How did you get cast in the role of a Gay Priest in the movie? The offer came via email and it was pretty much out of the blue. I wasn’t sure what to expect on the role, but after I read the script and sharing a scene with Perez, I couldn’t say no.
You have a memorable scene with Perez Hilton where the two of you join the “Mile High Club” so-to-speak. How was it working with the infamous Perez? I’ve actually known Perez for a few years, and he’s a really nice and down-to-earth guy. You’d think that with all of his success he’d feel somewhat entitled, but that’s not him at all. Whether you love him or hate him, you have to respect him for what he’s been able to accomplish. I mean, God, I wait for the day he puts up a shot of me with cum all over my face. Most people do; it’s like, you haven’t made it until you’re on PerezHilton.com!
What was your most memorable experience on set? Just meeting Todd Stephens and the cast. The four leads are really nice guys, along with the crew. You can tell that everyone is really gung-ho about making a film that’s a quality piece of work.
You also had a leading role in “Eating Out” and “Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds.” For people not familiar with these films, please share a brief synopsis of your role and how you came to be cast in these films. Well, first off—if you’re not familiar with these films, get familiar! They’re two very funny “American Pie-esque” films that you can’t help but laugh at. Not to be taken too seriously, they have underlying themes and messages that most people can relate to, gay or straight. Not to mention, they were written by two very talented men; Allan Brocka and Phillip Bartell. I play the role of Kyle, who is very much the underdog in the films. He’s sassy yet incredibly insecure and has to think of ways to win the “more attractive, athletic, straighter” gay men since he doesn’t have physical attributes that the others do. He’s crafty but very funny, and I enjoyed playing him very much.
Are you more passionate about acting or singing? I like both, and I don’t think I could choose between the two if I absolutely had to. There are different feelings that I get from both that I enjoy very much. I love being in the studio and creating music; taking something from nothing and making it into a song that evokes some kind of emotion. Being on set for a film is great too, because if you feel you haven’t delivered your best possible performance, you know you can always retake a scene. Of course, if you’re working on a low budget film, then you only have one more retake. But, there’s something about being on set with makeup artists, directors and people all around, that really feels exciting.
It is hard to believe it has almost been 8 years since season one of “American Idol”! Being the first openly gay contestant from this show, how has life changed for you since coming out? I feel more myself than I ever have. I don’t think it would’ve been possible for me to have the experiences I’ve had in the industry if I wasn’t true to myself with other people. I mean, for some it’s a much larger issue, but for me personally, I wanted to make a point to a lot of gay and lesbian youth that you can do anything you set your mind to no matter your sexual preference.
Are you still close friends with anyone from the original cast of American Idol? I’m close with EJay Day. With some of the other top ten finalists, I always find ways of getting messages to them even if we haven’t spoken to each other directly.
What has been the most rewarding moment of coming out for you, and what was the most difficult moment for you after you came out? The most rewarding would have to be the act itself. There’s a certain power that you feel the more people you come out to, so telling the world was definitely a feeling of empowerment. The most difficult moment would had to have been the hate mail coming from red states, I presume. People are either going to love you or hate you, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.
You received critical acclaim with your debut album “Roller Coaster” and I hear you have been working on your new album. What can you tell us about your next album? The new album is called, “Do Not Disturb,” and it’s a lot more focused than my first effort. It’s got an edgier pop sound to it, but I haven’t strayed too far away from my fan base and what they want. It is; however, a growing experience for me both musically and artistically.
What is the best advice you would give to a young person, who is gay, that wants to pursue a career as a performer? Go full force and never look back. Don’t sacrifice yourself for any part of the industry because in the end, it’s just not worth it. Believe in yourself because if you don’t, how can you expect anyone else to?
Outside of music and acting, what are you passionate about in life? Making a difference and making people laugh. I try not to take myself too seriously, I turn even the most negative situations into something positive, and I’d like to think that that rubs off on people.
If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? If I could be ANY animal? Oh boy…ummm, probably a Giraffe. You know what they say about long necks…kidding.
What is next for Jim Verraros? I’ve got a film I’m working on with Thea Gill and Peter Paige from “Queer As Folk” coming up, and I have the new album in stores now. I’m really excited about both projects and can’t wait to hear what people think.
photo courtesy: Christopher Stephens