Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-03-22
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



TV Bryan Batt: 'Mad' to the bone
Extended for the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Once again, the TV series Mad Men has lived up to expectations and hype—providing captivating twists and turns while the lives of Sterling Cooper's employees ( and their families ) evolve. Openly gay actor Bryan Batt plays closeted exec Salvatore Romano, and his life definitely changes during the show's second season ( now out on DVD ) . Windy City Times talked with Batt in early July about what happened with Romano, the upcoming third season ( which debuts on AMC Aug. 16 ) , the Tonys and his hometown of New Orleans, La. [ Note: For those who have not seen the second season, certain plot points are discussed. ]

Windy City Times: Pride Month just concluded. Did you do anything special?

Bryan Batt: Actually, I was just in L.A. with my partner, and two dear friends came in for the weekend. We saw a little bit of the parade, but my favorite thing that happened was that the night before, as we parked our car on Santa Monica Boulevard, we saw this gaggle of young twinks [ who ] said, "Oooh, look at all the cute daddies." [ Interviewer laughs. ]

WCT: Well, at least they recognized you all were cute. [ Batt laughs. ]

BB: Yes. I have to tell you that, at the parade, my favorite sign was "Jesus had two daddies."

WCT: Wow—that'd shake my mom to her core. But let's talk about this past season of Mad Men. Something very interesting happened: Sal got married.

BB: Yes! I think it's appropriate for the time period [ the '60s ] to get married. I think a lot of men and women got married—and continue to [ do so ] . There's the denial and there's the closet. It's also just a great avenue to explore; it makes his life deeper, richer—and more tortured.

WCT: I thought the episode "The Golden Violin" [ which looks into Romano's marriage when a co-worker comes over to have dinner ] was brilliant.

BB: That whole show is brilliant on so many levels. What you think is going to happen doesn't happen.

WCT: Something else happened this season—there was an out character [ Kurt ] .

BB: That was very shocking. [ Both laugh. ] I thought it was going to be me. A lot of people ask me when [ my character ] was going to come out, and I'm like, "To what?" I don't know about Kurt coming out; it was interesting, and it was handled very well. But it was quite a curveball.

WCT: Sal had quite an interesting look on his face when Kurt came out.

BB: [ Laughs ] I think I had indigestion that day.

WCT: So you weren't wondering why Sal didn't come out, you said?

BB: I was almost relieved. I think that if Sal came out too openly in this era, his storyline would diminish. When you find out everyone's secrets, there's nothing more to find out. The drama would be gone.

It's always such a joy to sit down for the table read because we all wonder how they're going to top [ the previous ] week—but they always do. I'm so lucky.

WCT: It's amazing to see how different things were in the office then, such as constant smoking and drinking.

BB: It's wild. I've spoken to people who worked in advertising in that era, and they said, "Yeah, you always smoked, drank and carried on."

WCT: I imagine that you get plenty of letters from people who identify with Sal.

BB: I do, but mainly I get really nice e-mails and letters from people who like the performance and the character. There are a few in advertising who identify with Sal. It's very interesting.

WCT: Now, what is [ creator/executive producer ] Matt Weiner like? I understand that he is very detail-oriented. He even removed an item from a show because, in actuality, it didn't come out until about six months after that particular episode was set.

BB: He's very detail-oriented; he oversees everything—hair, make-up, etc. His hand is all over every episode, but that's great. I think that's what makes the show so great, plus he knows what he wants and is able to articulate it. Some people know what they want but they can't formulate the words.

That item was an Etch-n-Sketch. Sally Draper was supposed to play with it, but it didn't come out until later so she had a Slinky instead. They go through the newspapers for a particular day that an episode is set just to make sure the details are right. It all makes the show better.

WCT: Is there anything you can tell me about season three?

BB: I can tell you that [ the unexpected ] happens. The season starts with a bang, in my opinion. Right out of the gate, it's explosive.

WCT: I imagine that Sal's marriage will be examined a bit more.

BB: I think so. We haven't filmed that much yet, but I'm sure it will be. But I'm waiting; I know they have something up their sleeves.

WCT: It'd be interesting to see the show jet forward to 1969, and have Sal come out during or after Stonewall.

BB: I would love that! Hopefully, we could run that long where we could be in '69. I mean, Sal in a caftan and on Fire Island ... free at last.

WCT: [ Laughs ] I also wanted to ask you about the recent Tony Awards, Mr. Broadway Veteran. What was your opinion of the show?

BB: I was a little upset with the technical aspects—they couldn't get the sound right, for some reason. I was excited about some of the winners; I saw some of the performances, and was happy for some of the winners. I saw my friend Gavin Creel in Hair, and he was terrific. [ The show ] was fun, but the sound bothered me. [ Plus, ] the beginning was huge.

It's hard to take that medium, with live performances, and put it on TV. To me, TV can't truly capture the excitement you experience in the theater.

WCT: Let's talk business. You have a store in New Orleans, correct?

BB: Yes. My partner of 20 years [ Tom Cianfichi ] and I own it. We opened Hazelnut ( ) six years ago—we named it after my grandmother, Hazel, who was a nut. [ Interviewer laughs. ] Having this business freed me up; with acting, you deal with constant rejection and you become defined by your job. There's a whole other world out there besides show business.

WCT: How is New Orleans doing since Hurricane Katrina?

BB: I don't know how to describe it because 75 percent of the city was flooded. It was the perfect combination of inadequate leadership—we had a mayor, governor and president. Any kind of rebuilding that has to go through government is going to have its bumps.

So far, there's been a lot of rebuilding. Right after the storm, the areas that were not flooded were up and running. It's just the neighborhoods that were flooded—in which a lot of people were not insured—that were really hit hard. There were a lot of volunteers who came down, but there was a lot of devastation; some of those people have not been able to rebuild or get back. Some of the people who were displaced probably won't come back.

However, it is a much better situation than it was before. There are even more restaurants open now than there were prior to Katrina—and a lot of other great things have happened. The church next door to me [ has ] people coming down every week to help people rebuild their houses. a lot of things are fine, including the historical architecture. Things are better—people have to come down and see.

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Television festival through March 23 2017-03-22
WNYC Studios to present NANCY podcast with new LGBTQ community voices 2017-03-09
OUTVETS excluded from Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade 2017-03-08
'Empire' stars visit BYC 2017-03-01
OUT Chicago broadcast from the Art AIDS America Exhibit March 12 2017-02-28
Entertainment: Dorian Awards, 'All About Eve,' Ricky Martin, 'Biggest Loser' 2017-02-28
Major publications fail to identify anti-LGBTQ hate groups in coverage 2017-02-24
Dustin Lance Black on latest ABC project, When We Rise 2017-02-22
TELEVISION Amiyah Scott: Rising 'Star' 2017-02-22
NUNN ON ONE Queen Latifah wishes on a 'Star' 2017-02-15
TELEVISION Gender non-binary actor set to star on 'Billions' 2017-02-15
Entertainment news: Alan Cumming, Carrie Fisher, 'Queer Eye' 2017-02-01
Five Worth Finding: Miss Fisher TV show, Keith Haring kid's book 2017-01-31
Lily Tomlin shines as SAGs gets political 2017-01-29
LGBT critics to announce Dorian Award nods 2017-01-18
NUNN ON ONE: CELEBRITY Meiling Jin travels from China to 'Chop Chop' 2017-01-17
NUNN ON ONE: TV Chicago native Law Roach on judging 'Next Top Model' 2017-01-10
Entertainment: Matt Bomer, George Michael, 'Sister Wives,' Jillian Michaels 2017-01-04
GLAAD report reveals mostly good news 2016-12-28
World news: HIV and the Philippines, Malta's ban, UN news 2016-12-20
National Geographic chronicles 'gender revolution' in print, on TV 2016-12-15
GLAAD launches Trump Accountability Project 2016-12-01
'The Trans List' to air Dec. 5 2016-11-30
Entertainment news: Andy Cohen, Ruby Rose, RuPaul, GALECA's top actresses, Madonna 2016-11-29
Report: LGBTQs lacking in Spanish-language scripted TV 2016-11-23
LGBT doc on Mariela Castro debuting Nov. 28 2016-11-23
NUNN ON ONE: TV/PODCASTS Kirsten Vangsness talks 'Criminal Minds,' being queer 2016-11-16
NUNN ON ONE: TV Real Housewife Cynthia Bailey walks the runway alone 2016-11-15
Comcast and COH host reception for Pride collection and ERGs 2016-11-06
GLAAD Where We Are on TV report: LGBTQ representation hits record high 2016-11-03
GLAAD releases 10th edition of media guide for reporting on LGBTQ people, issues 2016-10-26
Brujos: A peek into a 'coven-fresh' web series 2016-10-25
Jussie Smollett rules on 'Empire' 2016-10-19
NUNN ON ONE: Trans model Isis King struts out with a new show 2016-10-19
Fox anchor Smith comes out as gay 2016-10-18
Rainbows in the magic box: LGBTQ talent featured in fall TV 2016-10-12
Gay series 'Feral' on 2016-10-12
TELEVISION 'Prince Charming' contestant discusses controversial exit 2016-10-11
Entertainment: Wonder Woman, 'Horror Story,' Samira Wiley, Jared Leto 2016-10-11
Gay series 'Feral' on 2016-10-05

Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.









About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.