Mark Deklin's character on "GCB," Blake, has a secret: He's gay. But that's not a spoiler -- we found out in the pilot, and we also learn that his wife knows. How will this play out in the remainder of Season 1 of the new southern-fried ABC hit? We hit up the actor -- whose résumé also includes stints as a Greenpeace volunteer and an English teacher -- for answers.

 

What can you tell us about the remainder of the first season?

 

We're gonna start to see who these people really are. For my character, as the season unfolds I get to do a lot more comedy. We spent the first half of the season really building my character's humanity, if you will, more than the humor, but by Episode 5 we sort of feel like we've earned the right to get a little wacky. That's one of the things I'm looking forward to because I had a lot of fun honing my comedy chops.

 

Do you consider yourself a naturally funny guy?

 

I do. I suppose that could be a matter of opinion. [Laughs] But I do think there's a certain science to comedy. So much of comedy is grounded in rhythm, timing. It's like music, and I have a musical ear. I know how to land it. I know what the comedy's asking you to do.

 

What's it like playing someone whose sexuality differs from your own?

One of the wonderful advantages of this particular role is [Blake's] not written as a stereotype. He's a closeted gay man, which is not something we've really seen a lot on TV. I didn't really quite know how to approach it, but what I've realized is I don't have to put anything on. No one looks at Blake and thinks he's gay. I don't play him as any kind of stereotype; I just sort of infuse my own personality into this character and give him a Texas accent.

There are a lot of pretty ladies on this show. How is it working with them on a daily basis?

It's wonderful being surrounded by so many beautiful ladies. When I come to work every day I'm surrounded by beauty. But the other great thing is they're all also really smart and really funny. It's also an interesting dynamic because I'm playing a gay character. Somehow because I'm the gay character on the show, I'm conferred with this almost honorary gay status, and so I get to almost be one of the girls. And it's really fun. I actually love it. I don't feel emasculated by it -- I think it's wonderful.

So have you started indulging in girly treatments, like pedicures?

Oh, sure. Any actor who says they haven't is lying.

His former life




You used to be a Greenpeace volunteer. Why did you ultimately decide to do acting?



I was acting my whole life, but not professionally. I just never really took it seriously as a career option, so I was doing a whole bunch of other things out of college. Greenpeace was an organization I had always supported and a crazy opportunity came up. They were looking for rock climbers, and I'm a rock climber. I was visiting a friend in Boston, where they were interviewing, and I just felt, "well, I'm not employed right now," so I ended up working for Greenpeace. It wasn't really part of my master plan -- it just sort of happened -- but it was a very educational experience, and I felt good doing it.