Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Charlie Carver on filming The Batman through COVID-19 and finding gay family in Boys In The Band

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Cadillac
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Cadillac

Charlie Carver was in London filming The Batman when the world fell apart earlier this year. “I’d actually just sort of finished a sequence and was debating on whether or not to fly home to Los Angeles or spend some time in Europe while they were on location,” the SAG-nominated actor says on the latest episode of The A.V. Club’s podcast Push The Envelope. “At that point, it was pretty clear what was happening [with the coronavirus pandemic]. There was certainly really sad news coming out of Italy and Spain. And so I decided to fly back home to L.A., and I think I got home two or three days before the shutdown began in California.”

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It was ultimately be almost six months before filming could resume on the Matt Reeves movie, but “I don’t think it messed at all with the storytelling at hand,” says Carver. “And I’m now currently in London, production is back,” the actor adds before acknowledging star Robert Pattinson’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis, which briefly shut down production again in September. “We had a little bit of a well-publicized incident on set, but they’re taking such good care of us...and such attention to safety. It’s actually making me quite hopeful that not only will the entertainment industry—not only is it resilient, but it will adapt accordingly, and adapt very, very well to whatever comes its way.”

You can hear what else Carver has to say about his mysterious The Batman role during his full Push The Envelope interview, which was released earlier today. The former Desperate Housewives, Teen Wolf, and The Leftovers actor also discusses the pressure of being hand-picked by Ryan Murphy for a standout role in Netflix’s Ratched and starring alongside Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, and Andrew Rannells in the new slice-of-life ensemble drama The Boys In The Band.

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“He’s the only character without a name. He is the punching bag. He either delivers the jokes or is the butt of them,” Carver says of his character, a sex worker nicknamed “Cowboy” who is invited to a birthday party as a gift for the guest of honor. “Cowboy, as I’d created him—what he wanted more than anything was community. You know, he probably came [to] New York City from a small town with a set of experiences that would lead to considering sex work, knows he can make a dollar off of this looks, but is really there to be a part of something and have community, too. And so then, being in the room with these men became not only a job, but a celebration of a new friend’s birthday. And yeah, I just had fun with that, with the kind of appreciation of, and affection for, everyone in the room—even though I’m kind of a stranger in the bunch.”

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Tuc Watkins, Andrew Rannells, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Robin de Jesús, Brian  Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Charlie  Carver filming Netflix’s The Boys In The Band
Tuc Watkins, Andrew Rannells, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Robin de Jesús, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Charlie Carver filming Netflix’s The Boys In The Band
Photo: Scott Everett White/Netflix

That sense of community was something Carver found in real life while first working on the Broadway revival of The Boys In The Band in 2018 and then reuniting with the cast for the Netflix film the following year. “I do think it made a massive difference that it was a cast of all out gay men,” says Carver. “I wouldn’t say that I feel uncomfortable being professionally out in the business, but there is certainly the sense of accommodation in a professional setting.... [I’m not going to] watch my language, but I can’t code switch—if you will—into sort of free flow and fun with who I’m around to until I get to know them a little better. And we didn’t have that same...sense of accommodation to one another. Not to say we weren’t respectful, but there was just this immediate sense.... We were all kind of able to mutually identify the experience we’d all shared in coming out, working, and all that stuff. It was just fun. There was a shorthand established immediately.”

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To hear more from Carver on The Batman, Ratched, and The Boys In The Band—as well as editor-in-chief Patrick Gomez and senior writer Katie Rife discussing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ new diversity guidelines for Best Picture consideration—check out the full episode of Push The Envelope, available now wherever you get your podcasts.

A small programming note: New episodes of Push The Envelope will released weekly every Thursday beginning next week. If you’re a fan, remember to rate, comment, and subscribe to get the episodes as soon as they’re live.

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