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HBO's Looking, created by Michael Lannen and produced by David Marshall Grant, Sarah Condon, and All of Us Strangers’ Andrew Haigh, is one of the most influential gay TV shows of all time.
Now, ten years after it aired its first episode, GQ is taking a look back at the show that changed gay TV.
In its “Oral History of Looking,” GQ talked to the stars and people behind the scenes who brought the show to life.
Carmen Cuba, the casting director for the show, revealed that while they were “conscious of” casting gay men in the show, they “didn’t have a mandate” about it.
“It came up I think because Andrew had done Weekend, and that was such a pivotal movie for so many people, gay and straight, but particularly gay men,” Cuba said. “I think the conversation flowed pretty freely once people were in the room with Andrew. People just were open about it.”
Haigh added that he couldn’t remember being pressured to hire big name actors and that he “certainly wanted” some of the cast to be queer. That’s when Cuba brought up one name who was almost cast in the show.“Especially in TV, you meet a lot of people…,” she said. “Pedro Pascal was someone we met [for a role on Looking] and from that, I put him on Narcos. The thing with Pedro, it was like he was testing on a million things. So many of these things, as you know in casting, it's just like scheduling. Does scheduling work? Does the group? Because in this, we were really casting a group.”
While it's likely that if he was cast, Pascal would’ve replaced another actor, can you imagine how amazing it would’ve been to see Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez, Murray Bartlett, Russell Tovey, and Raul Castillo alongside Pascal in the show?
While Looking came out in 2014, Pascal had played gay around 15 years before that. In 1999, he was featured in the MTV show Undressed, where he played a gay man named Greg, who said iconic lines like “The point is, we’re gay.”