“The fact I’m playing an out gay black individual, is something I did not think would be possible,” admits Carl Clemons-Hopkins about his role in the HBO Max comedy “Hacks.” For our recent webchat, he continues, “I actually had no interest in film and television until ‘Moonlight’ in 2016. It’s the first time I felt like there was someone who looked like me. There is a place for me in this sphere in overcoming the stigmatizations and straight up hatred that pervades society. It built my respect even more for the things we are talking about in this series with these comedians.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.
“Hacks” is about a legendary comic, Deborah Vance (Jean Smart), who is facing pressure to give up the spotlight in favor of younger talent. Clemons-Hopkins plays Marcus, the loyal and long serving Chief Operating Officer for Vance. He reveals, “I learned to not take myself too seriously. Marcus takes himself very seriously. I learned to have a newfound respect for trials and tribulations for women in comedy. Throughout history they have faced some real sexism just to be funny and do their craft. It’s been a really humbling experience and great to learn about all they have overcome.”
The actor explains, “Marcus does not get to choose himself a lot. It’s something we address at the end of the season. He puts her work and life ahead of his own, and it’s not always reciprocated or acknowledged. He does not really have a personal life. Getting to show the evolution of him starting to come out of his shell has been really fun to play.”
Before Clemons-Hopkins entered the sphere of television he was most known for his work on the stage. He reflects, “We have a new script every week. Sometimes they are pitching stuff in the moment which is actually really fun. I enjoyed that departure from the same script eight times a week. That was really refreshing and enjoyable.”
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