's been a struggle to really identify this character and give him some weight.”

In the final frames of the drama's fourth season finale, viewers learn that Uncle Saul is HIV-positive. Veteran actor Stephen Collins, 62, will guest star this season to help Saul come to terms with the diagnosis.

Brothers & Sisters returns to ABC on Sunday, September 26.