Gay comedy star Josh Thomas found success at an early age. The Australian comedian won the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s prestigious Raw Comedy Competition at the age of 17. He also writes and stars in Please Like Me — a brazen, ingeniously written comedy in which he plays himself. The Emmy Award nominated show has been lauded by the likes of Time Magazine and has propelled Thomas to international stardom.
Girls creator and comedy superstar Lena Dunham tweeted about her love for Please Like Me, saying that “All I ever want is to be curled in bed watching Please Like Me. This show soothes my existential unrest. I love you @JoshThomas87.”
The first season of Please Like Me is now airing in Canada on CBC. Daily Xtra talked with Thomas about the success of his show, coming out via text message and his embarrassing response to Dunham’s tweet.
Daily Xtra: Congratulations on the Canadian premiere of Please Like Me. Can you tell me about the character you play in the show?
Josh Thomas: Josh in the show is a lot younger than me. He doesn’t really have a job. But I’m not acting, I didn’t have to spend a lot of time getting into that role, if you know what I mean. All I have to do is remember the words and then just say them in a row. It’s a dream, it’s so easy.
Can you talk about the experience of Josh coming out in the show? Did his coming out experience mirror your own?
Yeah, coming out for me wasn’t a big deal. I came out via text message. I sent my brother a text message — he’s gay, but he didn’t know. We just talked a lot about HIV, and that’s in the show. And my mom called and said, “What’s this I hear about you having a boyfriend?” I was like, “I’m on a train.” And then we never really had another conversation about it. The events were different than in the show.
The acting in Please Like Me is fantastic. Can you talk about the casting process?
Actors are so pretty all the time. They kept sending us pretty boys. The boy who plays Geoffrey who is, like, beautiful, they sent him in to audition for Tom. They kept sending these actors who are really attractive to audition for these roles.
Lena Dunham tweeted that she is a huge fan of the show. How did you feel when you saw her post?
Yes, I was really happy. We’re not BFFs. I sent her a reply to say, “I love you, too.” But I ended up typing “I loved you, too.” Yes, so then it was a little bit weird.
(Please Like Me
Fridays on CBC
All episodes that have aired are available to stream at cbc.ca/pleaselikeme)