A new article posted by South African press, Tonight, talking about Luke and Dave’s visit to South Africa. The mispelled last name is the reporter’s doing.

Source: Tonight


Brother, what nice guys
June 15, 2009

By Terence Pillay

I’ve come to realise that my friends are either quite dim or they have other things to occupy themselves with than sitting in front of the television for inordinately long hours. The realisation dawned on me when I excitedly told them about my interviews with Dave Annable and Luke McFarlane, and all they could say was: “Who?”

And if you’re reading this and reacting the same way, then you have obviously not watched Brothers and Sisters, one of the finest American drama series to have emerged in recent years.

Annable (who plays Justin Walker, a drug-addicted war veteran) and McFarlane (who plays Scotty Wandell, a gay chef) were on a small tour of South Africa to promote the award-winning show, season three of which airs here in August.

So I headed off to Cape Town to hospitality king Sol Kerzner’s plush new palace, The One and Only, to hang with the actors. Incidentally, there’s a reason it’s called The One and Only, because there’s really nothing like it, but I digress.

Both Annable and McFarlane have got to be two of the nicest people I’ve ever interviewed. And their cheery dispositions were definitely heightened by the fact that they’ve never been to South Africa before and were more than a little enthusiastic about the country, even though they had only just seen Cape Town. Why wouldn’t you think this is the most amazing place on Earth – you can lie in a bath tub and look out on to Table Mountain through your floor-to-ceiling windows, I think, silently. But again, I digress.

Annable, as I found out, used to be a jock growing up in New York and played hockey, baseball and rugby. But he discovered he wasn’t very good at any of the sports and went off to university to study media and communications. He later dropped out to study acting with Richard Pinter at New York’s famous The Neighbourhood Playhouse, whose alumni include The Practice’s Dylan McDermott, Sex and the City’s Chris Noth, The West Wing’s Alison Janney and star of the big screen Dianne Keaton.

Annable was handsome enough to land a number of commercials, but it wasn’t until he was cast in the movie Little Black Book, then a short-lived series called Reunion, that he was brought to the attention of both television producers and directors, and the American public.

He describes Brothers and Sisters as his real big break.

An interesting titbit about Annable is that he only just completed his degree in communication, which he did online after promising his mother at his sister’s graduation that he’d do it.

McFarlane also considers Brothers and Sisters to be his big break, even though he studied at Julliard and was quite an accomplished musician, singer and stage actor before making the transition to television.

And being an openly gay actor he also made international headlines when cosy pictures of him and Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller appeared in tabloids, sparking speculation that they were romantically involved. But he’s very private about his personal life, and understandably so. I mean, why should we care with whom he shares his bed?

Just because someone lives his life in the public eye doesn’t mean the public has a right to invade that life.

Anyway, McFarlane says although Brothers and Sisters has raised his public profile, he still likes his relative anonymity and relishes going mountain biking or doing some other extreme sport without the glare of hundreds of cameras.

His role on Brothers and Sisters, though, is a benchmark one, in that it’s the first gay marriage for a recurring role ever to be screened on American TV. His kiss with Matthew Rhys, who plays Kevin Walker, was also the first gay kiss in a prime-time slot in the US.

Both Annable and McFarlane wax lyrically about their fellow cast members, especially Hollywood legend Sally Field, who apparently is something of a matriarch both on and off screen.

In the finale in season two, Kevin and Scotty get married and there are a number of other plot-turns concerning the rest of the characters. Both actors don’t want to reveal anything about the new series and, frankly, I’m glad for it.

I can’t wait for August.