Having earned two Canadian Screen Awards for Best Comedy and Writing last year, the year-old is once again nominated in all major categories, including competing with his father as Lead Actor. Just to be nominated in the acting category was a big thing for me because I started out wanting to act. I put my acting aspirations on hold so I could focus [on the behind-the-scenes aspects of my career], so my audition skills are rusty.
Making David pansexual was a bold decision. You were ahead of the headlines on that one. When I was sussing out characters, it just felt like a good fit for him.
The idea of sexuality, in my life, is not a big deal. Fans have come up to say: David came out on the show by way of a wine analogy: I got a lovely email from a young guy who used our wine analogy to connect with his parents. From gender to sexual fluidity to the trans movement—a new conversation is taking place. It does feel like there is a younger generation that is much more open and more educated on gender fluidity and the complexity of sexuality.
This new generation realizes how multi-faceted human beings truly are. I think that a lot of the [older] generations see sexuality in black and white. I do feel like this younger generation is seeing it in colour. I think the Internet has helped a lot in terms of opening dialogue and conversation about sexuality.
There are also a lot of people writing some great thought pieces now that challenge the norms. There is a hypersensitivity to this subject too. You look at Lena Dunham, who has gotten into trouble having this conversation. People are ripping apart everything that is opinion-based—both good and bad. All you can try to do is educate yourself as best as you can to be as open and sensitive as possible. I never really kept it a secret. Straight people are assumed to be straight until proven otherwise, so it does put pressure on us to state our truth.
To me, that means your favoured sexual position or who you are dating, the state of your relationship or medical history. I mean, I was in Out [magazine] two years ago. All you can do is try your best. I use social media as best I can by sharing articles that offer supportive viewpoints and information. What was it like coming out to your parents? My family, fortunately, was completely open and accepting. It was a very easy thing.
I think with anyone, there are fears attached to when and how to come out. But to answer your question: Were your parents cautious about you entering show business? They were very supportive. All parents should be supportive when their child wants to pursue their dreams or at least try. That sort of helped me…having no pushback. What is it like being an accidental sex symbol?
You are definitely a style and fashion icon. I think personal style is getting up in the morning and wearing what makes you feel good. Hence, people have responded to my style. It is something I love, appreciate and pay attention to, particularly on the show. I work very closely with our costume designer, Debra Hanson, in terms of styling the family on the show.
To be able to work in that realm and dip my toes in the fashion world by having access to clothes we use on the show has been really fun. I loved your tweet reminding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that he has yet to fulfill his election promise that gay men will one day be allowed to donate blood in Canada without discriminatory limitations. What was the reaction? We all need to do our best and try to be as good to one another as we can.
That fundamentally needs to happen now: When you read these intense criticisms, they feel more like an ego trip for the people writing them. You live in Toronto but you used to live in LA, and you still spend some time there. All I can do is hope that Trump brings out the passion in people, the passion for change. The most important [strategy] is to combat a lot of what he stands for, which is intolerance, racism and homophobia. What do you think of reality TV as a vet?
I walked away and never looked back. I literally have no interest. Boxer briefs, how about that? You can follow him at nelliebranco.