Everything is bigger in Texas — especially the scandals — and no one knows that better than GCB (Sunday, 10/9c, ABC) stud Blake Riley, played by Mark Deklin. As the secretly gay (but openly hot) husband of Miriam Shore’s Cricket, Blake and his wife frantically attempt to run their fashion empire while keeping their little “arrangement” under wraps. But as the Rileys learned last week, nothing stays secret forever.
Deklin recently chatted with TVLine about the repercussions of Amanda’s discovery, the return of Blake’s scorned “mistress” Booth, and why he wishes he played a gay cowboy years ago.
TVLINE | Blake is arguably the most scandalous character on the show. Do you enjoy carrying that burden?
I think people have certain expectations about what a character like that means, or represents. They’ve written a character, and a marriage, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. People are really fascinated by that dynamic.
TVLINE | Now that Amanda (Leslie Bibb) knows about Blake’s arrangement with Cricket, does he see her as more of an ally or more of a foe?
He definitely sees her as an ally. We had that scene in last week’s episode where he basically said to Cricket, “Let’s let her in.” I don’t think Blake wants to fully come out of the closet because he really loves his wife and loves his family. He loves this arrangement he’s made, so I don’t think he wants to fully publicly come out. That said, I can only imagine what it’s like living with a secret like that. You must want to share it with someone, so for Blake, the idea of someone they can trust with the secret [Amanda] is great.
TVLINE | How is it working with Miriam Shore? You make such a great on-screen couple, er, team.
I knew her work for years, but we never met until we were cast as husband and wife. She’s just delightful. Miriam and I have become good friends, and we’re having so much fun figuring out who these two people are. … That bedroom that Blake and Cricket have, and that huge Texas-sized bed, is almost another character in the show. We’re in there a lot, and Miriam and I are really fond of that bedroom. We’ve had a lot of great scenes in that bed.
TVLINE | And what about Blake’s now-ex-boyfriend Booth? That was a fun relationship. Any chance we’ll see him back in Dallas?
If I were going to use conventional terms, I’d say Booth was Blake’s mistress. It’s sort of like that European marriage where the wife knows about the mistress and she sort of allows it, as long as family comes first. I don’t know that Blake and Booth had a seriously deeply committed relationship, but I would imagine there will be repercussions that come from Booth, and I suspect we’ll see him again. He definitely shakes things up, and [actor Denton Everett] is such a great guy.
TVLINE | That story line was obviously part of the conservative backlash the show received. Do you pay attention to that controversy?
Absolutely. If nothing else, it affects our livelihood. On the one hand, if the controversy generates publicity for the show, that’s good for us. But if people get their way and manage to shut us down, it’s not good for us. So we’ve all been following it. What I’ve noticed with people who have been criticizing it is that what upset them was the title – not the content. They didn’t like the idea of “Christian” and “bitches” being put together. I think anybody who watches the show will see that Christianity and religion are not being made fun of. Hypocrisy is being made fun of; it just so happens that it’s all taking place in a religious setting.
TVLINE | Annie Potts recently said G.C.B. could stand for whatever the viewers want it to stand for. Have you thought of any alternate meanings?
Oh, wow. That’s interesting. Now I need to think of one.
TVLINE | What about Gay Cowboy?
I like that. … I’m having so much fun on this show. Blake has turned out to be one of my favorite characters I’ve ever played. I wish I’d played a gay cowboy years ago!