In the course of interviewing people, you meet a lot of people, talk to a lot of people, hear a lot of stories and have to decipher a lot of information and make judgments on various subjects. After doing it for a while, very often you can sense the cookie cutter interview with a well-rehearsed celebrity relying on the same pat quotes and answers.
So you can understand my surprise and intrigue when I had the chance to talk with actor Devin Way, a true breath of fresh air.
Way is the lead actor on the Peacock reboot of Queer As Folk , some 20 years after the original debuted. One might think Way would have been apprehensive to tackle a role with the groundbreaking original lurking in the shadows. This was not the case at all.
He explains “[I’m] not apprehensive at all, I read the script, believed in it and I wasn’t nervous at all, I had to do it”.
As a matter of fact, Way openly told those closest to him that he was going to book this role all along. Rather than this declaration being one of arrogance, it was more of a relatability instance where “…the story totally reflected me in my character and I had to play it.”
After only a few minutes of speaking with Devin Way, two things become apparent—he is an emotionally honest person and one of the most genuine people you will ever encounter.
Most may recognize this East Texas native from his television debut on Grey’s Anatomy, where he had a recurring role as one of the interns. Way totally shined in the role, so it was a bit of a head-scratcher when his character was killed off after one season. Way explains he was initially signed on for five episodes, but producers kept him on an additional three. That said, it was always their intention to kill his character off in the short term.
After Grey’s, Way embarked on a highly publicized cross country tour with Oprah Winfrey. It was a very positive experience for Way and an enlightening one for audiences as well. By this time he had been teaching Soul Cycling for a while and through a third party, Oprah became aware of him and invited him to join the tour. He proudly speaks of being a Soul Cycling instructor, because he was able to touch many people and make a difference in their lives. He would always take the time to listen to their stories and get to know them better.
If you follow Way on Instagram, you will quickly learn just how many friends he has and the many lives he has touched in a meaningful way. Last summer, he started The Devin Games, an all-day competition with a large group of people that features fun, food and most of all, friends. He has decided to bring it back this summer for another go round. In the long term, Way would like to take it to different cities and raise money for various charities.
As for QAF, Way takes a very realistic approach,
“I hope people watch the show and are a little less desensitized,” he said.
The Pulse nightclub tragedy played an integral role in this reboot. When asked about it, Way replied, “QAF shows a community rocked but focusing on rebuilding.”
With big-time success in the offing, Way is not concerned about changing who he is in a negative sense.
“Its about surrounding yourself with the five closest people who reflect who you are,” he explained. People are a very important part of life for Way. He truly cares, listens, gets involved and wants to do good for others. He is a firm believer in “…telling real stories and being authentic in his stories.” Future goals include a desire to play a superhero, ideally one of the X-Men down the road.
Over the last few years, Way has used his platform to speak on issues he feels strongly about, particularly ones in which he has knowledge of and positively affect change. It’s a common narrative that encapsulates Way both personally and professionally.
The QAF reboot has so far received glowing reviews and is must-see TV this summer thanks to terrific storylines and a cast that really clicks. Way is quickly becoming the breakout star of the season and receiving accolades for his portrayal of Brodie. Don’t be surprised if he becomes the 2022 version of Simu Liu and really busts out. Credit the man’s authenticity and humble demeanor that’s allowed him to resonate with people of all walks of life. In a current climate that is too often filled with negativity, its refreshing to see a positive light shine.