Category: Torchwood

Interview: John Barrowman of “Doctor Who”

John BarrowmanBefore he became famous as the alien-fighting, time-traveling bisexual hero of Torchwood and Doctor Who, John Barrowman was bicultural, born in Scotland and raised from age 8 near Chicago. He returned to England to pursue performing in his early 20s, with a career on stage, screen, and film that included Megalodon: Shark Attack 3, the TV soaps Titans and Central Park West, and singing “Springtime For Hitler” in Mel Brooks’ musical film remake of The Producers. While he’s openly gay, he lost out on the lead role in the sitcom Will & Grace for supposedly seeming “too straight.”

He found no such problems when he was cast in his breakthrough role on Britain’s Doctor Who as Captain Jack Harkness. A charming rogue and con man from the 51st century, Harkness developed from an antagonist to a close ally of The Doctor; his willingness to flirt with anyone, man or woman, human or alien, was part of the open attitude toward sexuality that producer Russell T. Davies brought to the series. Barrowman went on to star as Harkness on the Who spin-off Torchwood, in which Captain Jack leads a covert team of agents who protect Earth from alien menaces, though his personal foibles are often as much a source of danger as the aliens themselves. The show has grown progressively more popular, and it jumped to Britain’s largest channel, BBC1, for the new Torchwood: Children Of Earth, a five-episode miniseries which broadcasts in the U.S. starting July 20 on BBC America. Barrowman recently talked to The A.V. Club about Torchwood, the future, and getting inside his character’s head, even if it’s giant, disembodied, and in a jar.

Originally published on July 17, 2009. Read the complete article.

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