11th August 2023
Kindly Note: This interview was conducted prior to the SAG Strike.
Graham Parkhurst has been working solidly in television for a number of years, with guest roles in the likes of Supergirl, The Umbrella Academy, Titans and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. But now he's finally starring as a series regular in Glamorous alongside Kim Cattrall for Netflix, where he plays Parker, a cheeky chappy finance bro and the primary romantic interest for Miss Benny's Marco. It's a juicy role, and he's really sunk his teeth into it - we chatted to him about working on a show with Kim Cattrall, the highlights of his career so far, and his dreams roles and collaborators.
You can currently be seen in Glamorous alongside Kim Cattrall for Netflix - it's fabulous, by the way! What can you tell us about your character, Parker? What was the most challenging part of playing him?
Parker is a confident “finance bro” who lives in New York City. He and Marco get swept up into a turbulent romance that lasts the entire season. Parker is charming, cheeky, and maybe a little bit toxic.
The most challenging part of playing Parker was staying in peak shape for five months. If you’ve seen the show, you know that the wardrobe department saved a lot of money on Parker’s looks, so making sure I presented half-decent without clothes on was the pinnacle of difficulty, especially with an amazing craft services department. What can I say…I love carbs.
What was your reaction when you found out you would be working on a show that also stars Kim Cattrall? Are you a 'Sex and the City' fan?
I was shook. Kim is an icon and a legend…and she was also raised in Canada! I didn’t watch a ton of Sex and the City, but everybody knows Samantha Jones, so to see her name attached to the show was very surreal for me.
If you had the opportunity to write your own storyline for Parker in a future season of Glamorous, what would it involve?
I would love for Parker to return as a partial owner of Glamorous. Just when Marco has moved on completely, Parker shows up at the office and is now Marco’s boss. The old flames mixed with the new power dynamic would make for a great storyline.
You also star alongside Miss Benny, who we love. What was she like to work with and what was your favorite scene that you filmed together?
Miss Benny is the definition of a humble professional, and working with her was a privilege. We had great chemistry from the get-go, which took away any anxiety from the many intimate moments we shared on camera.
My favourite scene we filmed together was the opening of episode 8. It’s when Marco and Parker fully commit to being in a relationship and discuss going on a trip to Provincetown together. That scene gave both of us the opportunity to go deeper into our characters’ relationship outside of their usual bedroom escapades.
You’ve gained over 40,000 followers on Instagram since Glamorous premiered. What was your reaction when you saw your followers increasing so much?
I was blown away! I don’t think I realized how big the show was going to be or how much the audience would love/hate Parker and want to follow my personal journey. I’ve gotten so many messages from people around the world (some innocent, some not so innocent), and I absolutely love it all!
When did you first realise you wanted to be an actor? Was your family supportive of your dream?
I don’t know for sure when I realized it, but, watching Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone when I was a kid was the first memory I have of wanting to become an actor. My family eventually came around to the idea. However, even after a successful nine-year career in theatre, my Dad still wanted me to become an electrician, in the hope that I might have amore stable life. Sorry Dad. Now my butt’s all over Netflix. I’m sure he’s beaming with pride!
You really became involved in performing in high school. Do you remember what it felt like the first time you stepped out on stage? Did you know right away that theatre was something you wanted to do as a career?
The first time I stepped out on stage, I’m pretty sure I blacked out from nerves. I don’t remember much of what happened during that first performance, but I think I loved it! I always had my eye on film and television, but in the small town I grew up in, theatre was the only available outlet for emerging performers so I fell in love with it quickly. I’m grateful for my time in the theatre because the skills I acquired in live performance really prepared me for the demands of acting on camera.
You performed professionally in theatre for almost a decade. What was your favorite production you worked on, and why was it so memorable?
My favourite production was the U.S. national tour of Godspell in 2013-2014. I got paid to travel and perform in some of the biggest houses in North America. I played Judas, which goes along with my pattern for playing the complex, misunderstood villain archetype.
What did you enjoy most about performing for a live audience? What was the hardest part?
What I enjoyed most was the instant gratification. Even if the audience didn’t like what you were doing, they tended to clap for you after your solo, which made you always feel like a winner. The hardest part was keeping a show fresh and making new discoveries in the middle of a long run. But it’s a great opportunity for an actor to exercise following their impulses and being in the moment night after night.
Did you have a favorite city that you visited while touring with a production?
Austin, Texas. It’s arguably one of the hippest cities in the United States. I didn’t expect to find such a bustling arts and culture scene, and I found it very easy to fill my time off exploring the city.
You've had guest spots in a huge variety of shows across your career including Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Supergirl, The Umbrella Academy and Titans. What have been some of the highlights so far? Which has been your favourite role to play?
For me, working on The Umbrella Academy was a huge career highlight. I was a fan of the show before working on it, so getting to be part of that universe was a bit of a fangirl moment for me.
Outside of The Umbrella Academy, one of my favourite guest star memories was playing a cop in Titans and making the cast laugh so hard that we had to cut and start the scene again. I don’t want to say I’m funny...but the proof is on the cutting room floor.
If you could choose any current show to guest star on, which one would you choose? Why?
As cliché as it sounds, The White Lotus. To be part of an iconic show where the characters do not have many redeemable qualities, yet are still so compelling and watchable, would be right up my alley.
What would be your dream role? What sort of character would you like to play?
As fun as superheroes and romantic leads can be, give me a layered villain, a troubled anti-hero or any character with complexity and depth. Those are the kinds of roles that excite me.
Who would you love to collaborate with? Who would be your dream co-star (male and female)?
I would love to work with Emily Blunt or James Marsden on a new Wes Anderson feature film.
What is one fun fact that you’d like ReVamp readers to know about you?
I went to Musical Theatre School with Nicole Power, who plays Mykynnleigh in Glamorous. So finding out that we were in the same show together was a fun full circle moment for me.
Glamorous starring Graham Parkhurst is now streaming on Netflix.